30 April 202014:00

Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Российской Федерации "О поощрении и защите семейных ценностей на пространстве СНГ"

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Promotion and Protection of Family Values in CIS

 

Report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Russian Federation

 

Moscow

2020

 

Contents
Introduction
Azerbaijan
Armenia
Belarus
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan

Uzbekistan

 

 

 

List of abbreviations found in the text

 

AEO – Autonomous educational organization

AIC – Agro-industrial complex

MSR – Minimum subsistence rate

WHO – World Health Organization

SI – State Institution

SEI – State Educational Institution

CRO - Civil Registry Office

ICT -Information and communication technologies

BA - Bovine animals

MPBA - Milk-producing bovine animals

FPD - Features of psychophysical development

OECD - Organization for economic cooperation and development

UNDP – United Nations Development Programme

RSPC - Republican Scientific and Practical Centers

RUE- Republican Unitary Enterprise

TSA - Total section assessment (a test that determines the capture degree of the academic programme for criteria-based assessment)

SDG - Sustainable Development Goals

UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

UNFPA – United Nations Population Fund

 

 

 

Introduction

The UN General Assembly declared 1994 the International Year of the Family. Within the framework of the year, events at the international, regional and national levels provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the international community about problems faced by families, to deepen knowledge about the social and economic and demographic processes that affect families, to disseminate information about possible ways to improve their well-being, and to develop international cooperation for this purpose. As a follow-up to the International Year, by resolution A/RES/47/237 of September 20, 1993, the UN General Assembly established the International Day of Families celebrated on May 15. Every year, one of the most pressing issues or challenges faced by families is chosen as the theme for this day.

The development of the modern society is accompanied by new opportunities and new challenges in all areas of public life, including culture, information, economy, policy, health and education. At the same time, such basic concepts as traditional family, responsible parenting, generational succession and mutual responsibility of people are often blurred. This is often done deliberately under the guise of so – called neoliberal values that leads to the rejection of moral norms, the imposition of ambiguous concepts and behaviour aimed primarily at the most vulnerable category - children.

Such a line threatens the very basis of human society – the family, which is inextricably linked to human life from its earliest days, and within which its upbringing, formation and development takes place. What this can lead to in practice is shown by the example of Europe, where the traditional majority of families are discriminated against in order to please an aggressive minority that adheres to non-traditional views.

On the other hand, the space of the Commonwealth of Independent States offers another example of social relations based on the traditional perception of the family as a natural and fundamental unit of society. In this regard, on the eve of the next International Day of Families it was decided to prepare a report of the Ministry on the CIS positive experience in this area. This issue is also relevant because it allows us to demonstrate the universality of family values and their unifying potential.

An important task for the Commonwealth States is to develop effective organizational, legal, economic, and educational measures to establish favourable conditions for creating a family, protecting the health of mothers and children, developing the institution of adoption, supporting young parents, and caring for older generations. No less attention is paid to promoting the positive experience of family education and increasing the prestige of a socially prosperous family.

All these issues relate to the main directions of social policy of the CIS member States. In the Commonwealth countries, the legal framework for family policy has been created and is being developed, which is represented both by separate normative acts and by sections in various policy documents. Provisions on the protection of motherhood, fatherhood, childhood and the family as a whole as the basic unit of society are codified as constitutional norms in our countries. Their implementation is a prerequisite for the state policy being implemented.

In the code of national laws of the Commonwealth countries, there is a specialized normative legal act dedicated to family issues. At the same time, the family law of the CIS member States has common features, expressed, in particular, through establishing provisions on the need to strengthen the family, building family relations on a voluntary basis, the equality of its members, mutual assistance and responsibility to the family of all its members, and the inadmissibility of arbitrary interference by anyone in family matters, ensuring the unhindered exercise by family members of their rights, including the right to judicial protection of these rights.

The norms of national legislation of States always emphasize that the care of children and their upbringing is an equal right and duty of parents, and the exercise of parental rights is impossible without taking into account the best interests of children. Along with this, the obligation of children (especially those who are able to work) to take care of their parents who are not able to work is also established. In addition, there is a wide range of different examples of legislative guarantees of the rights of the older generation, taking into account country specifics.

Labour legislation also contains a number of guarantees of women's labour rights in connection with the birth and upbringing of a child. It is important that in these and a number of other cases, a state system of material support in the form of targeted allowances is provided for. These measures in the form of an extensive set are also included in the national legislation of the Commonwealth States.

The work with older people is also important. The CIS member States also pay attention to this issue. In addition to providing social services that support older people in their daily lives and maintaining physical health, it is important to develop intergenerational relationships. The life experience of the older generation in building intra-family relations, assistance in raising children not only preserve the connection of generations and future-oriented spiritual interests, but also harmonize the interests of different generations. Moreover, the care of the older generation by children and grandchildren contributes to the transmission of family values and traditions, as well as helps to instil in young people a sense of moral duty and respect for their elders. It is particularly important to work with veterans of the Great Patriotic War not only in terms of material assistance, but also to teach the younger generations a sense of patriotism, love for the Motherland, as well as to transmit the truth about the war, the 75th anniversary of the end of which is to be celebrated in May 2020. The latter is particularly significant in the context of an aggressive campaign launched in recent years to distort and rewrite history.

Concrete measures are being taken to stabilize and strengthen the family, its economic independence, and stimulate the birth rate. These measures include efforts to improve and increase the effectiveness of health services, covering family planning, maternal and child health, and the development of healthy lifestyle skills among the population.

Equally important are the efforts of States to support a decent standard of living for families, increase their income and improve their living conditions. An effective measure of financial incentives for families is the payment of family capital at the birth of a child (although the conditions for its provision vary in countries), which can serve to improve the family's housing conditions, children's education, etc. There are also specialized programs to provide housing for young or low-income families. Economic measures that promote employment growth, create jobs, encourage young people to take up sought-after professions, help with retraining and access to lifelong learning, and encourage family entrepreneurship and traditional crafts that also rely on the family during the production cycle also contribute to improving the well-being of families.

Educational services, including pre-school and general education, are important for family development. Preschool institutions not only help working parents in looking after children, but also assist families in raising a child, developing his/her moral qualities, and instilling the first skills of socialization. General education institutions also contribute to the solution of these problems.

The CIS member States also pay attention to working with people with disabilities and special needs, especially children. The emphasis is on their involvement in socially significant activities, including in educational institutions, as well as on providing a full range of medical services. Significant efforts are also being made to combat domestic violence, prevent its manifestations, and improve the culture of education.

The development of all the above-mentioned spheres is carried out in different ways in the CIS member States, taking into account the national, traditional and religious characteristics of society. However, the goal of all such measures is to support the most important structure of society, namely the family. This report focuses on the specifics of this support in terms of national legislation and its practical implementation.

Moreover, the example of the Commonwealth States shows that the theme of the family and its traditions can play a unifying role in the dialogue of cultures of different countries and peoples. The examples of the CIS countries show that despite the cultural and religious features throughout the territory of this association, these countries share an understanding of the value of the family institution, the importance of its support and promotion of the development of its members. It is no coincidence that the Council of CIS States Heads declared 2017 the Year of the Family in the Commonwealth countries. Numerous events that took place during the year were primarily aimed at young people.

The CIS countries are not limited to taking internal measures to support the family and family values at the legislative and practical levels, they are also ready to share their positive experience. Since 2015, the Friends of the Family Group has been operating within the UN, an informal Association of States that advocate the interests of the natural family and traditional family values in accordance with the definition of the family reflected in internationally recognized instruments. The example of this Association, which includes States from all regions of the world, including the CIS member States, also serves as a confirmation of the universality of family values and their unifying nature.

In preparing this report, we used information published by the national executive authorities of the CIS member States implementing social policy, as well as information from participants to the UN human rights treaty bodies. Another source is the detailed statistics published by the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee, which contains numerous indicators of social and economic development of States (including in the field of demography, health, education, etc.). In terms of coverage of family issues, we should note the specialized brochure of the CIS Statistical Committee on various aspects of family life in the Commonwealth: demographic characteristics, indicators of well-being, including family income, indicators of poverty, employment and unemployment, housing conditions, use of the time budget, etc.

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Azerbaijan

The institution of the family is currently one of the key elements of the official ideology of the Republic of Azerbaijan (RA) and the national mentality. As a country with a predominantly Muslim population, Azerbaijan firmly adheres to traditional family values; it does not allow any "variation" in the interpretation of this concept. The country's leadership has repeatedly stated the inviolability of this position on various international platforms. For example, in November 2019 during the 2nd Baku Summit of the World Religious Leaders the President I.G. Aliyev said: "A campaign against traditional values is being carried out in the world, they are being denigrated, new "values" are being instilled that are alien to us and do not correspond to our national thinking. We must protect ourselves and especially the younger generation from this alien and negative influence".

In Azerbaijan, the family, as the basic unit of society, is under the special care of the state (article 17 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan). Motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood are protected by law.

Family legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan consists of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Family Code and relevant legislative acts adopted in accordance with the Code, including the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On social protection of children lacking parents and parental care", the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On social service", the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On social allowances", the RA Law "On the earmarked state social aid", the RA Law "On nutrition of infants and young children", the RA Law "On provision of gender (men and women) equality", the RA Law "On child rights", the RA Law "On prevention of neglect and offenses of minors", the RA Law "On the mortgage loan for young families".

Family legislation of Azerbaijan comes from the need to strengthen the family, build family relations on feelings of mutual love and respect, non-interference in the family affairs, mutual assistance of family members and their responsibility to the family, to ensure the smooth implementation of their rights and opportunities, judicial protection of these rights. The State's efforts in this area include: creating a family based on universal principles, building family relations based on the voluntary marriage of a man and a woman, free from material considerations, feelings of mutual love, friendship and respect for all family members; raising children in the family in organic connection with public education and in a spirit of devotion to the Motherland, fully protecting the interests of mothers and children and ensuring a happy life for each child, eliminating harmful traditions in family relations, educating children to a sense of responsibility to the family and society.

Legal regulation of family relations is carried out in accordance with the principles of voluntary marriage of a man and a woman, equality of spouses, the solution of intra-family issues based on mutual consent, the benefits of family education of children, care for their welfare and development, and ensuring the protection of the rights and interests of minors and disabled family members. According to article 17 of the RA Constitution, it is the parents' duty to take care of children and raise them. The State monitors the performance of this duty. The State takes care of children who do not have parents or guardians and are deprived of parental care.

Azerbaijani legislation contains a number of important provisions that proclaim equality between men and women. This provision fully applies to family relations. In furtherance of the principle of equality of women and men enshrined in article 25 of the Constitution, the RA Family Code establishes that spouses enjoy equal personal and property rights in family relations. Maternity, paternity, upbringing and education of children, as well as other family issues are resolved jointly in accordance with the principle of equality of spouses. The husband and wife are free to choose their occupation, profession, and place of residence. Spouses should build their family relationships on the principles of mutual assistance and respect, carry out joint activities for the strengthening and well-being of the family, create favourable conditions for the development of children and take care of their health.

Article 2 of the Family Code of Azerbaijan stipulates that marriage is a voluntary union of a man and a woman registered with the relevant executive authority for the purpose of creating a family. In the RA, only a marriage concluded in the relevant executive authority is recognized. According to article 1 of the RA Family Code, religious marriage has no legal meaning. At the same time, this provision does not apply to religious marriages concluded before the creation of the relevant executive authorities of Azerbaijan and documents regarding their confirmation, birth certificates, marriage, divorce and death. The official age of marriage in Azerbaijan is 18 years. If there are valid reasons, it can be reduced at the request of the couple, but not more than by 1 year.

The population of Azerbaijan is balanced by gender: as of January 1, 2020, the total population was 10,067,108 people, of which 49.9 % are men and 50.1 % are women.[1] The number of women per 1,000 men is 1,006[2] (estimated data for the beginning of 2017).

Historically established cultural traditions and foundations of family life strengthen the value of the family institution in Azerbaijani society. Despite the fact that the development of modern information technologies, the formation of a system of new social relations, the transition from the era of industry to the era of information could not but affect family values, the country still has quite high rates of marriage and relatively low (especially in comparison with other CIS countries) rates of divorce in the country. Thus, the number of marriages in the Republic of Azerbaijan tends to increase: in 2000, the marriage rate was 5 per 1,000 people, and in 2019 – 6.4. The number of divorces is small: in 2000, the indicator reached the level of 0.7, in 2019 – 1.7.[3] These figures are among the lowest in the CIS. It should also be noted that the age of first marriage continues to increase slightly (and the trend of increasing the age of marriage is typical for the entire CIS area): in 2000, this indicator was 27.3 years for men, in 2005, it increased to 27.5 years, and in 2016 it was 28.6 years. For women, the indicators for the same years were 23.1, 23.4 and 24.1, respectively.[4]

The State Committee for Family, Women and Children (with the status of a Ministry) (hereinafter referred to as the State Committee) was established by the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on February 6, 2006 and acts as the main agent of the policy of the Azerbaijani authorities to support the family institution. Within its competence, the State Committee participates in the development of a unified state family policy, works to strengthen the social significance of the family institution, protect and preserve family values, prepare young people psychologically for family life, monitor the observance of human rights within the family and protect them in case of violations. Under its auspice, there are child and family support centers in the country's regions.

The Constitution, Family and Civil Codes of the Republic of Azerbaijan serve as the legal framework for the activities of the State Committee. At present, 11 branches of this Department have been opened in the country, including the functions of leisure and educational family centers. With the active participation of the State Committee, a number of programs and projects are being implemented that directly or indirectly affect the problems of the family institution: transferring children from orphanages to families, implementing an employment strategy, improving the health of mothers and children, conducting mandatory children's medical examinations, fighting drug trafficking and drug abuse, etc. In addition, the Concept of state family policy is currently being developed in Azerbaijan.

As part of the state support for family entrepreneurship, in 2016 ABAD[5] company was established under the State Agency for providing services to citizens and social innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The company supports the production and sale of farm products, traditional crafts and souvenirs by family businesses. ABAD centers provide business planning, marketing, branding and design services, as well as financial and legal assistance to families. The structure also organizes certification, logistics and sales of products produced by family businesses on the principle of a single showcase. In addition to the logo of the family that produces these products within the project, it also bears a sign that the product is produced under the ABAD control. Thus, ABAD centers promote the expansion of small and medium-sized businesses, increase employment and the formation of competitive family businesses, and ultimately contribute to the social and economic development of the country. In 2019, the number of ABAD participants increased by a third to 421 families, and their total profit for two years reached 2.2 million manats (1.3 million US dollars).

In order to popularize the family lifestyle in the capital of Baku and in the regions thematic events are organized, such as the “Family Holiday”, the “Azerbaijan Family” Film Festival, the “Children's Forum”, the educational project “The Role and Place of the Modern Family in the Development of Society”, and the conference “ Azerbaijan is My Native Land”.

The State Council conducts a number of projects as measures to support the state family policy. Since 2017, the Family Academy project has been implemented in cooperation with municipalities, where various meetings with municipalities, sociologists, psychologists and lawyers are organized to increase women's participation and ensure gender equality in the family. At such meetings, young people, women and especially young families and people with low social status are provided with useful information on important issues (for example, prevention of early marriage, parental responsibility). The project has already organized 17 different events, which were attended by 30 thousand people.

The project "Our Strength Is in Our Unity" is aimed at promoting family values and healthy lifestyles (it is also implemented jointly with local executive authorities in cities and districts).

Since December 2018, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Science Foundation under the President of Azerbaijan, the “Let's Read with Family” project has been launched to attract public attention to reading, to promote a reading culture in the family and to spend leisure time rationally. As part of the project, 3 family clubs were created, and 1.5 thousand people took part in it.

Since 2015, on the occasion of the International Day of the Family, large-scale awareness-raising campaigns have been conducted that cover 5 thousand families. In 2018, information about 111 families with a life span of more than 60 years was published as a separate collection.

In order to promote traditional family values in educational institutions of the country, thematic classes are held in the framework of the school subject "Knowledge of the World", and literature published by the State Committee is distributed. Employees of the Committee conduct relevant educational lectures in high schools, universities, and military units.

The State Council for NGO support under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan organized 37 training courses on family and women's issues. The Council also conducts information campaigns on women's rights and gender equality issues. Training courses and individual consultations on family law and psychology are provided for young women who are planning to start a family life in order to raise their legal awareness and help them avoid problems that may arise in the future. Families are provided with practical legal and psychological support. A website has been developed for this purpose www.himayadar.org. A database of coordinates of agencies and experts working in the field of family law is formed.[6]

One of the most important areas of state policy to protect the institution of the family is the prevention of divorce proceedings and family conflicts. Currently, 5 marriages in the country account for 1 divorce - a phenomenon that was very rare for Azerbaijan until recently. From July 1, 2020, the law adopted in April 2019 will come into force. According to the RA Law “On Mediation” before deciding on the dissolution of a marriage, the court appoints a mediator to reconcile the spouses.

According to 2018 data, expenditures of the consolidated budget of Azerbaijan on the social sphere amount to 7.1 % of GDP, including 0.9% allocated to healthcare, 2.5% to the education sector and 3.7% to social policy.[7]

Mutual respect and solidarity of generations remain an important factor of social cohesion. In Azerbaijani society, traditions such as the veneration of elders, whose opinion is often decisive in "family councils", as well as the care of elderly relatives by children and grandchildren still play an important role.

The active lifestyle of older people is not encouraged in any special way by the state, including in the absence of a corresponding social request. After reaching retirement age in Azerbaijan people prefer to devote time to family and household affairs.

At the same time, we cannot fail to note the state's efforts to support older people. In accordance with the Law of Azerbaijan Republic "On social service of elderly people" of 22 June 2001, the departments of social services under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Azerbaijan provide in-home services for the elderly lone persons over 70 years, invalids of I group and II group disabled people, who need outside help, with no children or parents living in the same city or district and legally obliged to look after these citizens. As of the end of 2006, 15,235 single elderly citizens and persons with disabilities were provided with home-based services by the above-mentioned social services departments. Of the total number of persons served, citizens over 70 years of age made up 12,947 people.

In 2006, the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan approved the "State Program for Strengthening Social Protection of Elderly Citizens". In order to implement this program, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of Azerbaijan has developed and approved the action Plan, according to which the necessary activities in this direction are carried out.

According to the amendments to the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On labour pensions" that came into force in July 2017, the minimum amount of labour pensions is indexed annually.

The Azerbaijani authorities are taking measures to improve the level of medical services provided to senior citizens living on state support in boarding schools and boarding houses, in order to create good conditions for senior citizens living there. In particular, medical offices of such institutions are provided with modern equipment, and major repairs are being carried out in the institutions. Currently, 1,097 senior citizens and disabled people live on full state support in 9 boarding houses and boarding houses operating under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan.[8]

During 2019, the minimum pension was actually raised by 72 %, from 116 to 200 manats (about 120 US dollars). According to official data, this amount for the first time exceeded the living wage of pensioners by 34 %, and in terms of its purchasing power parity brought Azerbaijan to the first place in the CIS.

As part of the ongoing course to combat poverty and inequality, the country's authorities regularly raise the minimum monthly wage. In particular, in 2019, by order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, its size was almost doubled - from 130 to 250 manats (from 76 to 147 US dollars, respectively), thus exceeding the established minimum subsistence level (180 manats - 105  US dollars).

As of the end of 2018, 42,895 families consisting of 172,000 people received targeted social assistance from the state, of which 53.43 % (91,381 people) were women, and 47.57% (79,639 people) were men. 54.52 % (933,232 people) of all those who received social assistance were children under the age of 18.

According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the growth of salaries and pensions in 2019 covered 2 million people (20% of the population). In the budget for 2020, labour costs are planned to amount to 6.7 billion roubles, this is 43% more than in 2019.

In February 2020 the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan approved the action Plan for implementation in the period 2020-2025 "Employment strategy of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2019-2030" (approved in October 2018). In particular, the document provides for a consistent increase in the minimum wage, reduction in unemployment to 4%, bringing official employment (with the exception of the agricultural sector) to 80%.

Azerbaijan is implementing measures aimed at increasing the activity of communities in rural development. In addition to creating equal opportunities for women and men in villages, efforts are being made to address the problems faced by rural women. So, since 2011  the State Council for Women, Family and Children, in cooperation with UNDP, is implementing a support project aimed at promoting the participation of women and young people living in rural areas in economic and social life, expanding their entrepreneurial skills and increasing employment. In 2015-2018, 5.5 thousand women and young people were trained in 8 established women's resource centers. As a result of these training courses, 102 enterprises were created to provide additional jobs.

Social and economic policy of the authorities, namely the implementation of the state program "Poverty Reduction and Economic Development" (2003-2005), "Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development in the Republic of Azerbaijan for the period 2008-2015", "Social and Economic Development of Regions of Azerbaijan Republic" (2004-2008), "Social and Economic Development of the RA regions for the period 2009-2013", "Social and Economic Development of the RA regions for 2014-2018" has been effective. As a result, over the past 15 years the poverty rate has decreased from 46.7 % to 5.4 %, and the number of poor people has decreased from 550.5 thousand to 527.6 thousand (that is, it fell to the level of 4.2 %). Economic stability has led to an improved business and investment environment, economic diversification, regional development and entrepreneurship. Thus, from 2003 to 2017, the minimum wage increased by 14.4 %, the average pension rate - by 8.6 %, and the average monthly salary - by 6.9 %. The population's income increased 9.8 times and reached 49162.9 million manats.[9]

The priority task of the Azerbaijani authorities in the field of women's rights is to ensure the active participation of women in all spheres of public life in the country. The legal framework for the state’s activities in this area was laid down in March 2000 by a decree of the then President of the country G. Aliyev on a new state policy on women. Its goal was to achieve proportional representation of women in the power structures, business and economy of Azerbaijan. Currently, the authorities continue to work to improve the social protection of women and improve their social and economic status. Among the main tasks are to reduce the level of poverty among women, eliminate illiteracy, expand their access to education and health care, increase wages and pensions, address the issue of women's employment, increase their political, economic and social activity.

Azerbaijan's labour legislation contains provisions that provide guarantees for pregnant women and women with young children. In accordance with article 125 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, during pregnancy and the postpartum period working women are granted paid leave of 126 calendar days (70 calendar days before delivery and 56 calendar days after delivery). If the birth was difficult, as well as the birth of several children, the postpartum leave is extended to 70 calendar days.

Article 16 of the Labour Code prohibits discrimination among employees and restrictions on their rights based on gender, race, religion, nationality, language, place of residence, property status, social origin, age, marital status, beliefs, political views, membership in trade unions or other public associations. Article 240 prohibits an employer from refusing to enter into an employment contract with a woman because she is pregnant or has a child less than 3 years of age. It is prohibited for an employer to terminate an employment contract in respect of pregnant women, as well as those with children under 3 years of age, and women who have this work as their only source of income. This rule also applies to those who raise a child of preschool age alone. For pregnant women, women with children under the age of 1.5 years, and parents raising kids under the age of 3 years, a reduced working day is established that lasts no more than 36 hours when paying the full amount of wages. For pregnant women, the amount of work performed is reduced for medical reasons, or they are transferred to less heavy work that excludes the influence of hazardous production factors. In case of complications during feeding or breastfeeding, the employer is obliged to transfer women to less difficult work, and after such transfer, the women are paid the equivalent of their basic duties. It is forbidden to reduce the salary of pregnant women and women with infants. In addition to the free time allocated to women with children under 1.5 years of age and the total lunch break, women with infants are given additional time to breastfeed during every 3 hours of working time. These breaks are included in working hours, and the amount of wages is maintained. For pregnant women, women with children under the age of 14, and women caring for a sick family member, a part-time or part-time working week with a paid salary is established.  The salary of pregnant women and women with children under 3 years of age is maintained for the days when they undergo a medical examination for themselves or their child and for the days when they visit a doctor (articles 79, 91, 130, 243 and 244 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan).

It should be noted that currently women make up the majority of doctors and teachers in Azerbaijan. For example, 79 % of all teachers in secondary schools are women, while as of 2017; the overall percentage of women working in the education sector is 47.6%. In the health and social services sector women make up 53 %, and in the recreational sector- 26.2 %. The number of women scientists, civil servants, law enforcement officers, and public figures is increasing. Azerbaijani women include members of Parliament, members of the Supreme Court, and employees of executive power structures. In general educational institutions, 47% of students are girls. These indicators in higher education fluctuate at the level of 50 % (and even make up about 54% of students in the master's program).

The actions of the authorities in the field of ensuring women's equality are regulated by the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On ensuring gender (male and female) equality". The National action plan for gender equality for 2019-2024 was adopted as a follow-up to this plan. The goals set for this period include: improving legislation on gender equality and women's rights, raising public awareness of gender equality and women's rights, increasing responsibility for gender-based violence, achieving gender equality in the economic sphere, strengthening small women's entrepreneurship, increasing women's competitiveness in the labour market, preventing and combating gender stereotypes and discrimination, conducting surveys to identify the basic needs of marginalized groups of women and men, as well as among rural women, disabled women, internally displaced women, refugees and the elderly, preventing girls from dropping out of school and preventing early marriage, improving the effectiveness of services and ensuring that women's rights are protected in the field of reproductive health and family planning, especially for women and young families, increasing women's participation in political and public life, increasing employment opportunities for rural women, women with disabilities, and refugee women (organizing courses for vocational education).

At the practical level, the authorities are also making a number of efforts to combat stereotypes against women. The authorities regularly conduct opinion polls and educational projects aimed at forming an adequate perception of the institution of marriage among the target audience, strengthening the role of parents and the family in society, and increasing the role of women. For example, in 2015 the State Committee on family, women and children together with UNFPA conducted a sociological study on early marriage and children born out of marriage, which covered 9,497 households. In 2016, a study was conducted on "Gender equality and gender relations in Azerbaijan: current situation and opportunities", which was aimed at studying men's attitudes to gender equality, gender roles of men and women, parental care and child care, dynamics of relationships in the household, health issues (including reproductive health) and reasons for preference for boys among newborns. The results of the study showed that there is a positive trend in Azerbaijan in terms of ensuring equality between men and women.

This is also facilitated by the wide coverage of gender equality issues in the Azerbaijani media. For example, in 2015-2018 almost 500 news programs were broadcast on television dedicated to the elimination of gender stereotypes and positive coverage of women's active participation in the social, economic and political life of the country. Over the past 5 years, more than 100 articles on this topic have been published in Newspapers and magazines in Azerbaijani, Russian and English. The State Committee on Family, Women and Children published materials on this topic, including articles, advertising materials, and videos on social networks, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Child and family support centers operating under the auspices of the State Committee are also operating in the regions. For example, over the past 5 years they have organized a series of district consultation meetings on problems and behavioral stereotypes arising from traditions and rituals in communities, as well as thematic information campaigns to raise public awareness. During this period, the centers organized 153 thematic training courses, which were attended by about 1.8 thousand people, 141 informative events covering almost 5 thousand people and 8 community meetings (about 1 thousand participants). At the local level, about 4 thousand booklets and 4.5 thousand information sheets were distributed, and 6 articles were published in local newspapers.[10]

The Azerbaijani authorities pay considerable attention to combating violence against women and domestic violence. In June 2010, the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On the prevention of domestic violence" was adopted, which regulates preventive measures in this area, provides social protection and legal assistance to victims, as well as eliminates circumstances leading to domestic violence. The provisions of legislative acts are being improved. In particular, the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been amended to provide for liability for violations of legislation on the prevention of domestic violence: fines and administrative arrest – for causing serious bodily injuries and other violent acts, as well as monetary fines in cases of economic and psychological violence in the family. Guidelines for the establishment of an inter-sectoral coordinating council for the prevention of domestic violence and protection of victims and a draft National action plan for 2019-2023 to eliminate and combat domestic violence have been developed.

The corresponding work is also being carried out at the regional level. In 2015, all districts established groups to monitor gender-based violence and violence against children, which include representatives of district executive authorities. These structures monitor cases of violence against women, based on which the causes of violence are analysed, and also check the effectiveness of measures taken against victims of domestic violence, identify vulnerable families and provide them with support.

In the same year, a special cross-sectoral data bank was created to register cases of domestic violence and track its dynamics. Data is provided by assistance centers accredited by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan, law enforcement and judicial authorities, prosecutor's offices, and local authorities. A total of 652 cases of domestic violence were collected and analysed in 2015-2016. Between October 2017 and December 2018, another 650 cases were registered.[11]

In addition to legal education, measures are being taken to rehabilitate victims of domestic violence and provide medical and psychological assistance. In 2018 the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the population of the Republic of Azerbaijan has launched a Center for assistance to children who are victims of domestic violence, which is aimed at promoting the social rehabilitation of victims, as well as providing legal and psychological services to parents.

There is also active cooperation with civil society organizations in this area. In 2013-2018, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the population of the Republic of Azerbaijan has accredited 10 non-governmental centers for assistance to victims of domestic violence (6 of them are located in Baku, 3 in Ganja, and 1 in Sumgait).

The authorities are working to prevent early marriage and prevent girls from dropping out of school due to marriage. Local education authorities encourage girls and young women to enter various professions. Together with law enforcement agencies and local executive authorities they conduct regular awareness-raising activities among parents in order to encourage girls to enter vocational schools after completing compulsory secondary education. Meetings are organized for them with women who have achieved success in business and science, as well as with students of secondary, professional and higher educational institutions. Obtaining professional and communication skills opens up employment opportunities for girls in developing areas of the country's economy. Moreover, health professionals and relevant NGOs are conducting awareness-raising campaigns in schools to prevent early marriage. Special classes provide students and parents with detailed information about reproductive health and the negative medical, social and psychological consequences of early marriage that make it difficult for girls to integrate into society. Since 2015, the project "Say no to early marriage" has been launched, aimed at raising public awareness of the negative consequences of early marriage, which includes various activities with different segments of society in cities and remote villages. In 2015-2016 2.4 thousand people took part in them.

As part of the "Letter to the family" campaign, information materials on the prevention of early marriage are distributed in the districts where 11 child and family support centers are located. In 2014-2018, more than 100,000 such letters were sent to the districts where the centers are located.

Measures are also being taken by law enforcement agencies. Thus, in 2016 3 criminal cases were initiated on forcing women to marry. In 2017-2018, no such cases were observed. The same actions against minors led to the initiation of 17 criminal cases in 2016 and 22 criminal cases in 2017.[12]

Protection of children's rights and freedoms, provision of high-quality educational and medical services to children, care for children, and creation of necessary conditions for their growth in a moral and social environment of a proper level, as well as their upbringing as fully developed and worthy citizens are among the priority directions of Azerbaijan's policy. Article 34.4 of the Constitution stipulates that the care of children and their upbringing are both the right and the duty of parents. In accordance with article 58 of the Family Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, parents have the right and duty to raise their children; they are responsible for the upbringing, health of their children, their mental, physical and spiritual development. Parents must ensure that their children receive general education. The state may interfere with these rights and obligations in the manner prescribed by law only in cases where the interests of the child require such intervention.

Article 49 of the Family Code establishes the right of a child to live and be brought up in a family, to recognize their parents and enjoy their care, and to live with them, except in cases contrary to the interests of the child. A child has the right to be brought up by his or her parents, to ensure his or her interests, to develop fully, and to respect his or her dignity.

Article 62 of the Code guarantees the right of grandparents, siblings and other relatives to communicate with the child. If the parents (or one of them) object to the communication of the child with other close relatives, then the competent executive authority may require the parents (or one of them) not to interfere with this communication. If the parents (or one of them) do not comply with the decision of the competent executive authority, the dispute is resolved in court, taking into account the views and interests of the child. A parent who does not comply with a court decision is liable in accordance with the norms of the civil procedure legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

In the absence of parents, the deprivation of their parental rights, or in other cases where the child has lost parental care, the child is taken care of by a competent executive authority.

All forms of corporal punishment of children are prohibited by Azerbaijani law. The Family Code provides that any parent, who exerts physical and mental pressure on children, ill-treats them, abuses their rights, or commits a deliberate crime against the health or life of their children or their spouse may be deprived of their parental rights (article 64).

The State Committee for family, women and children has a number of powers and responsibilities, including monitoring children's rights, the maintenance of the Unified registry of children deprived of parental care and adopted children, as well as the registry of foreign citizens or persons without citizenship wishing to adopt the RA minors; issuance of permits for foreign citizens or persons without citizenship wishing to adopt the RA minors; and take the necessary action to resolve the issues of intercountry adoption.

Article 11 of the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On the rights of the child" establishes the right of every child to full development and upbringing in accordance with national and universal values based on the principles of humanism and morality. The child's upbringing is carried out in the family, at school, as well as in pre-school and out-of-school educational institutions.

In accordance with article 60.2 of the Family Code, when exercising their rights parents must not harm the spiritual development, physical and mental health of their children. Parents who violate the rights and interests of their children are liable in accordance with the procedure established by law. Deprivation of parental rights is carried out in court (article 65).

According to article 50 of the Code, the dissolution of the parent ' marriage or its invalidity or the separation of the parents does not affect the rights of the child. If the parents are separated, the child has the right to communicate with each of them. A parent who lives separately from their children has the right to communicate with them, as well as to participate in resolving issues related to their upbringing and education (article 61).

The state pays a number of benefits for children, including a one-time allowance for the birth of a child, allowances for guardians of children who have lost their parents and children deprived of parental care, and a monthly allowance for low-income families with a child under the age of 1 year.

According to article 42 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, every citizen has the right to free compulsory general education. Article 44 of the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On education" contains guarantees for Azerbaijani citizens to receive education and advanced training abroad at any level of education on the basis of quotas established by the state, in accordance with international agreements with Azerbaijan and direct agreements signed by educational institutions, associations, legal entities and individuals at any level of education. The order and timing of training for citizens of Azerbaijan for education abroad and the recognition of documents on education is regulated by the RA Cabinet of Ministers. According to the law, children of migrants, as well as labour migrants, have the right to free secondary education.

The RA law "On education" also states that one of the main principles of state policy in the field of education is equality, creating opportunities for all citizens to receive education on equal terms regardless of gender, race, language, religion, political beliefs, ethnicity, social status, and origin or health status.

In accordance with article 18 of the RA law "On protection of population health", children under the age of majority are eligible for free medical monitoring and treatment to study in conditions that meet sanitary and hygienic requirements, for a free consultation in a public child and adolescent health care institutions in determining professional suitability, and also on reduced price meals at the expense of budgetary funds. At the request of their parents or legal representatives minors with physical or mental disabilities may be held in social protection institutions. As of the end of 2018, there were 33 doctors of all specialties, including 14 paediatricians, per 10,000 people in the country.[13]

The Azerbaijani authorities are constantly working to prevent cases of maternal and infant mortality. Efforts are being made to ensure early registration (up to 12 weeks) of pregnant women, to use modern methods of family planning, and to increase the motivation of pregnant women and their families. With the support of WHO the Center for public health and reforms of the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan conducts thematic seminars aimed at improving the health of mothers and children and reducing their mortality.[14] The measures taken are yielding results: the infant mortality rate decreased from 128.3 cases per 1,000 live births in 2000 to 111.3 in 2018, and the maternal mortality rate decreased from 37.6 cases per 100,000 live births in 2000 to 12 in 2018.[15]

The placement of children in state-run boarding schools is strictly controlled: cases are carefully studied, and placement of children in appropriate institutions is allowed only in cases where they are in a desperate situation. Despite the establishment of an alternative child care system in the country, it is not able to cover all districts and cities of the country. In order to ensure normal conditions for children living and studying in boarding schools, with the assistance of the G. Aliyev Foundation, an inspection of orphanages and boarding schools in the country is being conducted to identify their problems.

A State program is being implemented to resettle children from orphanages. Priority is given to the placement of children from orphanages in their native or foster families in the same area, or the placement of children in alternative care institutions. Depending on the location of the institution, the existing infrastructure and the quality of services provided to children it was envisaged: (a) the closure of institutions; (b) the continued operation of institutions after the reduction in the number of children living in them; (c) establishment of alternative day care centers, development and rehabilitation centers, specialized institutions or general education schools, vocational lyceums and gymnasiums as temporary institutions intended for the care of children in a shelter environment. For example, the Kazakh general boarding school was transformed into a humanitarian scientific lyceum, and the general boarding school with in-depth study of foreign languages was transformed into a gymnasium with in-depth study of foreign languages. A "Day Care Center" was opened in the children's home No. 2 of Surakhani district, which accepts children who permanently reside in the district and are at risk, as well as children from low-income families with unfavourable living conditions.[16]

The authorized authorities of Azerbaijan also monitor the living conditions of children resettled from orphanages. For this purpose, the Ministry of Education received a list of children who were settled in their native or foster families, and then made monitoring visits to a number of districts and cities where they are located.

According to the RA law "On social protection of children lacking parents and parental care", children who have lost parents and deprived of parental care, including persons equated to them have the opportunity to receive tuition at the expense of public funds in state, municipal and private higher and secondary educational institutions during the entire period of tuition. In October 2016, changes were made to provide for the state budget to cover the costs of training such children in the master's program at the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan.

As of the beginning of 2019, persons under 18 years of age made up 26% of the population of Azerbaijan (2622.4 thousand people).[17]

The Azerbaijani authorities are increasing their efforts to improve state support for pre-school education. In 2014, private pre-school educational institutions were exempt from paying tax for 10 years. The number of pre-school educational institutions at the beginning of 2018 was 1,758. There are 1,065 such institutions in cities and 720 in rural areas. Pre-school educational institutions were attended by 124,200 children. [18]In the same period, there were 88 children for every 100 places. The coverage of children in pre-school educational institutions was 29 % in relation to the total number of pre-school children. Compared to 2000, this indicator has increased by 12 %.[19] In total, there were 675,600 children aged 2 to 5 years in the country at the beginning of 2018. In February 2018, the decree of the President of Azerbaijan I. Aliyev allocated 19,577 million manats for the construction of new pre-school educational institutions in 15 cities and districts of the country.

There are 4,555 general education schools, 42 higher education institutions, 589 children's clinics and emergency centers, 4 nurseries, 6 orphanages, 2 boarding schools for children deprived of parental care, 14 special boarding schools for children with disabilities, 2 boarding schools for mentally retarded children, 34 general boarding schools, 15 children's sanatoriums, 234 children's music and art schools, 8 children's theatres, 103 children's libraries and 9,308 sports institutions in RA.[20]

In terms of scope and scope of activities, general education is the most significant element of the entire educational system. In 2007-2008, 1.5 million children attended 4,538 state and 17 non-state day schools. 45.5 % of secondary schools work in one shift, 54.5% - in two or three shifts. 1,360 new schools were built for 300,000 students, and 300 schools were renovated at the expense of the state budget and other sources.[21] In the 2018-2019 academic year, the number of general education institutions, taking into account optimization processes, amounted to 4439 (including 28 non-state institutions), with 1,562 thousand students (3,4 thousand people respectively). In the first shift, 84.8% of all students studied, in the second and third - 15.2%).[22]

The network of children's music and art schools is expanding, which play an important role in introducing children to art and forming their artistic and aesthetic taste. New music schools opened in the city of Khizi, in the village Borsunlu of the Geranboysky district and in the Kubinsky district. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has 235 schools where more than 70,000 children and teenagers receive primary music, dance and art education.[23]

Vocational education has traditionally remained the main choice of students who demonstrate modest academic achievements at the general education stage, and attracts the largest number of students from middle-income and low-income families. There were 181 such institutions in 2000, and 176 in 2018. In 2000 they trained 47.5 thousand students, in 2018 – 75.7 thousand.[24]

The Azerbaijani authorities pay considerable attention to the problem of social integration of children with disabilities. The State Program for the Development of Inclusive Education for People with Disabilities in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2018-2024 was adopted in December 2017, it is aimed at expanding opportunities for inclusive education at all levels for disabled people and children with disabilities. The Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan has set up a working group to prepare proposals for the implementation of the program.

In order to improve medical services for the population, especially for socially vulnerable groups, this year Azerbaijan is starting to introduce a system of mandatory medical insurance (while separate pilot projects are operating on the territory of the country). The main directions are laid down by the State program in the field of health care. Moreover, the Cabinet of Ministers has developed and approved a new program for the next 5 years related to the immunization of such areas of health as the fight against diabetes, tuberculosis and infectious diseases.

In recent years, the Azerbaijani authorities have built or repaired more than 300 large medical institutions in the regions and capital of the country, including areas where ethnic minorities live.

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia pays special attention to improving the knowledge and professional skills of health workers, including in areas where ethnic minorities live. Over the past 2 years, 250 Azerbaijani medical workers have completed advanced training courses in leading clinics in foreign countries.

In accordance with the RA Law dated August 25, 1992  “On the Prevention of Disability, Rehabilitation and Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities”, the Azerbaijani authorities are implementing a set of measures in the field of protecting the health and medical rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, including medical and preventive rehabilitation, and assistance in solving social and domestic, including housing, problems, the provision of material and technical assistance, as well as during cultural events for the disabled. For example, in 2006, in addition to treatment of disabled people in Azerbaijani medical institutions, 131 persons with disabilities were treated abroad, and in 8 months of 2007 – 52 disabled people, in addition, 40 disabled people were treated in Azerbaijan.

To improve the organization of medical rehabilitation, 9 regional rehabilitation centers and 1 sports and recreation center for the disabled were built. In order to decentralize and bring services for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities closer to the local level, a network of rehabilitation centers has been established and continues to expand. These centers include the Republican center for rehabilitation of the disabled, Children's rehabilitation center, Medical boarding house for war invalids, Prosthetic and orthopedic rehabilitation center, its branch in Ganja and workshop in Nakhichevan, Children's rehabilitation center in Nakhichevan, Regional rehabilitation centers for the disabled in the cities of Shirvan, Sheki, Lenkoran, Sumgait, Nakhichevan, and Naftalan. In 2006, 1,000 wheelchairs, 1,000 sets of high-quality ALDs, and materials for the production of prosthetics and orthoses were purchased to provide the disabled with prosthetic and orthopaedic products and other rehabilitation equipment free of charge.

Efforts are also being made to help people with disabilities integrate into society. Creative competitions for disabled people are held annually, including national republican exhibitions and contests on arts and crafts, national republican exhibitions and contests of disabled people, and nationwide competitions among disabled people.[25]

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Armenia

The institution of the family has traditionally played an important role in the life of the state and society in the Republic of Armenia (hereinafter – RA). Increased attention and love for children, respect for women and the older generation, observance of ancient family customs are integral parts of the Armenian identity, which are deeply reflected in modern Armenia.

All this has been fixed in the Armenian legislation. Article 16 of the Constitution of Armenia proclaims that the family is the natural and basic unit of society, the foundation of preservation and reproduction, as well as motherhood and childhood are entitled to special protection and patronage of the state.

The growing importance and value of the family in the public consciousness of Armenia is confirmed by numerical indicators: from 2000 to 2018, the percentage of marriages (per 1,000 people) increased from 2.9 to 5.[26] At the same time, there is a general tendency for all CIS countries to increase the age at first marriage: in 2000, for men this indicator was 27.1 years, in 2005 it increased to 28 years, and in 2016 it was 29.6 years old. For women, the indicators for the same years were 23, 23.9 and 26.4, respectively.[27]

The main document protecting the institution of the family and regulating family relations in Armenia is the Family Code of the Republic of Armenia dated November 9, 2004. Article 1 of the Code provides that the family, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood are protected by society and the state. Family legislation is based on the need to strengthen the family, build family relations based on mutual love and respect, mutual assistance and responsibility of all family members, the inadmissibility of arbitrary interference by anyone in family affairs, the priority of raising children in the family, ensuring the unhindered exercise by family members of their rights, and the possibility of judicial protection of these rights.

Legal regulation of family relations is carried out in accordance with the principles of voluntary marriage of men and women, equality of rights of spouses in the family, resolution of family issues by mutual consent, care for their welfare, ensuring priority protection of the rights and interests of minors and disabled family members. Marriage requires the mutual voluntary consent of a man and a woman entering into marriage and their reaching the age of marriage: women- the age of 17 years, and men-the age of 18 years (article 10 of the Family Code of the Republic of Armenia).

The importance of the family as a state and national value is also constantly emphasized by the Armenian Apostolic Church, which supports the institution of family, marriage, motherhood, and childhood everywhere.

In the Republic of Armenia, the authorities pay wide attention to the full range of legislative and practical measures aimed at supporting the institution of the family. In addition to the existing ones, new programs are being developed to support families, mothers, children, and the elderly. It should be noted that the amount of money spent on the implementation of these programs directly depends on the economic situation in the country, which, despite a number of indicators showing positive dynamics, continues to be difficult. At the same time, the Armenian authorities have consistently increased the amount of funding allocated to the social sphere. So, in 2018, the consolidated budget expenditures for healthcare amounted to 1.3% of the GDP of Armenia (1% in 2000), for social policy - 6.9% (2.1% in 2000).[28]

One of the important tools for strengthening the institution of the family and increasing its authority in Armenian society is a stimulating demographic policy, including concrete measures to increase the birth rate and support large families.

Currently, taking into account the observed reduction in the maternal potential in Armenia due to the low birth rate in the country in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the authorities are actively developing programs to improve the demographic situation. If in 2000 the total fertility rate (the number of births per woman) in Armenia was 1.2-1.3, in 2016 this indicator exceeded 1.6.[29]

Thus, the government of Armenia has announced its intention to launch the project in July 2020. There are three programs to increase the birth rate in the country, which are aimed at solving financial and housing problems of the family. In particular, it is planned to increase the one-time allowance for the first child by six times from July 2020, which will amount to 300 thousand drams (equivalent to 625 US dollars instead of the current 55 thousand drams (104 US dollars), and twice for the second child - from 150 thousand drams (310 US dollars up to 300 thousand drams (630 US dollars). In case of the birth of the third and subsequent children, the amount of one-time benefits will not change and will amount to 1 million drams (more than 2 thousand US dollars) and 1.5 million drams (more than 3 thousand US dollars). It is also assumed that residents of rural localities will be able to receive monthly child care benefits in the amount of 25.5 thousand drams (more than 60   US dollars) for two years (currently only mothers working in urban areas have it).

In addition, it provides assistance in solving housing problems of families. In particular, families who purchase an apartment with a mortgage will be provided with state support at the birth of a child. The state will also insure the missing part of the initial payment. In the case of the birth of the first or second child, the state compensates 10 % (in the regions of the country) and 5 % (in the capital) of the principal amount of the mortgage loan, after the birth of the second child- 50 % (in the regions of the country) and 25 % (in the capital).

December 19, 2019, the government approved a draft law foreseeing the allocation of additional funds for financial support of large families: parents with many children (having six or more children) will receive a cash allowance in addition to presenting the “Parental Glory” medal. So, to reward the nine families that have been awarded the medal to date, the RA will send 4.3 million drams (8.9 thousand US dollars).

An important element of the state's work to increase the birth rate is medical assistance for the treatment of infertility, the prevalence of which is quite high in Armenia and reaches 14.8 %. In September 2019, the country launched a new state program for infertility treatment on preferential and free terms. Currently, the program budget is 210 million drams (439.3 thousand US dollars).

The protection of children is one of the fundamental components of the measures taken by the Armenian authorities to support the institution of the family. Armenian legislation emphasizes the need for a child to grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. That is why the Constitution of Armenia stipulates that the family as a natural environment for its members, and especially for the growth and well-being of children, should be given attention by the state and society, and the state and society should equally take care of the family.

The main law in this area is the law of the Republic of Armenia "On the rights of the child" of May 29, 1996, based on the provisions of the RA Constitution. According to this law, the state and its relevant bodies create the necessary conditions for the life and development of the child, ensure that the child can use medical services free of charge, and implement state targeted programs aimed at protecting the child's health. The authorities are making efforts to increase state child care benefits and expand the range of recipients: in 2005, 6.3 thousand people received child care benefits for children under 2 years of age (their amount was 2210 drams), while in 2016, 12.4 thousand people received these benefits, and their amount increased to 18 thousand drams.[30]

Currently, free medical care for children under 7 years of age is available in Armenia. In 2019, a program of free assistance for children under 18 years of age was launched. In 2020, its expansion is planned, within which minor children will be provided with free inpatient medical care and a number of services with the use of new technologies. For these purposes in 2019 the RA Ministry of Health has already allocated 1.25 billion drams (2.6 million US dollars), in 2020, it is planned to allocate 2.5 billion drams (5.2 million US dollars).

The law "On the rights of the child" also provides for guarantees of the child's life conditions necessary for full physical, mental and spiritual development, the right to receive education. Parents or other legal representatives are primarily responsible for providing the necessary living conditions for the child. The document also states that if the parents or other legal representatives are unable to provide the necessary living conditions for the child, the state provides appropriate assistance. As of May 2019, about 230 children aged six to eighteen from socially vulnerable families are receiving care and protection assistance in four residential institutions.[31]

In 2019, the government of the Republic of Armenia approved the "State strategic program of reforms in institutions dealing with child custody". It is planned to close a number of orphanages and boarding schools, as well as large-scale transfer of children living in them to their native and foster families. At the same time, the authorities note that one of the goals of this program is to "unload orphanages". The program was developed taking into account the reforms in the field of child rights protection, the implementation of the right to live with children in a family, as well as the development of alternative ways to care for children in difficult situations. During the preparation of the program, an assessment of the needs of children and families was carried out, on the basis of which individual assistance is provided.

So, in 2019, 120 children were transferred to families, and in 2020, 260 more children will receive support. Relatives and foster families are compensated for expenses for food and non-food needs. All children will continue to receive social support (including necessary material and technical assistance in the form of school uniforms, office supplies, and winter clothing).

Parents are also included in the program. Families participate in economic development programs that provide courses and tools for implementing economic activities.

At the same time, measures will be taken to expand the network of day-care centers in Yerevan and the regions, and to create crisis assistance centers in Yerevan Kapan and Gyumri, to increase the number of foster families, as well as to take preventive measures to ensure that children do not end up in orphanages again. According to the RA Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, this tactic does not mean that the government of Armenia renounces its obligations to these children or provides social assistance, but only changes the format.

The 2020 budget provides for a triple increase in spending on day care services in 30 regions, a triple expansion of preventive measures to prevent sending children to orphanages, as well as consulting services for families.

Another important area of support for the institution of the family and the development of the country as a whole is the fight against poverty and social inequality. The need to overcome poverty through work and education is highlighted in the Program of the Government of Armenia dated February 8, 2019, which defines the main vectors of the country's development in all major areas over the course of five years. The Program provides for the elimination of extreme poverty by 2023, as well as a significant reduction in the level of poverty. In the implementation of this goal, a crucial role is assigned to the promotion of education and work among the socially disadvantaged segments of the population, as well as the implementation of programs to stimulate business activity. The policy of the government of Armenia to raise the standard of living and improve the social conditions of citizens, as well as the full and effective implementation of their social rights will be based on the principle of creating equal opportunities and encouraging work. The above-mentioned Government program also notes that "the government's attention will be focused on the economic empowerment of women, as well as on creating favourable conditions for the implementation of equal rights and equal opportunities for women and men".[32]

The authorities take measures to promote career choice, increase employment among young people and increase the competitiveness of young people in the labour market. In December 2006, the government of Armenia established the state non-profit organization "Center for professional orientation of youth". The Center provides professional adaptation services to minors and young people, as well as informing and advising them on the choice of professional activities. This organization has developed and implemented vocational guidance programs for students in grades 8-9 in a number of general education schools. It allows students to reach their potential, get acquainted with the characteristics of professions and occupations, and get information and advice about vocational schools. Based on the above information, they will be able to make a more informed decision about the direction of the educational program in high school and future profession.

In addition, the Center implements projects to help young people adapt to the constantly changing requirements of the labour market, increase the competitiveness of young people in the labour market, develop the required skills and abilities, and, consequently, increase employment among young people. These youth-oriented projects include trainings, meetings with employers/businessmen, discussions, study tours, etc. Methodological materials are being developed that take into account the specific features of the labour market in each of the marzes.

In December 2014, the Law on Social Assistance was adopted, one of the main principles of which is to ensure the right to receive social assistance for every person living in the Republic of Armenia (citizens of the Republic of Armenia, foreign citizens entitled to reside in the Republic of Armenia (type of residence), stateless persons and persons with refugee status), when there are grounds for this provided by law.

The Armenian authorities are also making efforts to implement specific programs to combat poverty and improve the living standards of low-income families. So, in 2020, a thousand families from ten regions of the Republic who are not competitive in the labor market[33] will receive livestock and feed from the state and will be able to use the services of a veterinarian for free. Families will be provided with various types of domestic animals- BA, MPBA, poultry (cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys and other types).

In February 2019 by order of the Prime Minister of Armenia, a working group was established to reform the system of allowances and surcharges and create sustainable sources of income for families. This reform is based on the principles of developing flexible aid packages based on needs assessment and promoting employment development.

Measures are being developed to encourage women to combine work and family responsibilities. In particular, one of the features of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in Armenia is the broad participation of women. According to the results of the research conducted by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation in 2018-2019, the participation of women and girls in the ICT sector in Armenia is 37%. This indicator is gradually increasing due to the promotion of organizations in this sector and the creation of favourable conditions for employees, in particular with regard to paid child care and the creation of conditions in companies for the care of mothers and children.[34]

The Armenian authorities are also taking measures to combat domestic violence. So, in 2013  the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia has adopted the law "On ensuring equal rights and equal opportunities for women and men", which provides for guarantees of equal rights and equal opportunities for women and men in political, social, economic, cultural and other spheres of public life and applies to relations arising from it.[35]

In 2017, the law "On prevention of domestic violence, protection of victims of domestic violence, and restoration of harmony in the family" was adopted. Several draft by-laws have been developed to ensure the implementation of this law. Since 2019, six state centers in Yerevan and in three marzes have been providing support to victims of domestic violence. In September 2019, the government approved the strategy for implementing the gender policy for 2019-2023, which identified five priority areas: ensuring equal participation of women and men in management and decision-making; overcoming gender discrimination in the social and economic sectors; increasing the full and effective participation of women and men in education, science and health, and creating appropriate opportunities for this, and preventing gender discrimination.[36]

In addition, the authorities pay attention to the inclusion of issues related to gender equality in the curricula of educational institutions. A number of higher education institutions in the Republic offer special courses on the above-mentioned topics. In 2014, a training module entitled "Gender equality and gender violence" was developed for teachers, psychologists, social workers and administrative staff of educational institutions. Within the framework of this module, the topics of legal equality of women and men and the prevention of gender-based violence are included in the curriculum aimed at the leadership and teaching staff of educational institutions, primary vocational (craft) and secondary vocational education institutions of Armenia. The center for social work "Trust", which also specializes in sociological research, has organized training courses on combating gender-based violence for a number of target groups, and they were attended by students and teachers of secondary schools, students and teachers of pedagogical higher educational institutions in the country. Since 2015 Yerevan State University offers a new two-year program "Women, leadership and development" at the master's level.

Ensuring a decent standard of living for older people is an important element in supporting the institution of the family. According to the law of the Republic of Armenia "On state pensions", persons who have reached the age of 63 years have the right to an age pension, if they have at least 25 years of work experience. A person who does not have the right to an old-age pension is entitled to an old-age social pension upon reaching the age of 65. The corresponding pension is awarded for life.

Currently, 14 % of the population of Armenia (about 420 thousand people) is older than 63 years, 48 thousand of them go to work.[37] As of the end of 2018, 323 thousand people received old-age labor pensions. The average retirement age for both women and men was 63 years as of January 1, 2019.[38]

There are 1,210 elderly people living in five residential homes in Armenia. 2.14 billion drams was allocated for their maintenance in 2019 (4.4 million US dollars). In addition, about 5 thousand elderly people receive the necessary care at home. There is a program to provide housing for the elderly. At the same time, in 2016 life expectancy in Armenia was 71.6 years for men and 78.3 for women.[39]

The activities of the Armenian authorities in this area are aimed at creating a favorable and healthy climate for the elderly by providing them with a decent life. The main directions of the measures taken by the authorities to address the key problems of older people are set by the 2017 "Strategy for Overcoming the Consequences of Aging and Social Protection of Older People and the Action Plan for 2017–2021 on the implementation of the Strategy.”[40]

In September 2019 the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia announced that in the coming years a new program and action plan will be developed in Armenia for older citizens to ensure their daily leisure, the construction of small houses for 6-10 people, the creation of clubs for active and healthy aging, etc. This initiative is presented in the development of the "Strategy for the de-institutionalization of elderly care services, as well as the introduction and development of local alternative services." One of the goals of the program is to ensure that older people actively participate in the development of society, including in the country regions. The new strategy will set new benchmarks: whereas previously all attention was focused on social issues, programs will now be developed to address a wide range of aspects of decent ageing. Implementation of the programs is planned for the period 2020-2024.

The RA Ministry of Social and Labour has also developed more than a dozen plans aimed at combating age discrimination in employment. In particular, one of the programs is supposed to allocate funds to employers for vocational training of older people. Moreover, it is planned to open generation solidarity clubs, where older people will share their experience with young people.

These efforts are already having a practical effect. So, thanks to a series of changes initiated by the RA Ministry of Labour, older people were able to control the quality of the services provided – for example, they are involved in the control of quality of food in boarding schools.

At the same time, the issue of providing affordable and high-quality day care for pre-school children, enabling their parents to work, remains relevant for the majority of the population of Armenia. According to the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee, as of the end of 2018, the coverage of children in preschool institutions (in relation to the number of children of preschool age) was 33 %.[41]

Today, there are more than 7,400 children aged two to five in the waiting list for admission to kindergarten in Yerevan alone. The new version of the law "On pre-school education" suggests lowering the age for admitting children to kindergarten (nursery) below two years. Although the service for finding children in a nursery will remain paid, however, parents and the government, community or municipality will pay for it jointly.

However, in many cases, existing pre-school institutions are not yet adapted to accommodate children under the age of two, and in some Armenian communities they are not available at all. There are various ways to solve this problem: construction of new kindergartens, reconstruction of old buildings, as well as major repairs of some buildings that can also be adapted to the needs of toddlers.

Since July 2018, a law has been in force in Armenia, according to which the state provides working mothers with a monthly amount equal to half of the fee for kindergarten or caregiver services.

The program applies to children under two years of age. Its main focus is to assist mothers who have expressed a desire to end their parental leave earlier. Within this framework, every month the state allocates amount that is 50 % of the cost spent on organizing child care. Moreover, this may apply to both staying in a kindergarten and using the nurse services. However, the amount must not exceed the minimum wage. The program is valid for a maximum of 11 months per year.

The program can also be used by women who have two children under the age of two. To participate in the program, a parent just needs to register at the territorial employment center of his/her district.

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Belarus

Significant attention is paid to issues of family protection and promotion of family values in Belarus. The country has created a coherent multi-faceted system of support for the family and its members, ranging from the necessary legislative tools to a set of practical measures.

The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus contains detailed provisions concerning the institution of the family. Thus, article 32 states that marriage, family, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood are protected by the state. The principle of voluntary marriage and equality of spouses in family relations is established. The basic law also establishes the rights and obligations of parents or their surrogates to raise children, take care of their health, development and education. Along with this, the obligation of children to take care of their parents, as well as those who replace them, and provide them with assistance is also prescribed. The child must not be subjected to cruel treatment or humiliation, or be involved in work that may harm his or her physical, mental or moral development. Separation of children from their family against the will of their parents or their substitutes is only possible on the basis of a court decision if the parents or other persons replacing them do not perform their duties. Women are afforded equal opportunities in education and training, in work and promotion (job), in socio-political, cultural and other spheres, and also creation of conditions for the protection of their labour and health. The Basic law of the country guarantees young people the right to spiritual, moral and physical development. The state creates the necessary conditions for the free and effective participation of young people in political, social, economic and cultural development.

The main normative act that regulates family relations and related issues is the Marriage and Family Code. The Code confirms and develops the constitutional guarantees of protection of the family, which is the natural and basic unit of society by the state. Article 3 of this document contains important provisions. First of all, it is stated that the protection of marriage, family, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood is a priority task of the state in the field of social policy, and the upbringing of children and household management is recognized as socially useful work. It is also established that the state takes care of the family by creating conditions for economic independence and growth of family welfare, preferential tax policy, payment of state benefits to families raising children, preferential lending, creation and development of educational institutions, cultural organizations, physical culture and sports, health care, creating conditions for parents to combine work with family responsibilities, and the development of household infrastructure.

Article 12 of the Code defines marriage as a voluntary union of a man and a woman, which is concluded under the conditions, provided for by this Code, and is aimed at creating a family, as well as giving rise to mutual rights and obligations for the parties. Article 18 sets the age of marriage at eighteen years. In exceptional cases, due to pregnancy, birth of a child, as well as in the case of a minor acquiring full legal capacity before reaching adulthood, this age may be reduced, but not by more than three years. At the same time, the consent of parents or guardians of minors to enter into marriage is not required.

As of January 1, 2019, there were 9,475.2 thousand people living in the country, of which 4,415.8 thousand were men and 5,059.4 thousand were women[42]. Women make up more than 53 % of the country's population. In fact, there are 1,147 women per 1,000 men in the country (data for the beginning of 2017)[43]. The preliminary population as of January 1, 2020, taking into account the results of the 2019 census, was 9,408.4 thousand people.[44]

The number of marriages in the country is increasing at a small rate: in 2000, the percentage of marriages per 1000 people was 6.3, and in 2016-already 6.8, [45]in 2017- 7.0[46]. The number of divorces in Belarus is gradually decreasing. In 2017, 32 thousand marriages were dissolved (in 2008 – 36.7 thousand marriages), including 13.6 thousand marriages without children.[47]

The proportion of children born out of marriage is decreasing. If in 2010 the share of such children was 19.6 %, in 2017 it fell to 13.2% of the total number of births. There is a tendency to reduce "single motherhood". In the period from 2010 to 2014, the Belarusian courts considered 8.5 thousand claims for establishing paternity, 80 % of which were satisfied.[48]

Article 59 of the Code also defines a family as an association of persons connected by moral and material community and support, by running a common household, and by rights and obligations arising from marriage, close kinship, or adoption. Other relatives of the spouses, dependents who are unable to work, and in exceptional cases other persons may be recognized as family members in court if they live together and maintain a common household.

The Belarusian authorities have made significant efforts to support and develop this basic institution of society. It should be noted that social spending in 2018 amounted to 11.7 % of the country's GDP (in 2019, according to preliminary data- 12.2%)[49], including funds allocated for social policy in the amount of 2.1 % of GDP (in 2019 – 2.2 %), on health care – 4 % (in 2019 – 4.2%), on education – 4.6 %.[50] (in 2019 – 4.9%).

The decree of the President of Belarus of January 21, 1998 approved the main directions of the state family policy. The main goals of the state's family policy are to improve the social and economic conditions of the family and its reproductive, economic and educational functions, and to strengthen the moral foundations of the family and increase its prestige in society. The main principles of the policy in this area are formulated, namely: the principle of independence and autonomy of the family in making decisions regarding their development, preservation of the achieved social guarantees of family support and their further improvement, the principle of equality of each family and all its members in the right to social support regardless of social position, nationality, place of residence; ensuring the protection of each child, his full physical, mental, moral, intellectual and social development, regardless of the social status of the parents (family); the principle of equal rights between women and men in achieving an equitable distribution of family responsibilities, as well as in opportunities for self-realization in the labor sphere and in social activities; family orientation measures in healthcare, education, social welfare and culture; the principle of partnership between the state and the family, sharing responsibility for the family, cooperation of government bodies with public associations, religious and charitable organizations on issues of improving the situation of the family.[51]

In accordance with these tasks, an extensive set of measures has been developed and implemented by state authorities. Thus, in order to create conditions for economic independence and the growth of the family well-being, labor motivation and the provision of employment guarantees, expanding opportunities for increasing family labor incomes, economic support for family entrepreneurship and farming, providing general and vocational training for minors with their subsequent employment, lending and partial subsidizing of families are provided for aimed at the construction and purchase of housing, preferential provision of housing for young families with many children, the orphans who have reached the age of majority and children without parental care, the provision of low-income families cash subsidies for housing and utilities, the provision of needy families with children with additional financial and in-kind assistance, services, etc.

The state creates favourable conditions for parents to combine work with family responsibilities. These measures include expanding the rights of father and other family members to benefits provided to a mother in the workplace in connection with the upbringing of children, providing opportunities to use non-standard working hours that are convenient for the family, providing professional development or retraining of parents who have breaks in their work, including when returning from parental leave. In addition, it is necessary to develop the infrastructure of everyday life, family recreation and rehabilitation, as well as a network of kindergartens of various forms of ownership with flexible working hours (evening, walking, days off, etc.) of various types (nurseries, kindergartens, day nurseries, child development centers, pre-school neighbourhood centers) and destination (general development, with in-depth areas of work, care and rehabilitation, compensating, etc.). It is envisaged that opportunities will be provided for the education and upbringing of children with special needs in general educational institutions and for improving the effectiveness of the network of special institutions for children with disabilities, adults with disabilities, the elderly and the terminally ill.

Attention is paid to ensuring the health of the family, mother and child. The focus is on the issues of women's labour protection, protection of their life and health. Great importance is improving the quality of health care for all in need regardless of their place of residence and economic possibilities of the family, maintaining free medical services for children, pregnant women, medical assistance for reproductive health of citizens, including through the development of compulsory medical insurance; provision of access to medico-genetic counselling for persons entering into a marriage, and the education of the parents responsible for the birth of a healthy child. The work programs in this area include steps to develop the system of family reproductive health protection, provide information, medical and social assistance for family planning, and disseminate modern knowledge about the culture of reproductive behaviour. This also includes efforts to create conditions for the rehabilitation and integration of children with disabilities into society, and to improve the social protection system for families with such children.

The policy also provides for the development of a system of social services for families and counselling services. This direction includes the development of a system of social service institutions aimed at providing care for children, the elderly and sick family members; providing material and advisory support in crisis situations to families in need of assistance and their individual members; creating a network of advisory centers for family assistance of various forms of ownership on psychological, pedagogical, medical, legal, and sexual problems, including at scientific and practical medical institutions, educational institutions, enterprises, institutions and organizations. It is important to systematically prepare young people for marriage and family life. In addition, information manuals, media products, and periodical publications on family education and family relations are published.

The state system for the protection of the rights of minors, the prevention of neglect and delinquency is being improved, including the creation of specialized educational institutions and educational institutions of educational and health authorities, including for juvenile offenders with special needs in psychophysical development; further improvement of the impact measures applied to parents who do not fulfill their responsibilities in raising minor children.

The main directions of family policy in Belarus include improving the organizational and financial mechanisms for implementing state family policy, including taking into account the requirements of state family policy in the formation of national and regional social protection programs, developing mandatory health insurance; monitoring compliance with legislation regulating family relations and providing guarantees to families raising children; expanding the mechanism for financing state family policy by clearly allocating social security expenditures between the national, local budgets and the social protection fund of the Ministry of Social Protection, along with actively attracting extra-budgetary funds, including funds from private and charitable foundations. It is assumed that special social services will function in local executive and administrative bodies to provide necessary assistance to poor families and implement family policy. In addition, collective and individual employment contracts should include issues of assistance to employees with family responsibilities, non-discrimination of women (in case of dismissal, promotion, professional training and retraining, professional development), promotion of a healthy lifestyle of family members and positive experience of family education. It is forbidden to advertise cruelty, violence, pornography, alcohol and cigarettes.

Moreover, in accordance with the main directions of family policy in Belarus, comprehensive research on family problems and family education is conducted in scientific institutions of the country.

National social and economic programmes are also aimed at supporting the family. Issues of family support, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood are included in the special section (sub-program) "Family and Childhood" of the national demographic security programs. Thus, the national program of demographic security of the Republic of Belarus for 2011-2015 was focused on social support for families and children. On the one hand, measures are aimed at stabilizing the position of the family, creating real prerequisites for the positive dynamics of its life-support processes, and on the other, at creating an effective system for protecting socially vulnerable families, which for objective reasons cannot provide for themselves and therefore need support. The plan for the implementation of the second direction stipulates state support for families in the form of child allowances, as well as targeted social assistance to low-income families, large families, single-parent families, and families raising disabled children.

The state programme "Health of people and demographic security in the Republic of Belarus"[52] for the 2016-2020 provides for the creation of conditions for improving population health with coverage of all stages of life, broad public awareness about the risk factors threatening health, promoting healthy lifestyles, the creation of communities of self-preservation behaviour, the development and strengthening of family values and enhance the prestige of parenthood, improve reproduction, reduce mortality, especially of working age, increasing life expectancy, improving the quality and availability of health services, as well as optimization of internal migration processes. The "Family and childhood" sub-program, which operates under it, will receive funding in the amount of 1,446,279,671.66 Belarusian roubles, including 211,858,460 Belarusian roubles in 2016, 474,524,140.71 in 2017, 366,176,712.4 in 2018, 370,389,605.55 in 2019, and 23,330,753.0 in 2020.[53]

The program aims to improve the system of maternal and child health care by developing and implementing a national model of family planning services, creating a men's health service, providing timely and effective diagnostics of congenital and hereditary diseases, combined screening of pregnant women, improving the effectiveness of providing multi-level specialized medical care to women and children, developing a network of centers friendly to adolescents, and providing multidisciplinary assistance to adolescents who have experienced crisis situations. In addition, information and educational campaigns are being conducted on the prevention of smoking, alcoholism, promotion of rational nutrition, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. Retraining and advanced training of specialists of healthcare organizations is carried out. For this purpose specialized trainings, seminars, conferences are organized for specialists of the family planning service, general practitioners and medical assistants, obstetricians and gynaecologists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and training manuals are developed. The measures taken contributed to a decrease in the infant mortality rate from 4 (per 1000 live births) in 2010 to 2.5 in 2018 (2.4 in 2019), and the child mortality rate (per 100 thousand people in under 17 years old) - from 54.9 to 28 in the same chronological period.[54]

Family support begins with the birth of a child and even earlier (comprehensive free medical examination, payment of maternity benefits, social leave).

In accordance with the new version of the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On state benefits for families raising children" dated 30.06.2017, No. 33-З[55], the system of payment of state benefits to families raising children (11 types of benefits) is provided. This includes maternity benefits (allowance and maternity leave and a lump sum to the women who have registered before 12 weeks of pregnancy), family allowance (lump sum payment in connection with the birth of a child, the monthly allowance for child care up to the age of 3 years monthly allowance for a disabled child under the age of 18 years, a monthly allowance to families for children from 3 to 18 years in the education of a child under the age of 3 years, monthly allowance for an HIV-infected child as well as the monthly allowance for children over 3 years of individual categories of families) and temporary disability (including caring for a sick child under the age of 18 years, to care for a child up to 3 years, a disabled child in case of illness of the mother and the care allowance for a disabled child during his sanatorium treatment, medical rehabilitation). At the same time, the allowance for children over 3 years of age while raising a child under 3 years of age in a family is a relatively new support measure – it was introduced by presidential decree No. 572 of December 9, 2014 "On additional measures of state support for families raising children".

Additional benefits are provided for large families. Belarusian legislation defines that a family with many children is one in which three or more minor children, i.e. children under the age of 18, are dependent and raised. Such families are entitled to various types of state support, and they are provided with additional social guarantees and benefits in the field of housing and credit policy, labour, tax, and pension legislation, when their children receive education, pay for housing and communal services, and others. The right to benefits provided for large families is granted on the condition of permanent residence on the territory of Belarus.

A family loses the status of having many children when the eldest child of the three youngest children reaches the age of eighteen. However, certain types of state guarantees are provided to families, including after children reach the age of 18. In particular, the right to a standard tax deduction for both working parents for children over 18 years of age for the entire period of their education remains. In order for large families to receive preferential loans or one-time subsidies for construction (reconstruction) or purchase of residential premises, children under the age of 23 are considered as part of the family. Children under the age of 18 are entitled to a survivor's pension, while students are entitled to receive one before the age of 23.

A one-time payment is made to families at the birth of two or more children for the purchase of children's necessities. In 2018, 1,939 families received a lump-sum payment, including 34 families for the birth of three or more children.

Families with three or more children receive one-time financial assistance by the beginning of the new school year. In 2018, 87.4 thousand families received financial assistance for 179.2 thousand children.

Mothers with many children, awarded the Order of the Mother, are paid in the amount of 5 budgets of the subsistence minimum on average per capita. Since 1996, almost 10 thousand mothers have been awarded the Order of the Mother, including since 2006 (with the establishment of material compensation for the Order of the Mother) - about 5.3 thousand mothers, of which 720 in 2018 were mothers.

Mothers with many children who have given birth to and raised 5 or more children are entitled to an age pension 5 years earlier than the general retirement age. Mothers who have given birth to and raised nine or more children are entitled to a pension for special services to the Republic of Belarus. Mothers who have raised disabled children for at least 8 years before they reach adulthood are entitled to an age pension 5 years earlier than the general retirement age.[56]

The state also provides support to families that include persons who have reached the age of majority. This support is provided through the provision of tax incentives, educational and employment benefits, targeted state social assistance, and pension provision. So, working parents with two or more children under the age of 18 are given a standard tax deduction in an increased amount, in 2016 this is 460 thousand Belarusian roubles per month (calculated before the 2016 denomination) for each child under the age of 18 years, and in the amount of 240 thousand Belarusian roubles per month for each dependent over 18 years of age and who receives in the full-time educational institution a general secondary, special, first vocational, first secondary special, first higher education.

A wide range of social services is provided (babysitting, social respite, social patronage, etc.). For example, short-term child care (babysitting) is provided free of charge:

* families raising twins under the age of 3 – no more than 20 hours per week;

* families raising triplets under the age of 3 – no more than 40 hours per week;

* families raising two or more disabled children, one of whom is under 4 years old – no more than 20 hours a week;

* single-parent families raising a disabled child up to 4 years old – no more than 20 hours per week.

For families raising disabled children under the age of 18, these services are provided at socially low rates for no more than 20 hours per week.

In addition, families raising disabled children between the ages of 4 and 18 years are provided with care (social respite) services for up to 28 calendar days a year in residential homes for children with disabilities with special psychophysical development. For the period of the child's stay, the family pays only for food.

Services of social patronage, temporary shelter, consulting, social-pedagogical, social-intermediary, social-psychological, social rehabilitation services are provided free of charge.[57]

In order to ensure housing affordability for young and large families, there is a housing credit system and a number of benefits. Thus, large families are granted a loan for 40 years at 1 % per annum. Families with three children are repaid 75 % of the amount owed on loans issued, and families with four children are repaid 100 % of the amount owed on loans issued.

Young families are granted a loan for 20 years at 5 % per annum if they have two children. At the same time, 10% of the amount owed on loans issued is repaid at the birth of the first child and 20 % at the birth of the second child. In addition to financing to families, various subsidies are provided. Large families have the right to receive an extraordinary grant to pay part of the interest on loans in the amount of:

- if there are three children (under 18 years of age), at least three children under 23 years of age-the refinancing rate increases by 2 percentage points, but not more than the interest rate on the loan established by the loan agreement;

- four or more children (under 18 years of age) - refinancing rate increases by 3 percentage points;

They also have the right to receive a grant for repayment of the principal debt in the amount of:

- if there are three children – 95 % of the principal loan amount;

- if there are four or more children- 100 % of the principal loan amount.

Young low-income families are entitled to receive a subsidy to pay part of the interest on loans in the amount of the refinancing rate reduced by 2 percentage points, but no more than the interest rate on the loan established by the loan agreement, as well as to receive a subsidy to repay the principal debt on the loan:

- at the birth of the first child- 10 % of the principal amount;

- at the birth of the second child- 20 % of the principal amount.

The system of social support for families with children also includes state targeted social assistance in the form of a one-time allowance and a monthly social allowance. Monthly social allowance is allocated for the purchase of food, medicines, clothing, shoes, school supplies and other needs to ensure normal life. A one-time social benefit is provided to families who find themselves in a difficult life situation that violates normal life activities for objective reasons, provided that their average per capita income does not exceed 1.5 of the need criterion. The number of recipients of this assistance is constantly increasing: in 2009, 205.9 thousand people received it, and in 2018 – 302.3 thousand people (the amount is 92.5 million Bel. roubles). The main recipients of these types of state aid are large and one – parent families raising minor children – 67.4 % (136.9 thousand people) of the number of recipients of these benefits (large – 44.7% or 61.2 thousand people, one-parent- 22.8% or 31.2 thousand people).[58]

Free meals for children of the first two years of life and food for children of the first two years of life are provided to families with objective per capita income below the criterion of need, as well as to families with twins or more children at birth and raising, regardless of the average per capita income.

In 2017, the share of children provided with free food in the total number of children under the age of two years was more than 11.2 %. Food provision was provided without taking into account the income level of 4 thousand families raising twins or more children (6.3 thousand children). The leading role among recipients of free food is occupied by large families (41.7 %).[59]

In 2018, 87.7 thousand people were assigned monthly social benefits in the amount of 23.8 million Bel. roubles; one-time social benefit received 43.9 thousand people in the amount of 5.1 million Bel. roubles; food was provided to more than 24 thousand children in the amount of 21.5 million Bel. roubles.[60]

The state supports families with children in the education system. Parents of children with disabilities, children suffering from cancer, tuberculosis, infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, and members of military families are not charged for meals for children in preschool institutions. For families with three or more children under the age of 18, as well as for those living on the territory of radioactive contamination in the zone of subsequent relocation, for guardians, foster parents, parents-educators of family-type orphanages, children's villages (towns), the fee is reduced by 50 %.

For families with two children who receive pre-school education, special education at the pre-school level, the fee is reduced by 30 %.

In institutions of general secondary education, free one-time meals are provided to pupils of classes I-IV, as well as VI–XI classes living in rural localities; children in a socially dangerous situation; children with special psychophysical development, etc.

Parents of pupils in grades I-XI are charged 50 % of the cost of sets of textbooks and schoolbooks for the corresponding class.  For students from large families, the fee is reduced by 50% of the established amount. For certain categories of pupils (orphans, disabled children, etc.) it is free of charge.

Students who receive general secondary and special education are entitled to free public transport from their place of residence to their place of study and back during the period from September 1 to June 30.

A number of benefits are provided in the health sector. Children under 3 years of age and children with disabilities under 18 years of age are provided with free medicines issued by doctors' prescriptions within the list of essential medicines. For disabled children, free provision of technical means of social rehabilitation is provided in accordance with the State register (list) of technical means of social rehabilitation.

Free spa treatment or rehabilitation is provided to disabled children under the age of 18, as well as to minors who permanently (mainly) live or study in the territory of radioactive contamination in the zone of subsequent relocation, in the zone with the right to move out and in the zone of residence with periodic radiation monitoring. Persons accompanying disabled children under the age of 18 to health resort or wellness organizations are provided with vouchers for health resort treatment or wellness free of charge (without treatment). The right to spa treatment with payment of a voucher in the amount of 15% of its cost is entitled to one of the parents (the person replacing him), who is sent together with minor children (minor child), as well as accompanying a child aged 3 to 6 years, permanently residing on the territory of radioactive contamination in the zone of subsequent resettlement, in the zone with the right to resettlement and in the zone of residence with periodic radiation monitoring.[61]

During 2018, the amounts of state allowances for the care of a child under 3 years of age were recalculated from February 1 and August 1, as well as allowances calculated from the budget of the subsistence minimum on average per capita – from February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1 (due to an increase in the budget of the subsistence minimum on average per capita). At the same time, in 2018, compared to 2017, the average monthly amount of the child care allowance for children under 3 years of age increased by 17.8% and amounted to 338.9 Bel. roubles.

Expenditures on supporting families with children are constantly increasing, including in relation to GDP. Thus, expenditures on state benefits for families with children (including temporary disability benefits for child care) in 2017 amounted to 1,981.7 million Belarusian roubles or 1.9 % of GDP (in 2014- 1,324.0 million Belarusian roubles or % of GDP).[62]

As of January 1, 2019, 516.4 thousand children (27.7% of the total number of children) are covered by the state benefits system. The share of children under 3 years of age provided with state benefits was 90.9 % (310.6 thousand children).[63]

Belarus is constantly working to create conditions for improving the well-being of families. Since 2015, in accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated December 9, 2014 No. 572 "On additional measures of state support for families raising children", a measure of long – term support for large families is the family capital in the amount of 10 thousand US dollars at birth, adoption of the third or subsequent children. The right to dispose of family capital funds is granted after 18 years from the date child's birth, in connection with the birth and adoption of which the family acquired the right to have the family capital. Family capital is provided for both full and one-parent families at the birth or adoption of a third or subsequent child. But at the same time, at least three children under the age of 18 must be brought up in a family together with a born (adopted) child. Families in which at least one of the spouses is a citizen of the Republic of Belarus have the right to it. Family capital funds can be used ahead of time only for paid medical services for the purchase of medical devices and medicines in accordance with the procedure determined by the Ministry of Health of Belarus.  In accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated September 18, 2019 No. 345 "On family capital", from 2020 to 2024 the amount of family capital for large families has been increased to 22.5 thousand US dollars.[64]

For the period from 2015 to April 1, 2018, 51.3 thousand "family capital" deposit accounts were opened in JSC ASB Belarusbank in the amount of 513.1 million US dollars[65]. As of January 1, 2019, JSC ASB Belarusbank had 62.9 thousand deposit accounts with a total amount of more than 629 million US dollars, including in 2018 15.5 thousand deposit accounts with a total amount of 154.7 million US dollars.[66]

In order to consolidate the efforts of state bodies and public associations to strengthen the institution of the family, spiritual and moral foundations of society, and promote a healthy lifestyle, a Plan of information and educational support for the demographic development of the Republic of Belarus for the period until 2020 (approved in 2018) has been developed and is being implemented.

The authorities are making efforts to promote the family lifestyle. National action plans for Family Day and Mother's Week have been developed and approved. In 2018, the events of the plans in connection with these events were held in May and October, respectively. In order to increase the father’s social status in society in Minsk and the regions, the festival “Daddy's Day - Every Day!” is held annually with public participation. Campaigns are regularly conducted to support the institution of the family. For example, the national competition "Family of the Year", the creative competition among print and electronic media "Strong Family – Strong Power", festivals of family creativity, sports competitions in winter and summer sports are held annually.

In a number of universities in the country, the "School of Conscious Parenthood" program is being implemented, the goal of which is to improve the foundations of psychological and pedagogical knowledge of future and current parents about raising children, raise awareness of the future parental role, and form a positive attitude towards it[67].

It should be noted that the family is given considerable attention in the media. Subject materials are covered in the rubrics of republican print media, for example, “This Day”, “Society”, “Commentary”, “Opinions”, “Family and Children”, “Dispute-platform” ("Soviet Belorussia" issue); "Сям'я і дэмаграфія" (Semiya i demographiya), "Падарунак да свята" (Padarunak da svyata), "Грамадства" (Gramadstva), "Сацыяльная падтрымка" (Satsialnaya padtrymka), "Дадому" (Dadomu), "Наш чалавек" (Nash chalavek) (Звязда (Zvyazda) issue); “Social Report”, “Psychologist’s Opinion”, “Problem”, “Social Package”, “People and Fates”, “Young Affair”, “Socium” (Рэспубліка (Respublika) issue); "Person", "Society", "SG" explores the problem,"Selchanka","Education"(Rural newspaper); “Actual”, “Society”, “Reporter”, “On Faith and Spirituality”, “Cases and People” (Narodnaya Gazeta), etc.

Video materials and stories on strengthening the institution of the family, preserving family traditions are regularly published in informational, informational-analytical and cyclical TV programs "News", "Regional news", "News. Central region", "Your city", "Panorama", "Main broadcast", "Good morning, Belarus!" (TV channel Belarus 1); "Tele morning"(TV channel Belarus 2); "Dabraranak" (TV channel Belarus 3); "Our news"," Our morning", "Contours "(TV channel ONT), "24 hours", "Week", "Minsk region"," Minsk and Minsk residents", "Big city", "Capital newa" (TV channel STV),"News-Belarus", talk show "What's going on" (TV channel Russia-Belarus). On the first national channel of Belarusian radio, the family theme is presented in the programs "News", "Radiofact", "Postfactum", "Open platform", "Family radio", "Accents", "Morning with Belarusian radio", "Actual microphone", "Generation XXI", "Such a day".

The upbringing of children and youth in the system of traditional family values ​​focused on stability of relationships, healthy lifestyles, succession of generations, mutual understanding and mutual support is facilitated by such events as family holidays “Daddy's Day - Every Day”, sports festivals “Father, Mother, I are Sports Family”, “The Whole Family Do Sports”, “Health Day”, contests among students “Family Happiness is the Beginning of the Way", “Virtual Book of Family Traditions”, “Family Academy” , "Memory."

To study the processes of family formation and factors affecting their stability, in 2017  together with UNFPA, a large-scale sociological study was conducted on the international methodology "Generation and Gender" (10 thousand respondents across the country). These studies will allow analysing the processes of formation of the Belarusian family and birth rate, identifying factors that affect the reproductive behaviour and family relations of the population, and developing evidence-based recommendations for improving the state family and demographic policy.[68]

Currently, the perception of the role of both parents in the upbringing and care of children and the distribution of family roles is changing in Belarusian society. According to the sociological study "Family formation, stability of family relations and fertility in changing socio-economic conditions of Belarusians" under the international program "Generation and Gender" (the number of respondents is 10 thousand people aged 18 to 79 years), the majority of the population recognizes family and children as equally important for both men and women (56% of respondents). When asked "Whose task is it to take care of the home and children, men or women?" the majority of respondents (58 %) said that this is the task of men and women equally. 84% of men and 78% of women also noted that decisions about raising children are made equally with partners.[69]

In addition, as a result of the measures taken by the authorities, the number of large families is increasing. As of January 1, 2019, 104 thousand large families were registered in the territorial centers of social services (as of January 1, 2018 – 97.9 thousand).[70]

However, the overall birth rate increased from 9.4 (the total rate per 1,000 live births) in 2000 to 11.4 in 2010 and 12.6 in 2015, and then began to decline and reached 10.8 in 2017, 9.9 in 2018, and 9.3 in 2019[71].[72]

One of the priorities of the state policy of Belarus, enshrined in the Constitution and other normative legal acts, is to ensure equal opportunities for men and women to exercise their equal rights and freedoms. Considerable efforts are being made by the authorities to address the legal, political, economic and cultural aspects of gender equality.

To coordinate activities in this area, the national Council for gender policy, which includes representatives of state bodies and civil society, has been functioning since 2000. The state pays special attention to protecting the rights of women mothers. The law guarantees paid maternity leave and care for a child under three years of age. During the period of social leave, the workplace is saved.

Belarusian legislation (in particular, the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter referred to as the LC) contains a number of guarantees for parents raising one or two children under the age of 18.

The right to leave to care for a child until he reaches the age of 3 years is stipulated in Art. 185 of the Labour Code, according to which the employer must provide working women regardless of their work experience and at their request, after a break in work caused by childbirth, leave to care for a child until he reaches 3 years of age with payment of a monthly state allowance for this period, the amount and the terms of payment of which are established by law. In practice, the benefits amount to 35-40 % of the average monthly salary of employees for the entire period of leave (regardless of the payment of insurance premiums and the parents’ income).

At the legislative level, the family has the right to independently determine which of the working parents will take care of the child and, accordingly, be on leave to care for the child until the child reaches the age of three years. Leave to care for a child under the age of 3 years may be granted to the child's mother and working father or other relative, a family member of the child who actually cares for the child, and upon appointment of guardianship to the guardian of the child. The Regulation on the procedure for the assignment and payment of state benefits to families raising children, approved by Decree of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated June 28, 2013 No. 569, establishes that the allowance for caring for a child under the age of 3 is assigned to working family members or relatives of the child, if they leave to care for a child under the age of 3 years after the mother starts to attend work (service), education (at vocational, secondary special and higher or postgraduate education in the internal study mode), or by the exercise of an activity in cases under the legislation (such as the completion of training in clinical residency in internal form, and if she is an individual entrepreneur, notary, lawyer, creative worker, conducts craft activities, activities in the field of rural tourism and has not suspended related activities) and not earlier than the date the benefits to care for a child under the age of 3 years are terminated to be paid.

In accordance with paragraph 1, part 2 of article 289 of the Labour Code, the employer is obliged to establish a part-time or part-time working week at the request of a woman who has a child under the age of fourteen years (including one in her care). This rule is mandatory for the employer. In addition to the specified category of employees, in accordance with part 2, article 289 of the Labour Code the employer is obliged to establish a part-time or part-time working week for disabled people in accordance with individual rehabilitation programs for disabled people; employees working on a part-time basis when hiring; other categories of employees provided for by a collective agreement or contract.

Moreover, women who have children aged from 3 to 14 (children with disabilities- up to 18 years) can be involved in night work, overtime work, work on public holidays, holidays, weekends and sent on a business trip only with their written consent (article 263). When drawing up the schedule of labour holidays, the employer must plan a vacation at the request of a woman who has two or more children under the age of 14 or a disabled child under the age of 18 in the summer or other convenient time (article 168). At the request of a woman who has two or more children under the age of 14 or a disabled child under the age of 18, the employer must grant leave without pay for up to 14 calendar days (article 189). By agreement between the employee and the employer, the former may be granted short-term leave (in addition to the one specified in article 189) without pay for a maximum of 30 calendar days (during a calendar year) for family and other valid reasons, unless otherwise is provided by the collective agreement or contract (article 190). The total duration of leave without pay on the grounds specified in articles 189 and 190 may be 44 calendar days per year.

A mother (stepmother) or father (stepfather), guardian who is raising two children under the age of 16 is given an additional day off work per month without pay. At the same time, a collective agreement or other local normative legal act may provide for payment for the provision of a specified day off from work per month (part 3 of article 265).

In accordance with presidential decree No. 180 of April 12, 2000 "On the procedure for applying decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of July 26, 1999 No. 29", a mother who starts work before or after the end of parental leave until the child reaches the age of 3 years is guaranteed an extension (conclusion of a new) contract for a period of at least until the child reaches the age of 5 years.

Belarus provides a number of tax benefits aimed at supporting families with children. For example, a standard tax deduction is provided for parents with one child in the amount of 27 roubles per month, and for parents with two or more children or a disabled child under the age of 18- 52 roubles per month for each child or dependant. Real estate of buildings and structures owned by large families is exempt from tax (except for those used for business). Land plots granted to one (several) members of a large family are exempt from land tax. The unified tax rates are reduced by 20 % for parents with many children, parents with disabled children under 18 years of age, and by 100% for parents with disabilities of groups I and II with minor children or children who receive full – time education.[73]

Children make up 18.9 % of the population of Belarus.

The main legal acts that determine the legal status of the child (children) are the laws "On the rights of the child", "On state social benefits, rights and guarantees for separate categories of citizens", "On state benefits to families raising children", "On guarantees on social protection of children-orphans, children left without parental care and persons from among children-orphans and children left without parental care", "On state youth policy", "On bases of system of prevention of neglect and offenses of minors", "On citizenship of the Republic of Belarus" (part 3 of article 13, part 2 of article 15, part 2 of article 23, article 24), "On granting foreign citizens and stateless persons of refugee status, complementary protection, asylum and temporary protection in the Republic of Belarus" (article 14, 15, 32, 34, 40, part 3 of article 45), Education Code, Marriage and Family Code, etc.

Article 11 of the law "On the rights of the child» guarantees the right of the child to freely express his/her views on all matters affecting his/her interests. The child is also granted the right to be heard directly or through a representative or appropriate authority in any judicial or administrative proceedings affecting him or her. In accordance with article 189 of the Marriage and Family Code, every child has the right to protect his or her identity, honour and dignity from all types of exploitation and violence: economic, sexual, political, spiritual, moral, physical, and psychological.

Art. 9 of the mentioned law stipulates that the state should ensure the integrity of the child’s personality, protect him from all types of exploitation, including sexual, from physical and (or) mental violence, cruel, gross or abusive treatment, humiliation, sexual harassment, including by parents (guardians, trustees) and relatives, from involvement in criminal activity, involvement in the use of alcoholic, low alcohol drinks, beer, the use of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, their analogues, toxic or other intoxicating substances, tobacco products, coercion to engage in prostitution, begging, vagrancy, participation in gambling, committing activities related to the manufacture, distribution of pornographic materials or objects of a pornographic nature, as well as from involving a child in work that could harm his physical, mental or moral development.

The legislation in force in Belarus provides for the possibility for minors of any age to apply for protection to the guardianship and guardianship authorities, the social and pedagogical center at the place of residence, the Commission for minors at the place of residence, the Prosecutor's office, as well as to protect their rights and interests through their legal representatives.

When courts consider cases of deprivation of parental rights, the opinion of a child who has reached the age of ten years, which at the request of the court is revealed by the guardianship authority at the child’s place of residence (unless this is contrary to his interests), must be taken into account.

The coordinating role in ensuring the protection of children's rights and legitimate interests belongs to the National Commission on Children's Rights, which monitors and analyses the activities of state bodies and other organizations that protect the rights and legitimate interests of children and implement state programs to support children and families.

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus has approved the national action plan for improving the situation of children and protecting their rights for 2017-2021. In order to fully and effectively implement the national plan for children's rights, a reporting mechanism is provided, according to which the main performers of the plan's activities provide information to the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus, and it, in turn, provides a final report to the Government (annually until March 20).

Belarus pays great attention to the prevention of the use of corporal punishment at home, school and other institutions and the protection of children from violence. By presidential decree No. 9 of January 10, 2018, the preparation of the concept of the draft law "On the prevention of domestic violence" has begun, which provides for the prohibition of all forms of violence, including against children.

In order to identify and eliminate the causes that contribute to the Commission of violence and illegal actions against children, to strengthen control over persons who are prone to abuse of alcoholic beverages and have dependent minors, and to protect their rights, preventive measures are being carried out in the framework of the campaign "Family Without Violence".

In order to timely identify the facts of family problems and violence against children, there is a Republican round-the-clock hotline of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (8-017-372-73-87) and a nationwide free telephone hotline for victims of domestic violence (8-801-100-8-801), where children can also contact. Belarus pays attention to improving the legal literacy of children and parents, which is promoted by the Children's legal website (mir.pravo.by). In 2019, it was visited by more than 295 thousand users.[74]

The actions of the relevant Belarusian authorities on state protection of children in dysfunctional families have a pronounced preventive character. Thus, measures to prevent the loss of parental care and removal from parents annually cover more than 27 thousand children who are recognized as being in a socially dangerous situation. In relation to them, the work of state bodies and organizations is organized to preserve the native family, assist parents in employment, treatment, and establishing parent-child relations.

The main focus is on taking mandatory measures to return children to their parents for upbringing up to 5-6 months. During the period of withdrawal and placement on state support, communication between parents and children is maintained. Parents are encouraged to take part in the upbringing and maintenance of deprived children. Every year, about 1.5 thousand children return to their native family after being deprived. Recognition of children in need of state protection and removal from their parents is made in no more than 10% of the total number of children recognized as being in a socially dangerous situation.

It is possible to provide temporary shelter to victims of domestic violence. Such services are provided in "crisis" rooms created at territorial centers of social services of the population, as well as in shelters of public associations. Since 2011, the number of "crisis rooms" has increased 4 times. As of January 1, 2017, there were 126 such rooms in the country. In 2012-2016, about 1,200 people in difficult situations, including those caused by domestic violence, received temporary shelter in "crisis rooms".

In order to provide social and pedagogical support and psychological assistance to students, prevent family problems, assist children and their legal representatives in resolving conflict situations in child-parent relations, and create a favourable moral and psychological climate for children, all educational institutions in Belarus have established social and pedagogical and psychological services, whose activities are coordinated by 138 social and pedagogical centers. In 103 departments of children's social shelters, comprehensive rehabilitation of minors deprived from their parents and in need of state protection is provided.

As a result of interdepartmental assistance to children and their legal representatives, more than 58% of children deprived from their parents by decisions of commissions on juvenile affairs are returned to their families every year.

If parents have changed their lifestyle and attitude to raising a child, they can restore their parental rights. Over the past 7 years, 1503 parents were restored to their parental rights, including 153 in 2017 (in 2016 – 157, in 2015- 180, in 2014- 221, in 2013 – 243, in 2012 – 288, in 2011 – 261).[75]

The Belarusian authorities have implemented measures to counter the spread and use of psychoactive substances and prevent crisis situations among children, which has allowed for a 3.5-fold reduction in adolescent tobacco use over the past 10 years, and a 38% reduction in the number of suicidal attempts among minors.

Significant results have been achieved in solving the problem of de-institutionalization of orphaned children, including children with disabilities and children with special psychophysical development (hereinafter FPD). More than 80 % of orphaned children are placed in families of Belarusian citizens, which has allowed for the last 10 years to reduce the network of residential institutions in the education system by 56 %, and the health system by 20 %. New approaches are being introduced to prepare children raised in residential institutions for independent living, including children with disabilities and children with FDP.

In total, 21 residential institutions of the education system were closed and 9 were reorganized in 2011-2017. Their network was reduced from 54 (in 2011) to 33 (in 2017) and consists of 18 orphanages, 3 boarding schools for orphans and children left without parental care, 6 auxiliary boarding schools staffed by orphans, 5 children's villages and 1 children's town.

The country is developing family forms of education for orphans and children left without parental care. The priority when placing a child is adoption, its transfer under guardianship to relatives and close friends of the family. If adoption is not possible, children are placed in foster families and family-type orphanages. Every year, more than 80 % of newly identified orphans are placed in foster families and family-type orphanages.

The network of family-type orphanages is constantly developing. The following measures are used as incentives for citizens (married couples who have a positive experience of raising children and have passed the training provided for by law) to enter a job as a parent-teacher of an orphanage. For each family-type children's home (a family that has taken care of from 5 to 10 children), there are 1.5 rates of parents-educators, which allows both parents to be officially employed. Parents-educators are provided with a leave of 56 calendar days as for teachers who constantly take care of children of different ages. The level of remuneration of a parent-educator is legally equivalent to the remuneration of a teacher and educator with the second qualification category. Special residential premises of family-type orphanages are fully maintained at the expense of local budgets, and parents-caregivers are exempt from paying for utilities.

Belarusian legislation provides for the frequency and procedure for monitoring the upbringing of children in the families of guardians (curators) - 2 times a year, adoptive parents - 1 time per year for 3 years after adoption. In foster families and family - type orphanages the frequency of monitoring depends on the length of the child's stay in the family, but at least once a quarter.

The Belarusian authorities managed to reduce such important medical and demographic indicators as maternal, infant and child mortality thanks to state support, health policy, and a well-established organizational structure. Infant mortality rate for 2017 was 3.2 % per 1000 live births (in 2000- 10.5 %). The mortality rate of children under 5 years of age in 2017 decreased to 3.9 per 1000 live births (2000 – 13.4 %). The survival rate of infants born with extremely low body weight in the first year of life is 75.3 % (2000- 28.4 %). The child mortality rate of 0-17 years old decreased (compared to 2005) by 2 times and amounted to 34.4 per 100 thousand children aged 0-17 years (2005 – 68.1%) in 2017.[76]

As of September 2017, there were 3812 educational institutions operating in the country that implement the educational program of pre-school education (as of September 2016 - 3879), in which 426 258 pupils received pre-school education (as of September 2016 - 418 145 pupils).

Taking into account the needs of parents, children, including kids, receive pre-school education in various types of pre-school education institutions (nurseries, pre-primary schools, kindergartens, sanatorium nurseries, sanatorium kindergartens, preschool child development centers) and forms of ownership (state and private), with different modes of operation (from 2 to 7 hours, 10.5 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours). Pre-school education facilities are accessible to children from different social groups.

In accordance with the requests of parents, short-stay groups are opened (from 2 to 7 hours): "mother schools", adaptation, walking and evening groups, weekend groups, seasonal and playgrounds. The number of such groups has increased by 2,477 units since 2014, and the number of children attending them has increased by 19,400. In 2018, it was 5,376 groups for 45,400 people (2014- 2,899 groups (25,986 children). In 2018, there were 1,313 short-stay groups (from 2 to 7 hours) for 8,060 young children in rural areas.

The measures taken made it possible to increase the coverage of children aged 1 to 3 years in pre-school education institutions in 2018 to 44.3 %, including in rural areas to 22.9 %. This made it possible to strengthen Belarus' leading position among the CIS member states in providing preschool education to children. The percentage of children aged 3 to 6 receiving pre-school education increased from 95.4 % in 2015 to 96.4 % in 2018. In rural areas, coverage was 68.3% in 2015 and 2018. In the last three years, the share of children aged 1 to 6 years receiving preschool education has increased (in 2016 – 74.8 %, in 2017- 75.8 %, in 2018- 79.4 %). In rural areas, this figure was 51.7 % (in 2016 – 49.4 %, in 2017- 49.8 %).[77]

In the 2018-2019 academic year, there were 3,035 full-time general education institutions in Belarus, with 1010 thousand students enrolled. There were 51 higher education institutions with 282.8 thousand students.[78]

Children aged 0 - 18 years are being counted in order to realize the constitutional rights of citizens to education, to ensure universality and compulsory general basic education, to make the transition to compulsory secondary education, to identify non-learning children and to take measures for their education, to create the necessary conditions for effective functioning and development of the system of general secondary education.[79]

Since 2008, the initiative “A City Friendly to Children” has been developing, aimed at forming city priorities for children, as well as combining the intellectual, financial, organizational capabilities of the city in order to protect the rights and interests of children, countering negative social processes such as the spread of alcoholism, drug addiction, smoking, involving children in illegal activities. The initiative also includes the prevention of road injuries and offenses among children and adolescents in the city. The project is implemented by the "National center for artistic creativity of children and youth" of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus with the support of the UNICEF Representative Office in the Republic of Belarus. During the period of implementation of the initiative, 23 cities of Belarus have joined it. The implementation of the initiative in the Republic of Belarus is covered on the website www.detivgorode.by.

Additional measures have been taken to organize the employment of pupils during after-school hours and the sixth school day on the basis of institutions of additional education for children and youth in the evening (until 20.00) and during the vacation period (health camps, secondary employment, sightseeing activities). The maximum use of sports halls of educational institutions for carrying out sports and recreation and mass sports events is provided.

Innovative associations of interests for children and youth in the field of information technology, robotics, and research are being developed.

Systematic preventive work is being carried out with family problems as part of the implementation of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of November 26, 2006 "On additional measures for state protection of children in dysfunctional families", as a result of which there is a decrease in the number of children whose parents are deprived of parental rights. In comparison with 2017, the number of such children decreased by 6.4 percent.[80]

Family forms of placement of orphaned children and children left without parental care are being developed, including the most priority one – adoption.

In 2018, 557 orphans and children left without parental care were adopted. Of these, 159 children came from children's homes, 218 from foster families and family – type orphanages, 125 from orphanages, boarding schools and children's social shelters, and 55 children were in health organizations.[81]

In total, 7.3 thousand children live in the families of Belarusian adoptive parents, and 965 minor citizens of the Republic of Belarus live in the families of foreign adoptive parents.[82]

The network of family-type orphanages is expanding. In 2018, 10 family-type orphanages were opened (5 in Brest, 2 in Gomel, 1 in Grodno, 1 in Mogilev, and 1 in Minsk). 71 children, including 15 children (21%) from residential institutions, were placed in foster care.[83] In 2019, 14 family-type orphanages were opened, where 80 children were transferred, including 20% from residential institutions.[84]

The development of family forms of placement for the upbringing of orphans and children left without parental care has made it possible to continue reducing the network of institutions for this category of children. In 2018 SEI "Velikoretsky orphanage" and SEI "Druisky children's house" were closed in Vitebsk region.[85]

The Internet portal www.dadomu.by is functioning successfully which contains information about children who have legal status for adoption, who are raised in substitute families and residential institutions of various departmental subordination.

Additional opportunities for the adoption of orphaned children are provided by the column "You will have a child" in the TV program "When everyone is at home" on the ONT TV channel, a monthly newspaper for substitute parents and family specialists "Home!"

The healthcare system of the Republic of Belarus has retained its state status and provides high-quality free medical care. The development of healthcare is carried out in accordance with the strategy for the development of healthcare until 2020. A strategy for the development of the pharmaceutical industry for 2019-2025 has been developed.

Medical assistance to the population of Belarus is provided by healthcare organizations. At the district level, these are paramedic and midwifery centers, district hospitals, nursing hospitals, outpatient clinics and general practitioner clinics, and central district hospitals. At the inter-district and regional levels there are multidisciplinary clinics, multidisciplinary hospitals, dispensaries, emergency medical hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. At the national level, there are multi-specialty clinics, multi-specialty hospitals, dispensaries, Republican research and practice centers (RSPC), the Republican hospital for medical rehabilitation, and rehabilitation Centers.

To provide medical care, inpatient replacement technologies are being actively developed: day-care units and inpatient facilities at home. In 2018, more than 686 thousand patients were treated in day-care units and inpatient hospitals at home.

To ensure proper medical and social care for senior citizens, there are 103 nursing hospitals with 2,709 beds in the country, with a total of 4,677 nursing beds deployed, where 18,900 people received treatment in 2018.

Medical assistance to the population is provided by more than 55.4 thousand doctors and 126.9 thousand average medical workers in 612 hospital and 1,443 outpatient organizations.

The Republic of Belarus has developed a national model for family planning and men's health services. The proportion of infertile married couples is about 14 %. Marriage and family consultations have been established in every regional center and Minsk, and there are departments of assisted reproductive technologies.

There is an annual decrease in the number of abortions, from 2010 to 2018 their number decreased by 1.3 times. A pregnant woman is provided with medical supervision and all types of medical care in outpatient and inpatient settings during pregnancy, childbirth and after childbirth, as well as medical care for new-borns. 99.8 % of births occur in hospital settings.

A multi-level system of perinatal care has been formed and is functioning, based on the principle of equal access to specialized medical care in terms of its validity and effectiveness. Currently, there is 1 perinatal center of the 4th level in the country - the State Institution “RSRC Mother and Child”, 17 perinatal centers of the 3rd level, 27 perinatal centers of the 2nd level.

As an indicator of quality of life, there is an increase in life expectancy from 70.4 years in 2010 to 74.5 years in 2018, including for men from 64.6 to 69.2 years, for women from 76.5 to 79.4 years.[86]

Belarus is successfully developing a national model of state social support for the population. In order to ensure the rights and improve the quality of life of vulnerable categories of citizens, including people with disabilities, elderly people, low-income citizens, the laws "On social protection of disabled people in Belarus", "On prevention of disability and rehabilitation of disabled people", "On veterans", and "On state social benefits, rights and guarantees for certain categories of citizens”, “On social services”, a number of specialized state programs have been implemented.

Since 2001, the country has been actively using the principle of targeting in the implementation of state support to the population. This measure, enshrined at the legislative level since 2007, allows the use of a clear and transparent mechanism for providing state targeted social assistance to those who really need it.

The state budget of Belarus allocated 25,475,128,528.43 Belarusian roubles to ensure the functioning of the healthcare system in 2016-2020, including 4 163 887 240 – in 2016, 4 649 966 287, 33 – in 2017, 4 933 929 220.23 – in 2018, 5 697 988 572.19 – in 2019 and 6 029 357 208.68 – in 2020 [87]

One of the types of social security in the Republic of Belarus is state pension provision. The right to state pension provision in old age, disability, and in the event of loss of a breadwinner is guaranteed by the Constitution and a set of legislative and other normative legal acts. In accordance with the law of April 17, 1992 No. 1596-XII "On pension provision", citizens are assigned a labour pension (based on the payment of contributions): by age, for length of service, disability, or loss of breadwinner. Citizens who do not have the right to a labour pension are assigned a social pension (which does not require pre-payment of contributions): upon reaching the age of 60 years for women and 65 years for men (without any additional requirements), due to disability (adults with disabilities and children with disabilities), children who have lost a breadwinner.

State pension provision (labour pensions and social pensions) covers almost all persons who are unable to work in need of it. One of the indicators of the national system of indicators of decent work is the proportion of the population over the working age registered with the labour, employment and social protection authorities and receiving labour pensions in the total population over the working age. In 2017, this figure was 94.6 %.

The actual coverage of older persons by state pension provision is even higher, since the calculation of this indicator does not take into account older citizens who receive social pensions, as well as citizens who receive pensions from other state bodies (military personnel and persons equivalent to them).

The stable functioning of the pension system and the payment of pensions at a socially acceptable level are a state priority. Recalculation of labour pensions in connection with the increase in the average salary of employees is carried out at least once a year. The minimum labour and social pensions are regularly increased, taking into account changes in the cost of living. In 2018, based on presidential decrees, three recalculations of labour pensions were carried out. Pensioners are actually removed from the category of low-income: the share of pension recipients with a pension size below the MSR since 2011 is less than 1 %. In recent years, pension expenditures account for about 9 % of the country's GDP.[88]

As of April 1, 2020, there were 4,785 war veterans and 14,532 citizens affected by the consequences of the war.

In 2019, 199.7 thousand citizens of these categories were surveyed. In accordance with the received applications, social and household assistance was provided to 49.7 thousand people, including 6660 war veterans and citizens affected by the consequences of the war.

Also, according to the survey results, additional social support (assistance in repairing apartments, houses, outbuildings, installing fire detectors) was provided to 11675 citizens for a total of 1198.1 thousand Bel. roubles, of which 1033.5 thousand roubles from the local budget funds provided for by the subprogram. From the state social insurance funds, material assistance was provided to 84.4 thousand people in the amount of 6.4 million Bel. roub., from local budgets to 15.5 thousand people in the amount of 9.2 million Bel. roub. Local executive and administrative bodies provided assistance to 241 veteran organizations in financing their activities in the amount of 2005.9 thousand Bel. roub.[89]

In accordance with presidential decree No. 491 of December 30, 2019, the payment of one-time financial assistance to veterans and invalids of the Great Patriotic War, as well as to citizens affected by the war consequences, began on April 1. In accordance with the decree, one-time financial assistance amounts to:

  • 2,500 Bel. roubles – to the Heroes of the Soviet Union (Kustov Ivan Ilyich and Michurin Vasily Sergeevich);
  • 1,700 Bel. roubles – to invalids and participants of the Great Patriotic War, to persons who took part in military operations for the defence of the Motherland before September 3, 1945; to persons who took part in special formations in the clearance of territories and objects after liberation from the German occupation in 1943-1945;
  • 900 Bel. roubles to war veterans from among the persons awarded by awards or medals of the USSR for selfless labour and flawless military service in the rear during the Great Patriotic War; who worked on objects of antiaircraft defence, local antiaircraft defence, on building of defensive works, sea bases, airdromes and other military facilities within rear borders of operating fronts, on front-line sections of railways and roads; who worked for enterprises, institutions and organizations of Leningrad during the blockade from 8 September 1941 to 27 January 1944 and were awarded the medal "For Defence of Leningrad", awarded by a sign "Inhabitant of Blockade Leningrad";
  • 700 Bel. roubles - to citizens affected by the war consequences: family members of military personnel, partisans and underground workers, deceased, missed during the Great Patriotic War, including former prisoners of Nazi concentration camps, prisons, ghettos and other places of forced detention created by fascists and their allies during the Second World War, to which a pension increase is established on the specified basis in accordance with the law; as well as disabled people from childhood due to wounds, shell shock, injuries associated with hostilities during the Great Patriotic War or with the consequences of hostilities.

If there is a right to receive lump-sum financial assistance on several grounds, assistance is provided on the basis that provides for the highest payment. Payment of one-time financial assistance is carried out in the period from April 1 to May 1, 2020 at the place where these categories of citizens receive pensions.

As of April 6, 2020, almost 16 thousand people (83 %) have already received financial assistance in the amount of 14 million Bel. roubles.[90]

As of February 1, 2020, 571.9 thousand disabled people were registered with the labour, employment and social protection authorities of Belarus, including 89.6 thousand disabled people of group I, 259.5 thousand of group II, 189.5 thousand of group III, and 33.3 thousand disabled children under the age of 18. The proportion of disabled people in the total population of the Republic is 6 %.

In order to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, their social integration in society, and reduce the frequency and severity of disabilities, the activities of the subprogram “Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities”, “Barrier-Free Living Environment of Disabled and Physically Attended Persons” of the State Program on Social Protection and Promotion of Employment 2016-2020 are implemented. The country has adopted a national action plan for the implementation of the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in the Republic of Belarus for 2017-2025 (approved on June 13, 2017 by resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 451).[91]

A special place in the social rehabilitation of disabled people is taken by providing them with technical means of social rehabilitation (hereinafter referred to as rehabilitation means), which is entrusted to the labour, employment and social protection bodies and RUE "Belarusian prosthetic and orthopaedic rehabilitation center" (hereinafter referred to as the Center). Thus, in 2019, the labour, employment and social protection authorities issued more than 109.5 thousand rehabilitation funds, including more than 9.8 thousand wheelchairs for the amount of more than 27.2 million Bel. roubles at the expense of the Republican and local budgets.

The Center works on the introduction of new technologies in prosthetics and the manufacture of rehabilitation tools, improving the quality and technical level of products. The design documentation of products for an individual project for 128 wheelchairs, 84 types of rehabilitation equipment has been developed.

The Center trains disabled people in educational programs, provides training for people with disabilities to use an active wheelchair, conducts training courses on the practice of using information technologies for people with disabilities who are in a prosthetic and orthopaedic hospital for prosthetics, rehabilitation and rehabilitation, as well as training seminars for both rehabilitation professionals in the Republic and the Russian Federation. In 2019, 98 disabled people were trained at the Center.[92]

The Belarusian authorities are making efforts to implement citizens' rights to adequate housing. The right to housing is enshrined in article 21 of the Constitution. The exercise of this right is regulated by the Housing Code, it ensures free choice by citizens of a way to improve housing conditions, guaranteed provision by the state of social housing under a lease agreement for low-income disabled citizens, state support for low-income citizens who need to improve housing conditions during construction or acquisition of residential premises, transition in matters of provision and payment of housing on a total area, the right of citizens to free disposal of residential premises owned by them in accordance with the law, the judicial protection of the housing rights of all citizens, empowering the public to monitor the observance of housing legislation.

To implement these tasks in the country, the government approved the Concept of improving and developing the housing and communal services until 2025, the state program "Comfortable housing and a favourable environment" for 2016-2020, and the state program "Housing construction" for 2016-2020.

Housing legislation provides for the right of citizens to register those who need to improve their housing conditions, and to include certain categories of citizens in the lists for social housing, as well as for the construction of residential premises with state support. Registration of people in need of better housing conditions, having the right to receive social housing, is carried out not only by including these citizens in the general list of citizens, of whom as of January 1, 2019 there are about 663.8 thousand people in the country, but also on separate lists formed by executive committees. As of January 1, 2019, 3,990 people were registered as people with disabilities who need to improve their housing conditions and are eligible for social housing.

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Kazakhstan

The Institution of Family, Maternity and Childhood in Kazakhstan is under mainstream consideration. Back in 1995, the Council on the family, women and population policy issues under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan was established in the Republic. Today, the relevant competent authority is the National Commission for Women and Family-Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, established in 2006 by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Similar commissions were created under the akims of the regions, in the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shymkent. The Commission includes representatives of state bodies, non-governmental and other organizations of Kazakhstan.

The legislation of Kazakhstan contains the necessary tools to protect the institutions of marriage and family. So, according to Part 1 of Art. 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Art. 2 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the institution of marriage (matrimony) and the family”, marriage and family relations, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood are protected by the state policy. The Organic Law also gives parents the right and delegates them a duty to take care of children and bring them up, at the same time adult able-bodied children shall take care of disabled parents. In the resolution of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated May 18, 2015 No. 3, marriage and family, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood are called fundamental values of the Republic. Detailed regulation of this field is declared in a number of laws (the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the Rights of the Child in the Republic of Kazakhstan”, the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Prevention of Domestic Violence”, etc.) and subordinate legislations and regulations (Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Measures for Implementation of Convention on the international procedure for the collection of alimony for children and other forms of family maintenance dated November 23, 2007 ”, an order of the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan“ On approval of the Rules for the accreditation of adoption agencies", The decision of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan "About approval of Rules of payment and the amount of funds allocated for the maintenance of the child (children), placed in care of foster parents" and others.).

Art. 1 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the institution of marriage (matrimony) and the family” defines marriage (matrimony) as an equal union between a man and a woman, being entered into with free and full consent of the parties in the manner prescribed by the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with the aim of creating a family that generates property and personal non-property rights and obligations between spouses.

It is underlined in the Art. 2 of the Code that the state officially recognizes only marriage registration made by state bodies. Religious rites and ceremonies do not give rise to the corresponding legal consequences, as well as the actual cohabitation of a man and woman or persons of the same gender.

The marriage age according to the Art.  10 of the Code, is defined at eighteen years old and may be reduced to sixteen years old in exceptional cases.

Forced marriage and early marriage are considered to be a crime. The Ministry of Education and Science together with the public association “League of Women's Creative Initiative” conducted a study to analyze in detail and identify the causes of early and forced marriages. As a result of this study, a methodological manual “Prevention of Early and Forced Marriages” was developed and sent to all regions of the country. Today in Kazakhstan there is a legislative mechanism providing for liability measures for perpetrators of violence and ill-treatment of girls. Forced marriage or marriage by capture of an underage girl, is considered to be a crime and is punished under Art. 122 of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan[93].

The equal rights of the spouses are among the principles of marriage and family law, listed in part 2, art. 2 of the Code. Meanwhile it is declared in Art. 30 that spouses have the obligation to build their relations in the family on the basis of mutual respect and mutual assistance, to promote the well-being and strengthening of the family, to take care of the health, development of their children and their well-being. The state actively promotes the practical implementation of this postulate.

According to the 2009 census, the average number of family members in Kazakhstan is 3.5 persons.  72% of children under the age of 18 live with both parents, 15% - only with mother, 6% - only with father, 6% - without parents.  1209 thousand households (29%) include persons aged 60 and over.  395 thousand households (9.5%) consist only of people aged 60 years and older. More than 545 thousand people live in these households, among them there are 191 thousand men (35%) and 354 thousand women (65%)[94].

In Kazakhstan, as in other CIS countries, there is a tendency to increase the age of marriage, although such an increase is not so significant as in other countries: for men, the average marriage age in 2000 was 25.6 years, in 2015 - 26.6 years, for women this index has not changed and is still equal to 22.9 years. The rate of marriage unions is growing (from 6.1 per 1000 people in 2000 to 8 in 2016), while the number of divorces relative to marriages is rather small - 1.8 per 1000 people in 2000 at 2.9 in 2016)[95].

The authorities of Kazakhstan are taking measures to consolidate respect in the society for the institution of the family and family values. So, the Family Day was established (celebrated on every second Sunday of September) by the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan dated March 1, 2013 No. 511. The annual National Competition “Mereyl Obybasy” (“Exemplary Family”) was approved by the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan dated December 6, 2013 No. 250, the event is aimed at strengthening the institution of family and marriage, and cultivating of family traditions and values. The program of moral and spiritual education “Self-knowledge” has been introduced at all levels of education, it is based on universal spiritual values and aimed at enhancing the family’s position in raising a child. NGOs and such traditional institutions of civil society of Kazakhstan as councils of elders (1115 organizations), councils of mothers and grandmothers (1201) were involved in communication and information activities with families. More than 300 Mothers' Councils have been established under the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan. Family education centers have been opened in 8 regions of the country to provide advisory services on family education. Since 2016, the Republican Forum of Fathers is held annually in order to increase the role of the father in child-rearing. The "Union of Fathers" public association and its representative offices in 8 regions of the country were created through the efforts of 70 active fathers[96].

Today, in Kazakhstan a special consideration is given to the problems faced by the institution of family and family values. The discussion of this issues shifts from the narrow problems of providing assistance to exclusively socially vulnerable segments of the population to a broader discourse - preservation and strengthening of traditional family values in the society.

In 2015, Kazakhstan approved the Nationwide Plan to Strengthen Family Relations, Moral, Ethical and Spiritual Values for 2015 - 2020, which is being implemented in three areas: strengthening the institution of the family, creating a healthy lifestyle and building a society of universal labor. In December 2016, the Concept of Family and Gender Policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2030 was adopted. This document should become one of the key features in this important area of society. Along with the declaration of the state policy on the promotion of family values in legal acts, Kazakhstan is taking real steps to implement it into lifestyle. In particular, much attention is paid to the care of the reproductive health of citizens, the well-being of pregnant women, mothers and children.

The Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Art. 29 guarantees citizens the right to health care. The Art. 97 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On people’s health and health care system” devoted to women’s health during pregnancy, childbirth and after childbirth, establishes that medical and advisory assistance to pregnant women, women in childbirth and women after childbirth in health care entities is provided within the statutory free medical care and in the system of compulsory social health insurance.

The Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan contains a number of norms that determine the special conditions for the implementation of labor activity by pregnant women. For example, Art.  44 entrusts the employer with the obligation to transfer a woman having certain medical report to other easier work that excludes the impact of harmful or dangerous production factors with retention of average earnings. In case of refusal to transfer to easier work, she is exempted from performing of work which is against medical advice without retention of earnings until the provision of maternity leave.

Art.  54 contains a prohibition on the termination of an employment contract with a pregnant woman on the initiative of the employer due to a reduction in the number of employees and due to a reduction in the production output, work performed and services rendered, resulting in a deterioration in the economic condition of the employer. This protective measure also applies to women with children under three years of age, single mothers raising a child under fourteen years old (disabled child under eighteen years old), and other persons raising children without a mother.

A special regulation for termination of the employment contract upon its expiration is valid for pregnant women with a gestational age of twelve or more weeks and for employees who wish to use their leave entitlement without retention of earnings for childcare. The employer shall extend the term of the employment contract by the day of the parental leave expiration if the related written application is submitted by the specified persons on the day of the expiration of the employment contract entered into for a period of at least one year. Such procedure is provided for in Art. 51.

For pregnant women, as well as for one of the parents or adoptive parents of a child under three years of age, there is the possibility of part-time work arrangement. It is provided for Art. 70 of the named law. To use it, it is necessary to file an appropriate written statement.

Pregnant women, according to Art. 76, should not be admitted to night works, that is, from 22 to 6 hours, to overtime works - according to part 3 of Art. 77, to work on weekends and holidays - according to Art. 85, to work performed on a rotational basis, if the gestational age has reached 12 or more weeks - in accordance with Art. 135. In accordance with Art. 95 they cannot be recalled from paid annual leave.

Child labourers also should not be involved in night work, overtime work, work performed on a rotational basis, or recalled from paid annual leave. The prohibition specified above also applies to persons engaged in heavy work, work with harmful and dangerous working conditions. If the employees are raising children under seven years of age or children with disabilities under sixteen years of age, the employer shall obtain their written consent in order to use them at nightworks. The ban on overtime work also applies to persons with disabilities.

In accordance with Art. 75 it is not permitted to use a cumulative record of working hours for pregnant women if the working day exceeds eight hours.

In accordance with Art. 127 A pregnant woman may refuse to be sent on a business trip. Child labourers and persons with disabilities have a similar right. In any case, it is not permitted to send persons on business trips for whom such work is prohibited for medical reasons.

Art. 99 grants women the maternity leave entitlement with retention of average earnings. In normal childbirth, it is seventy calendar days before childbirth and fifty-six calendar days after childbirth. This period may be extended due to various complications In particular, women living in territories affected by nuclear tests during normal childbirth are entitled to leave for a period of ninety-one calendar days before delivery and seventy-nine calendar days after the childbirth.

As specified in Art. 100, the employer shall provide the mother with parental leave until the child reaches the age of three years on the basis of a written application. In this case, the retention of earnings is not observed. Vacation can be granted instead of the mother to the father of the child, as well as to another relative who is actually raising a child left without parental care, or to a guardian. The foregoing provisions of Article 99, 100 also apply to adoptive parents of a newborn baby.

According to Art.82, the right to additional breaks in work for feeding a child is provided at least every three hours for parents raising a child up to one and a half years old.

Chapter 17 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the people's health and the health care system” defines the rights and obligations of citizens in the field of protection of reproductive rights. So, citizens have the right to free reproductive choice, to receive reproductive health and family planning services, to receive reliable and complete information about their reproductive health status, to treat infertility, including the application of modern assisted reproductive methods and technologies that are permitted in the Republic of Kazakhstan, donation of germ cells, tissues of reproductive organs, use and free choice of methods of contraception, citizens also have the right to take a free decision on the number of their children and time of their birth within wedlock or out of it, the periods between their birth, necessary to reserve mother’s and child’s health. The minors shall have the right to protection of reproductive health, and for moral and sexual education.

The choice of the sex of the unborn child with the use of assisted reproductive methods and technologists is not acceptable. The only exception is the possibility of inheriting gender-related diseases. The human embryo cannot be used for commercial, military and industrial purposes. Export from the Republic of Kazakhstan of sex cells, human embryos for commercial, military or industrial purposes shall not be allowed. Human cloning - reproduction of genetically identical individuals shall be prohibited in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Surgical sterilization as a method of preventing unwanted pregnancy may be conducted to the citizens of not less than thirty-five years old, or those, who at least have two children, and for medical reasons, and with the consent of the full-aged citizen - regardless of his age and presence of children.

A woman shall have the right to abortion. In order to prevent abortion, the doctors shall have to conduct interviews to explain ethical, psychological and physiological adverse effects and possible complications.

Chapter 9 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On marriage (matrimony) and the family” regulates the issues of surrogate motherhood. Relations between spouses and a surrogate mother are formalized in a surrogacy agreement. It establishes the parental rights and obligations of spouses (customers) for a child born as a result of application of assisted reproductive methods and technologies. This means that leaving a child with a surrogate mother is possible only if customers give up the adoption. In case of death of both spouses (customers) and refusal of their close relatives to adopt a born child, this child may be transferred to a surrogate mother at her wish, and in case of her refusal, a child shall be transferred on custody of the state.

A woman, willing to be a surrogate mother shall be at the age from twenty to thirty five years, with satisfactory physical, mental and reproductive health, confirmed by opinion of a healthcare organization, as well as have own healthy child.

In case, if a surrogate mother is married, the notarized agreement of the spouse shall be provided in a written form, during conclusion of the surrogate contract.

The National Center for Healthy Lifestyle Development also contributes to successful family planning. The Center prepares and disseminates among the population the information and educational materials on family planning and reproductive health.

State program for the development of health "Salamatty Kazakhstan" for 2011-2015 put an emphasis on the development of primary medical care, the development and implementation of advanced medical technologies, the further development of mobile and telemedicine, air ambulance, the improvement of the organization, management, financing of medical care, including the introduction of new payment mechanisms for medical staff focused on the final result. The implementation of the state program has reduced the overall mortality rate by 14%[97].

In order to reduce maternal and infant mortality, technologies recommended by WHO are being introduced (regionalization of perinatal care, confidential audit of maternal mortality,  medical care quality assessment tools, etc.), improvement of clinical protocols and standards based on evidence-based medicine, equipment of obstetric hospitals with necessary facilities and  the whole range of medicines, the opening of the Republican coordination center and regional training centers based on perinatal  centers, two republican centers for the assessment of knowledge and professional skills of medical practitioners and simulation centers at medical universities, using modern types of communication (telemedicine, skype, etc.) have been implemented[98].

The systematic implementation of the health promotion policy has resulted in a favorable demographic situation in the country. The natural population growth is quite high: in 2019, it amounted to 14.6 people per 1000 people (with 21.8 births per 1000 people). The infant mortality rate (from 18.7 in 2000 to 8 in 2018, per 1,000 live births) and maternal (from 44.2 in 2000 to 12 in 2017, per 100,000 live births) significantly decreased[99].

The functionality of high-quality and affordable healthcare is one of the main goals of the State Program for Healthcare Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2020-2025. The formation of the population’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle and the development of public health services, improvement of the medical care quality, and sustainable development of the health system are among the main goals of the Program.

In addition to protection of motherhood and childhood, the state sets the following tasks in the healthcare area: to ensure the equality of citizens' rights to receive safe, effective and high-quality medical care;  to provide statutory free medical care;  to ensure sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population;  to attribute public health, safety, efficacy and quality of medicines to the factors of national security priorities, etc. (Article 4 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the people's health and the healthcare system”).

At the institutional level, the task of medical services quality improvement is entrusted to the Joint Commission for the Quality of Medical Services. A national system of accreditation of medical organizations in line with international standards has been introduced (International Society for Quality in Healthcare, ISQua). The implementation of Medical information systems and widespread use of paperless medical records are a part of the digitization process. Electronic health passports for the country's population have been generated.

Kazakhstan pays much attention to healthy lifestyle promotion. Numerous health schools, youth health centers and tobacco control centers have been established throughout the country. In the regions of the country, “Healthy Cities, Healthy Regions” projects will be implemented (aimed at the availability of green areas and places for active healthy recreation, as well as improvement of the safety of the infrastructure of cities and roads);  “Health Promotion Schools” (their goal is to develop healthy habits in schoolchildren from an early age);  “Healthy lifestyle universities” (aimed at creation of the conditions in order to build the commitment to a healthy lifestyle for students and teachers). They are all based on the WHO recommendation “Health in all policies”.

According to the data of the State Health Development Program of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2020-2025 the costs of primary health care and public health services will be increased to 60% of total extent of health financing.

Since June 1, 2019, the remuneration of healthcare professionals has been increased by 30%. In 2019, 100% of state medical organizations were transferred to the category of an enterprise on the self-accounting basis, which permits, within the framework of the organization's capabilities, to scale up the wages. It is assumed that the transition to a system of compulsory social health insurance will lead to a further increase in the wages of physicians and paramedical workers. In 2023, the ratio of the average wage of a physician to the average wage in the economy will be brought to the level of 1.8: 1.

At the beginning of 2018, 732 hospital facilities and 3.2 thousand outpatient clinics have been operating in the country[100]. The number of medical personnel at the end of 2018 was 40 physicians of various specialties (per 10,000 people, including 4 general practitioners, 2 surgeons, 3 pediatricians, 3 dentists).

Article 12 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Marriage (Matrimony) and the Family” provides for the right of persons wishing to  get married to get, with their mutual consent, medical advice and examination, including issues on genetic and reproductive health.

Gender equality is one of the key areas of efforts of the authorities of Kazakhstan in the social modernization of society. Creation of equal opportunities is an important component in ensuring the active participation of women in the political, economic and social life of the country. As noted in the recent Global Report on Gender Equality, which is annually compiled by the World Economic Forum, the Republic of Kazakhstan is one of those countries where women's opportunities in the economic, political and other fields are evaluated very positively. Adoption of the Gender Equality Strategy for 2006-2016 contributed to the gradual development of a society with high political consciousness and civic engagement. As part of its implementation, a number of international treaties have been ratified, an institutional framework has been created in order to promote the gender balance:  the National Commission for Women and Family-Demographic Policy is the body responsible for Kazakhstan's fulfillment of the obligations arising from these acts. The realization of the Strategy resulted in an increase in the share of women taking an active part in the socio-political and socio-economic development of the country. Thus, the representation of women in the Mazhilis of the Parliament over the ten years of the implementation of the strategy increased by almost 17%, in business this indicator increased by 12%[101].

Since 2009, the Law on State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women has been in force. In this law, the concept of “sex discrimination” is defined as “any restriction or infringement of human rights and freedoms, as well as the degradation of dignity on the basis of sex”. It should be noted that the said law does not limit the definition of discrimination only against women, but defines discrimination on the basis of sex, on the basis of equal rights and opportunities to protect both women and men.

After realization of the Strategy for Gender Equality in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2006-2016, which allowed a balanced approach to the rights and opportunities of not only women, but also men, as well as to ensure the comprehensive development of Kazakhstan women, a new long-term strategic document, based on the Constitution of the country, Strategy “Kazakhstan 2050 ", The National Plan"100 Positive Steps ", the Concept for Kazakhstan joining the 30 most developed countries of the world, the SDGs and the recommendations of the OECD Council on Gender Equality, have been developed for the implementation of gender policy. The following goals of the state gender policy are specified in this document: achievement of parity rights, benefits, duties and opportunities of men and women in all spheres of society, overcoming of all forms and manifestations of gender discrimination. In order to develop the Concept, an Action Plan for the implementation of family and gender policies in the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2030 was approved by an order of the Government of Kazakhstan, dated March 3, 2017 No.106, which has been implemented by responsible state bodies in cooperation with NGOs[102].

Significant measures are being taken to fight against domestic abuse. Since 2009, the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Prevention of Domestic Violence” has been in force. Art.1 of the specified act offers the following definition: domestic violence - a deliberate unlawful act (action or inaction) of one person in the field of family-domestic relations in relation to another (others), causing or containing a threat of causing physical and (or) mental suffering. According to Art. 4 domestic violence can be expressed as physical, psychological, sexual and economic violence.

On January 1, 2020, amendments to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, introduced at the initiative of President K. K. Tokayev, entered into force. In accordance with the amendments, the punishment for domestic violence against women and children is toughened, ravishment is transferred to the category of serious crimes (previously this offense was qualified as a moderate crime).

The bodies of the prevention of domestic violence according to the legislation include the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, local representative and executive bodies, commissions for women and family and demographic policies, commissions for minors and the protection of their rights, law enforcement agencies, healthcare organizations, etc. Chapter 2 of the law in question contains a detailed list of the functions of each of them.

In addition, since 1999, special units have been operating in the structure of the internal affairs bodies of Kazakhstan to protect women from violence. They have helplines for the victims. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan is actively cooperating with the media, conducting law enforcement outreach efforts. Every year, measures are taken to prevent domestic violence throughout the country: lectures, training, Internet conferences. They are organized, in particular in educational institutions of various levels. All information about them, as well as thematic videos aimed at improving the population’s awareness of domestic violence, its prevention and ways to get help for people in difficult situations are published on the website of the Ministry, the representative office of UN Women in Kazakhstan and on the official department accounts on social networks.

Special assistance agencies play a special role in resistance to domestic violence. They consult victims, arrange the provision of the necessary psychological, pedagogical, medical and legal assistance, if necessary send them to health organizations, provide temporary accommodation to victims, conduct psycho-correctional programs with persons who have committed domestic violence, carry out legal explanations on the prevention of domestic violence and etc. (an exhaustive list of their functions is given in Article 15 of the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence).

Such organizations are established by local executive bodies. Their establishment by individuals and legal entities is acceptable. Their activities are financed from budgetary funds and other sources not prohibited by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In accordance with Art. 5 of the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence, special social services should be provided to persons in difficult situations. The list of guaranteed special social services was approved by a decree of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, it includes social, welfare, medical, socio-psychological, socio-pedagogical, socio-labor, socio-cultural, socio-economic and socio-legal services.

For a systematic targeted impact on the legal consciousness and behavior of the person who committed domestic violence, in order to prevent the commission of new offenses on his part and to ensure the safety of the victim, individual preventive measures are applied to domestic violence. This complex includes preventive interviews, protective orders, administrative detention, compulsory medical measures, deprivation and restriction of parental rights and a number of other measures (Article 17 of the Law).

Along with this, activities are arranged in order to disseminate the information on the ways of violence prevention, and ways of getting help by the victims. Including the campaign for children and adolescents, "Childhood without Cruelty and Violence", the campaign "Care", "Children in the Night City", "Safe School", etc.

Helplines are working in all regions of the country in order to protect children from abuse, children's public receptions are operating, and “trust boxes” are installed in educational institutions of various types.

Child protection is one of the priorities of the national policy of Kazakhstan

Chapter 10 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Marriage (Matrimony) and the Family” outlines the range of children's rights: the right to live and be raised in the family, the right to know the parents, the right to care for them and live together with them, the right to communicate with parents and other relatives, the right for education and comprehensive development. Detailed legislative provisions for the development of these rights are set forth in the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the Rights of the Child in the Republic of Kazakhstan”.

Art. 2 of this document specifies the priority of protecting the rights and interests of minor family members as one of the fundamental principles on which marriage and family law are based. The implementation of such protection is primarily the responsibility of the parents; however, if necessary, the state undertakes the initiative of children's protection Kazakhstan has special institutions on children's rights. In 2016, the institution of the Children rights’ ombudsman was established. Since 2006, the Committee for the Protection of Children's Rights of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been operating. A Cross Sectoral Commission for the Affairs of Minors and the Protection of Their Rights operates under the Government of Kazakhstan. Since 2013, departments for the protection of children's rights have been operating at the Education Directorates of the regions, as well as the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shymkent. In addition, the Republican Council for the Moral and Spiritual Development of the Personality “Self-Knowledge”, the Republican Council of Heads of Educational Organizations for Orphans and Children Left Without Parental Care, the Advisory Council of Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Intersectoral Working Group on the Development of Measures for the Rehabilitation of Minors returned from zones of terrorist activity under the Committee for the Protection of Children's Rights of the Ministry of Education and Science are operating as well[103].

In order to ensure the best conditions for the all-round development of children, Kazakhstan is implementing joint projects with UNICEF, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the non-governmental organization SOS Kinderdorf and other institutions. The initiative “Child-friendly City” became one of such projects. In addition, Kazakhstan annually organizes the International Conference “Child-Friendly Kazakhstan” with the support of UNICEF, and within its framework, the Republican Forum-Festival of the same name is held in order to support and encourage the talented children.

Art. 2 of the Law "On the Rights of the Child" contains another principle important for the protection of children's rights - the priority of family education of children. According to the law, parents have a preemptive right to raise their child over all other persons. They are responsible for providing the necessary living conditions for a child's physical, mental, moral and spiritual development, as well as for the access to compulsory secondary education. Failure to perform parental duties may entail the removal of the child (in the case of an imminent danger to his life and health), restriction or deprivation of parental rights. Restriction of parental rights is also accepted in the case when leaving of a child with parents is dangerous for him for reasons beyond their control, for example, due to a chronic illness (Article 79 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On marriage (matrimony) and family”).

To protect the rights and interests of orphans and children without parental care, an extensive system of forms of family structure has been created: adoption, custody or guardianship, patronage, foster family, guest family.

According to the Concept of Family and Gender Policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan, by 2030, the state releases a plan to completely eliminate the problem of orphans, gradually eliminate all orphanages (their number is currently being reduced) by encouraging and developing the institution of foster families. Over the past 7 years, the number of children in orphanages in Kazakhstan has already decreased by almost two and a half times, from 10.9 thousand to 4.6 thousand persons. A significant role here was played by socially oriented NGOs and charitable foundations, in particular the Ana Uyi Foundation (“Mom’s House”), thanks to which the country has created a network of crisis centers for moms who find themselves in a difficult financial or socio-psychological situation (at present time there are about 30 centers). Thanks to these centers, the number of cases of abandonment of children in maternity hospitals has significantly decreased.

Starting January 1, 2015, a lump sum cash payment was introduced related with the adoption of orphans and children left without parental care in the amount of 75 monthly calculation indices.

From July 1, 2020, amendments to the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Marriage (Matrimony) and Family” with regard to the adoption of children should come into force. Thus, preliminary psychological training of potential adoptive parents for possible difficulties in communicating with a foster child (“foster parents' school”) with the issuance of an appropriate certificate will become mandatory. Those who do not receive a certificate of adoption will be denied. Legal assistance, psychological and psychological-pedagogical consultations are provided. The activities of private adoption agencies and organizations to assist in the placement of orphans and children left without parental care in the families of citizens of Kazakhstan are also legalized. Before starting their activities, they shall be certified by the Committee for the Protection of Children's Rights of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Art. 1 of the aforementioned law defines adoption agencies as non-profit foreign organizations engaged in the adoption of children in the territory of their state (in Kazakhstan they operate by opening branches or representative offices), while the second type of non-profit organizations provides assistance free of charge in placing children in foster families only of citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan permanently residing in its territory, wishing to adopt and already having adopted the children. The duties of branches and representative offices of private agencies listed in Art.  114 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On marriage (matrimony) and the family”, include the submission of the reports to the Committee for the Protection of Children's Rights about living conditions and upbringing of children in the adoptive families, prepared by the competent authority of the state in the territory of which the adopted child is residing. The first three years after the entry into force of a court decision on adoption, a report is submitted every six months. Subsequently, reports are submitted annually.

As for organizations providing assistance in fostering orphans and children left without parental care in families of citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, their responsibilities are listed in Part 2 of Art. 114-1. Among them the implementation of psychological training for citizens who want to adopt children into their family at the expense of the adoption agency, provision of legal assistance, psychological and psychological-pedagogical consultations.

The undoubted advantage of the foster care system is the creation of a universal database - the Republican databank of orphans, children left without parental care, and people who want to adopt children to their families.

In recent years, Kazakhstan has seen a significantly higher natural population growth (14.6 per 1000 people as of 2018) due to a high birth rate (21.8 per 1000 people in 2018) and a relatively low mortality rate (7.2 per 1000 people in 2018) with an simultaneously increasing life expectancy of the older generation (from 65.9 years in 2005 to 73.2 years in 2018). Currently, 5944.8 thousand children and youth (under the age of 17 years) are living in the country[104]. This fact reinforces the importance of originating and implementation of effective measures in the field of educational development. It should be noted that in recent years, this sphere among all spheres of life in Kazakhstan's society has undergone the most noticeable modifications. Consolidated state budget expenditures on it amount to 3.3% of GDP (data for 2018)[105].

The Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan (part 1 of article 30) establishes the mandatory secondary education. In public educational institutions, citizens obtain education free of charge.

The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Education” is a fundamental legislative instrument for regulation of public relations in this area. Such principles of state policy in this area as equality of rights to obtain a quality education, access to education at all levels for the population, taking into account the intellectual development, psychophysiological and individual characteristics of each person;  secular, humanistic and developing character of education;  priority of civic and national values, human life and health, free development of the individual;  respect for human rights and freedoms, the democratic nature of educational management, the transparency of the education system, etc. are listed in the law.

Another important principle of the organization of education in Kazakhstan is the continuity of the educational process, provision of the educational continuity at all levels: pre-school education and training, primary education, primary secondary education, secondary education (general secondary education, technical and vocational education), post-secondary education, higher education, postgraduate education (art. 12 of the law).

The number of pre-school organizations in Kazakhstan is constantly growing (in 2000 - 1.1 thousand, in 2018 - 10.3 thousand), this fact contributes to an increase in the percentage of children enrolled in such institutions (in 2000 - 10%, in 2018 - 38%)[106].

To ensure accessibility and improve the quality of secondary education in the country, the basic infrastructure of educational institutions of the republic is being strengthened. Secondary schools are equipped with separate disciplines classrooms of a new modification at the expense of the republican and local budgets. The equipment of schools in the 2015-2016 school year with separate disciplines classrooms  was on average 68.1% (4 876 schools out of 7 160 schools), including: physics classrooms - 49.6% (3,551 schools);  chemistry classrooms - 43.5% (3 114 schools);  biology classrooms 42.2% (3,021 schools);   multimedia language laboratories - 40.0% (2,868 schools)[107].

At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, 7319 full-time educational institutions with 3176 thousand students were operating in the country[108]. Over the past three years, 437 public schools have switched to per capita funding.

The authorities of Kazakhstan are making efforts to create conditions for inclusive education for all categories of children: those with health problems (with special needs for development, children with disabilities);  having difficulties in social adaptation in society (with deviant behavior, low socio-economic and socio-psychological status);  from families of migrants, oralmans (repatriates), refugees (over 6 thousand migrant children, including 889 preschool and school children - 5,358 children, 24,725 repatriate students (oralmans); 27,363 children residing in 1,523 settlements  where there are no schools[109].

Children with special developmental needs have the right to free social and medical-pedagogical correctional support;  free examination in state medical organizations, psychological, medical and pedagogical advice bureau or departments of medical and social assessment and free medical care in the manner prescribed by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan;  free medical-psychological-pedagogical correction of physical or mental insufficiency from the moment of detection, regardless of its severity, in accordance with the report of psychological-medical-pedagogical advice bureau.

At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, 39 preschool organizations, 98 special educational organizations, 58 psychological, medical and pedagogical advice bureau, 149 psychological and pedagogical correction rooms, 12 rehabilitation centers, 880 logopedic stations in secondary schools were operating in the country in order to realize the rights of children with special developmental needs for education[110].

To date, 20% of kindergartens, 60% of schools, 30% of Kazakhstan's colleges have already created the conditions for inclusive education. High-quality inclusive education covers 28.2% of preschool children and 46.5% of schoolchildren with special educational needs[111].

The task to ensure the high status of the academic profession is among the goals of the State Program for the Development of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2020-2025.  The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Education” in Art.  53 provides a number of social guarantees for university teachers and organizations of postgraduate education. They are provided with housing, including a corporate apartment or residence housing, provided with paid annual leave of 56 calendar days, upon provision of which, a health allowance is paid at the expense of the corresponding budgets(for employees of state organizations). In addition, a state grant in the amount of 2,000-fold monthly calculation index is provided to the holder of the title "Best University Teacher".

Earlier, during the implementation of the previous State program for the development of education and science (for the period 2016-2019), teachers' remuneration was increased from 30% to 50%. Teachers teaching in English have received a supplement of 200% of the fixed official salary. It is planned to expand the teacher’s social package in the scope of the implementation of the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the status of a teacher” and the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Amendments and Additions to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the Status of a Teacher, on reduction of the academic Load on Students and Teachers”.   

The authorities also set an important task to narrow the gap in the quality of education between urban and rural educational institutions. In this regard, the state takes a number of incentive measures for teachers who carry out their professional activities in rural areas. So, in accordance with Part 2 of Art. 53 of the Law “On Education”, teachers of higher educational institutions and organizations of postgraduate education are entitled to get higher salaries and tariff rates (compared with teachers working in urban conditions), the right to social support - utility fees reimbursement and fuel purchase at the expense of budget funds, and if they have livestock - the right to provide animal feed and land plots for pastures and hayfields.

To ensure wider availability of technical and vocational education programs, the project “Free Vocational Education for All” has been implemented since 2017.

As part of its implementation, a state order was formed for 94.8 thousand places.

In recent years, the education system of Kazakhstan has also shown tendencies to modernization, the commitment to international partnership. The state budget finances programs of academic mobility and attraction of foreign top managers and scientists to the field of education. The academic freedom of universities is expanding. The publication activity of teaching staff is growing. For the most capable students, there are so-called “growth stations”: Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools AEO and Nazarbayev University AEO — a world-class university.

The State Program for the Development of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2020-2025 refers to the need to increase the global competitiveness of Kazakhstani education and science and its integration into the global scientific space. It should be noted that the government has previously made efforts in this direction and that the promotion of the Kazakh education system has delivered certain benefits. So, in 2017 Kazakhstan has become a member of two OECD profile committees - the Committee for Educational Policy and the Committee on Science and Technology Policy. Kazakhstani students have repeatedly participated in the PISA study conducted by this international organization (PISA - Programme for International Student Assessment).

Kazakh universities are included in the international rankings of the best universities in the world. In particular, two educational institutions were included in the Times Higher Education rating, ten in the QS rating. In 2010, the state joined the Bologna Declaration and became a member of the European Higher Education Area. The Bolashak (Future) program is being actively implemented. Its goal is to train personnel for priority sectors of the country's economy. Project participants receive an honorary international educational scholarship of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. The number of foreign students studying in Kazakhstani universities in 2016-2019 increased by 8.9 thousand people[112].

Another task in the field of education is to ensure a safe and comfortable training environment. For this purpose, schools in Kazakhstan are gradually moving to updated content. This means a shift in emphasis in education from a simple transfer of knowledge from teacher to student to the development of information processing skills, its analysis, critical thinking. Updated content also implies a reduction of the academic workload, the transition of school schedule to a five-day work week, the introduction of criteria-based assessment. This approach implies the cancellation of the mass stream grades and provides a detailed analysis of the work of each student in order to identify his personal strengths and weaknesses. Such an analysis is carried out on the basis of established criteria, each of which reflects a certain direction of educational and cognitive competence

When the study of each topic is completed, students write a TSG test (total section grade), which evaluates the degree to which the program is mastered in percent[113].

Another mission set in the State Program for the Development of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2020-2025 is to ensure the intellectual, spiritual, moral and physical development of students. Therefore, a transmission and reinforcement of traditional national values in general and family values in particular to students is an integral part of the Kazakhstan educational process. In this context, schools become a platform for the implementation of projects of an appropriate orientation. For example, one of them, the project “Kunndylytarғa negіzdelgen bіlіm beru” (“Education based on values”), focuses on strengthening the role of the family in raising a child. Educational institutions also introduce “Schools of Mothers”, “Schools of Fathers”, and the project “Protection of Reproductive Health and Safe Behavior of Young People and Adolescents”. Regional essay contests on the topic "My future family" are regularly held. The Ata-Analar Mektebi (School of Parents) initiative is aimed at improving the qualifications of psychologists, class teachers and deputy directors for educational work in matters of family education.

As part of the Roadmap for the development of youth tourism, steps are being taken to revive school tourism in the regions of the country. At the same time, the absorption of local natural history knowledge of children and adolescents, patriotic education, and the formation of a careful attitude to a small motherland are encouraged by the government. Within the framework of the program “Rukhani Zhagyru” (Spiritual Revival), local executive bodies are organizing excursions to sacred places. The projects “Tugan Zher” (Dear Land), “Sacred Geography of Kazakhstan” and others are being implemented.

According to Art. 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, citizens are guaranteed a minimum remuneration and pension, old-age welfare, social insurance in case of illness, disability, loss of breadwinner and for other legal reasons. Every year, the amount of basic and minimum pensions, which does not depend on family composition, income, gender and other criteria and is paid in the same amount for all citizens is approved by a Regulation on republican budget.

In practical terms, the support of the institution of the family and its members is provided by the state mainly through the implementation of various social and economic measures in its support, which include social benefits and allowances, pensions for the disabled (including disabled children), employment assistance, employment of parents, and solution of housing disadvantages. Kazakhstan Consolidated budget expenditures for social protection in 2018 amounted to 4.6% of GDP[114].

Kazakhstan has implemented the Strategic Plan for the Development of the Country until 2020, which is aimed to achieve the following key indices: GDP growth in real terms by at least a third compared to 2009; a decrease in the share of the population with incomes below the subsistence level to 8% and unemployment to a level not exceeding 5%; 30% reduction in overall mortality; increase in life expectancy of the population from 68 to 72 years.

The Third Modernization of the country started in 2017; it encompasses political and institutional changes, modifications in the economy and public consciousness. A draft Strategic Plan for the Development of Kazakhstan until 2025 was developed within this stage; it is aimed at achievement of accelerated high-quality economic growth and improvement of the quality of life in the country. It is based on a new model of economic growth, grounded on stimulating export-oriented production by increasing productivity and complexity of the economy, developing human capital and attracting private funds in the face of growing competition, the leading role of the private sector and the realization of the development potential of the country's regions.

Social support is provided for large families with four or more co-living minor children. Social payments are also provided for mothers with the title “Mother Heroine”, decorated with the orders of “Mother Glory” of I and II degrees or awarded the pendants “Altyn Alka” (“Golden Pendant”) and “Kүmіs alka” (“Silver Pendant”).

Priority is given to housing affordability due to accelerated urbanization of the country. Since 2018, in the framework of the “Five Social Initiatives” put forward by the first president of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev, the program of preferential mortgage housing construction “7-20-25” has been implemented. Since the beginning of 2019, the Young Family program has been launched in the country, it provides for increased preferential mortgage rates for just married, as well as the possibility of reasonable rental of social housing with its subsequent purchase without an initial contribution and at reduced interest rates (2% per annum). It should also be noted that Kazakhstan has the highest rate of commissioning of residential buildings among the CIS countries: 685 sq.m per 1000 population (according to data for 2018)[115].

Large-scale measures to support families with children, in particular those with many children, were initiated by the current president of Kazakhstan, K.K. Tokaev. So, in accordance with the decree of June 26, 2019 "On measures to reduce the debt load of citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan" the bank indebtedness for consumer loans for large families, as well as families that have lost the breadwinner and have children with disabilities has been written off or completely repaid.

Since July 1, 2019, the size of targeted social assistance to families with children has significantly grown. The amount of payments of social benefits for a child was significantly increased, since January 2020 targeted social packages were introduced, including children's provision with free hot meals in schools, textbooks and school uniforms.

Law "On the republican budget for 2020-2022"  provides for an increase in the cost of living by 1,500 tenge (3.9 US dollars) Accordingly, all state social benefits will increase, the amount of which depends on this index. So, as a result of indexation of pensions carried out from January 1, 2020, old-age pension payments increase by 7%, the basic pension payment will increase by 5%, it will be modified in accordance with the change in the cost of living. The minimum pension as of 2015 was 23,692 tenge (106.9 US dollars), while the average monthly assigned pension amounted to 38,933 tenge (175.6 US dollars)[116].

Disability benefits are also increasing: for disabled people of group I up to 59,872 tenge (1.92 of the living wage);  for disabled people of group II - up to 47,710 tenge (1.53 of the living wage), while for people over 16 years of age who have lost working ability in childhood - up to 49,581 tenge (1.59 of the living wage);  for disabled people of group III - up to 32,431 tenge (1.04 of the living wage), and for adult citizens who have lost working ability in childhood - up to 37,420 tenge (1.2 of the living wage);  for persons under 16 years of age who have lost their ability to work from birth or at a young age - up to 43 657 tenge (1.4 of the living wage).

A five percent increase is also provided for state survivor benefits. Their amount can range from 0.86 to 2.11 of the cost of living, depending on the number of children in the family. The given amounts of social payments are established by the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On state social benefits for disability and in case of loss of the bread-winner in the Republic of Kazakhstan”.

In accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of the Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the minimum monthly wage along with the duration of daily work and the paid annual leave are the minimum social standards in the field of labor in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On minimum social standards and their guarantees”.

A steady upward trend in the average monthly nominal wage: from 14,374 tenge (101 US dollars) in 2000 to 162,673 tenge (472 US dollars) in 2018 is observed in Kazakhstan. The average pension increased from 4,021 tenge (28 US dollars) in 2000 to 66,663 tenge (174 US dollars) in 2018[117].

The share of persons whose incomes are below the subsistence level in the II quarter of 2018 amounted to 4.7%. This index decreased in comparison with the corresponding period of the previous year[118].

For employees from families in need of increased social protection, the Employment Roadmap 2020, designed to promote productive employment and increase labor income, provides employment security in the labor market.

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Kyrgyzstan

Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic (KR) in Art.  36, 37 allocates the status of the foundation of society, the subject of its care and preferential protection by law along with paternity, motherhood and childhood to the institution of the family. Respect for elders, care for family and friends is not only a moral duty of everyone, but also an obligation fixed at the highest level.

In accordance with Part 1 of Art. 1 of the Family Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, the state assumes the preparation of citizens for family life. Family legislation proceeds from the need to strengthen the family, gender equality in family relations, equal treatment of domestic work, equal rights and duties of parents, and the inadmissibility of arbitrary interference in family affairs.

In 2017, the Kyrgyzstan government approved the Family Support and Child Protection Program for 2018-2028. The first stage of its implementation involves the adoption of priority measures to improve the regulatory framework in the field of social protection of families and children, performance of awareness-raising activities in order to strengthen and develop the institution of the family and preserve the spiritual and moral traditions in family relations.

Legal marriage, in accordance with Art. 2 of the Family Code of the Kyrgyzstan Republic, is recognized as an equal and voluntary union of a man and a woman only. Religious rites have no legal significance. Bigamy and polygamy are prohibited, such actions are considered as criminal offenses and are punishable by community service, correctional labor or a fine (Article 179 of the Criminal Code of the KR).

Marriage age is set at eighteen years. According to Art. 14 of the Family Code of the KR, it may be reduced by one year if there are good reasons based on the commission opinion of the territorial divisions of the authorized state body for the protection of children.

The value of the family in the public consciousness of Kyrgyz society is confirmed by numerical indices: from 2000 to 2018, the number of marriages (per 1,000 people) increased from 4.9 to 7.8[119]. This confirms the general tendency for all CIS countries to increase the age at first marriage: in 2000, for men this index was 25.5 years, and in 2015 it became 26.7 years. For women, the marriage age indices for similar years were 22.1 and 23.4, respectively. At the same time, the number of women and men in the sexual structure of the Kyrgyzstan population is approximately the same: as of the beginning of 2017, there were 1018 women per 1000 men[120].

The National Development Strategy of Kyrgyzstan for 2018-2040 was approved by a decree of the President of Kyrgyzstan S.Sh. Zheenbekov, one of the tasks is promotion of family values based on respect for all family members. The need to end the practice of forced early marriage is also specified in the document.

The abduction of a person for marriage contrary to a person's will and the abduction of a person under the age of eighteen for entering into actual marriage or for marriage contrary to her will (Article 175 of the Criminal Code of the KR) are considered as serious crimes. In 2019, the Criminal Code of Kyrgyzstan was amended to tighten sanctions for the commission of such offence. In the first case, the punishment is imprisonment for a term of two years, six months to four years for minors, and from five to seven years and six months for other individuals. In the second - imprisonment for a term of four to six years for minors, and for other individuals - from seven years six months to ten years with a fine of 80 thousand to 220 thousand soms (from 942 to 2 591 US dollars). A person who has performed a religious ceremony for the marriage of a minor, the parents of the young person in respect of whom this ceremony is committed, and an adult who has performed a ceremony of marriage of a young person, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of three to five years.

In order to prevent children from entering into actual marriage, the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan in 2016 issued an order "On the prohibition of imams to conduct the rite "nikes" with persons under 18 years of age".

The executive authorities of the KR are continuously working in order to raise awareness of this problem and conduct preventive campaigns. For instance, in 2017, only the prosecution authorities of Kyrgyzstan held more than 111 different forums and events (lectures, meetings, round tables), and also published 8 articles devoted to this issue[121].

The efforts of civil society structures are attracted. The Public Foundation “Center for the Study of Democratic Processes” has developed practical guidelines for conducting a campaign to inform the population about legislation that provides for the prevention of religious rites with young persons. On its basis, a number of events were held in Kyrgyzstan, aimed primarily at young people. For example, in June 2018, an information campaign in the format of a flash mob “Alakachuu - bul kylmysh” (“Bride kidnapping is a crime”) was conducted at the republican level among students of schools and universities[122].

As part of outreach to the population, the Ministry of Education and Science of Kyrgyzstan and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan hold lectures on marriage by capture in educational institutions. Together with the Kyrgyz Public Broadcasting Corporation, the Pyramid television channel, and some regional channels, special thematic programs and films were shown on TV (for example, the film “Alakachuu (bride’s kidnapping)”[123].

The active struggle of the state with bride kidnapping is only one of the directions of state policy to assert the equality of rights and freedoms of men and women, as well as equal opportunities for their implementation (part 4 of article 16 of the Constitution of the KR). The key legislative tool in this area is the Law of the KR “On State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women”, the Art.  5 of which contains a prohibition of gender discrimination in any field of activity in relation to people of different sexes. Two types of discrimination are defined: direct gender discrimination (discrimination due to marital status, pregnancy, potential pregnancy and family responsibilities; sexual harassment; different pay for work of equal skill) and indirect gender discrimination (reproduction of gender stereotypes through the media, education, culture; setting conditions, requirements that entailed or may entail negative consequences in the form of harm to persons of a certain gender). At the same time, inadmissibility of behavior based on customary law, traditions and culture, but contrary to the requirements of the Law, is emphasized.

The state guarantees equal access to all forms of ownership, land use, business activity, the creation (establishment) of organizations, enterprise management, social services and social protection for men and women. Freedom of work choice and equality of remuneration, equal suffrage, equality of admission to public and municipal services and participation in political activities are also proclaimed.

According to Art. 21, 22 of the Law of the KR “On State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women” discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited both in professional labor relations and in housekeeping.

Inadmissibility of employees' persecution based on gender stereotypes, including sexual harassment, is being strengthened. It has been established that domestic work cannot serve as a way of gender and other forms of discrimination against family members and shall be carried out equally by persons of different sexes.

At the same time, much attention is paid to educational work with the population, the number of measures in this area has increased significantly in recent years. Among the most large-scale events are “fatherhood schools” held in various regions of the country by the Ministry of Education and Science of the KR together with non-governmental organizations and with the support of the United Nations Population Fund. Another prominent “Watchful Husband” campaign aims to identify dangerous signs of poor children's health[124].

The prosecutor’s office supervises the implementation of provisions in the field of protecting the rights and interests of women. A number of bodies of various levels are also involved in such activities: the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, the Committee on Social Issues, Education, Science, Culture and Health of the Jogorku Kenesh, the social development department of the Government Office of the KR, etc. The National Council for Gender Development under the Government of the KR, as an advisory body, develops recommendations for government bodies on the development of effective models for real gender equality.

The Kyrgyzstan National Strategy aimed at achievement of Gender Equality until 2020 is currently in force. As part of its implementation, the courses “Gender Policy in Central Asian Countries”, “Family Science”, “Problems of Gender Relations”, etc. are being introduced into the educational programs of educational institutions. In Adult Learning Centers, open in all regions of Kyrgyzstan,  the following special courses for women are taught: “Women and Discrimination”, “Women in Social Development”, “School of Democracy”, “Women's Leadership”, etc[125].

In the course of active outreach, innovative methods are often used: development of mobile applications (Lifebuoy application), performance of street art (for example, as part of the start-up of the 16 Days without Violence campaign in 2018).

The issues related to the resistance to domestic violence are closely linked with the issues of opposition to gender-based discrimination. The Law of the KR “On Security and Protection from Family Harassment” became a fundamental act in this area. The equality of access to the protection, protection from family harassment and the prevention of national folk customs and traditions that infringe on human rights and freedoms and promote family violence are stipulated in Art. 4 of the Document among other principles. In Art.  6 the entities providing appropriate security and protection are specified, these institutions include the government of Kyrgyzstan, the internal affairs bodies, the prosecutor’s office, the court, aksakal courts, educational, health and social development bodies, Akyykatchi (Ombudsman), etc. All of these institutions, within their competence, take part in the provision of legal, social, medical and psychological assistance to persons affected by domestic violence.

Measures to combat domestic violence, according to the act, are divided into preventive measures (art. 23) and measures on suppression (art. 24). The preventive measures, in particular, include registration and recording of persons who have committed acts of domestic violence;  preventive conversations, advices, (including hotline advice) to prevent and suppress the recurrence of cases of domestic violence, as well as to ensure the safety of the victim;  informational and educational campaigns aimed at promoting non-violent and conflict-free behavior, etc. Measures of suppression include the police custody of the perpetrator of domestic violence in accordance with the criminal procedure law; bringing him to criminal or administrative responsibility; taking measures to eliminate the threat to the life or health of the victim of domestic violence; immediate placement of the victim, whose life and health are in danger, in a safe place or refuge with his consent; issuance and extension of a protection order. The latter provides for a prohibition on direct and indirect contact with the victim. In the case of the extension of the protection order, it includes the condition that the person who has committed domestic violence undergoes a correctional program to change violent behavior mode.

On February 17, 2020, the Government of Kyrgyzstan approved the Urgent Action Plan to prevent domestic violence. The document includes the tasks of introducing legislative measures for urgent response to domestic violence and improving coordination mechanisms, raising public awareness in this area, promoting conflict-free family behavior, identifying families in situations of domestic violence and providing assistance services to victims, creating committees to prevent domestic violence. Responsible bodies shall inform the Kyrgyzstan government of the work done on a monthly basis.

The “Gender Policy” section has been created on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, where the main provisions of the Law of the KR “On Security and Protection from Family Violence” and information on assistance services, as well as videos on the prevention of domestic violence and information on liability for violation of the rules on marriage age restrictions. Also a section of the Inspectorate for Juvenile Affairs “Future, Care, Security” is created; the section contains relevant thematic regulatory legal acts, and videos on the issues of protection against domestic violence and the prevention of early marriage[126].

The effectiveness of measures to inform citizens about ways to get help in a crisis is evidenced, in particular, by an increase in the number of calls through System-112 (a single state duty dispatch service in crisis situations). So, in 2016, 94 calls were received with reports of cases of domestic violence, and in 2017 their number increased to 169[127].

A particularly important area of application of the efforts of the Kyrgyz authorities is the protection of children from domestic violence. Certain steps in this direction are taken during the implementation of the Human Rights Action Plan for 2019-2021, which provides for active work to inform the public about the prohibition of corporal punishment of children, introducing administrative responsibility for light forms of corporal punishment, as well as developing the Program on positive parenting, non-violent forms of education in Kyrgyzstan.

Officers of the district headquarters for the prevention of domestic violence periodically conduct house visits to prevent child abuse. As part of these events, information and educational work is being carried out with families who find themselves in difficult life situations, for the effectiveness of which the district heads are personally responsible. The regional departments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic are also involved in the work.

An instructional and methodical letter "On the Protection of Students from Violence in Educational Institutions of the Kyrgyz Republic" has been prepared for employees of educational institutions in order to improve educational work and increase responsibility for the life and health of students[128].

Exceptional attention in Kyrgyzstan is paid to protecting the rights and interests of children. Articles 16 and 36 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic establish the principle of ensuring the best interests of the child, as well as the right of children to the standard of living necessary for their physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development, which is fully consistent with the obligations of the country as a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since June 2019, parliamentary control of the observance of the rights and freedoms of the child has been assigned to one of the deputies of Akyikatcha.

Most of the rules governing social relations with the participation of children are combined in a single act - the Code of the Kyrgyz Republic on children. The document secures such rights as the right to life and upbringing in the family, the right to communicate with parents and relatives, the right to protect one’s rights and interests, the right to protect health, the right to education, the right to security of the person, etc.

Art. 7 of the Code of the Kyrgyz Republic on children stipulates that the priority form of education is the family child-rearing practices. It suits the interests of minors in the best possible way and can be terminated only in exceptional cases on the grounds provided by law.

Since the main task of the state in the field of childhood support is to ensure that each child has conditions for normal development, it prevents any activity that runs against of it. Parents' failure in the duties to children, including malicious non-payment of child support awards, child abuse, child wandering and other behaviors that worsen the background of the child, entails the deprivation of parental rights in accordance with Art.  74 of Family Code of Kyrgyzstan. The possibility of its restriction is applied, according to Art. 78 of the aforementioned act, when the abandonment of a child with his parents poses a danger to him either because of their behavior (if there are insufficient grounds for depriving them of parental rights), or due to circumstances beyond their control (for example, due to a mental disorder or other chronic illness). In the event of a threat to the life or health of the child, when urgent measures are required to protect him, in accordance with Art. 82 it is acceptable to immediately place him outside the family.

Information about children without parental care is compiled into a single database of the state data bank. It also contains information on persons who wish to adopt a child in a family. This exclusively refers to Kyrgyz citizens permanently residing on its territory, or relatives of children, regardless of their citizenship and place of residence (Article 42 of the KR Code on Children). Only when the transfer of children to these categories of people is not possible, the legislation allows the adoption of children by foreigners. The transfer of children to foreign citizens is carried out through accredited foreign organizations for the implementation of activities on international adoption.

Priority ways for adoption of children without parents are forms based on the institution of the family. So, according to Art.  43 of the Code, transfer to foster care is possible in the form of adoption, transfer under guardianship (trusteeship) and transfer to a foster family (the total number of relatives and adoptive children should not exceed five people). If it is not possible to apply this form, minors are transferred to institutions for orphans or children without parental care. Commercial agency business of adoption of children is prohibited.

Services of foster families are being developed in the Kyrgyz Republic. Normative regulation is contained in the Provision on the foster family. In 2014-2019 within the framework of the program, more than 200 candidates for foster parents were trained, followed by a certificate, 150 children were sent to foster families. In 2019, a new version of the Regulation on the foster family was adopted, where the norms for payment to foster parents and for the maintenance of children in foster families were revised in accordance with the minimum subsistence minimum established by the National Statistics Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic[129].

Kyrgyz authorities pay attention to social support for vulnerable groups of population. The state provides assistance to all children in difficult situations. These include not only children without parental care, but any minors whose livelihoods are objectively impaired as a result of the circumstances and who cannot overcome these circumstances on their own or with the help of the family. This includes children with disabilities, children living in low-income families, and children living in conflict and emergency zones, etc.

Ministry of Labor and Social Development of Kyrgyzstan in 2014-2018 implemented 47 projects aimed at providing services to families and children in difficult situations, including children with disabilities. Financing under the state social contract for the specified period increased from 4 million to 32 million soms (from 68 thousand US Dollars to 465 thousand US Dollars)[130].

In 2019, work on a draft new edition of the Kyrgyz Code of Children, which introduces a number of innovations, was completed. In particular, it envisages the introduction of a social service for the protection of children, which will carry out practical social work directly at the local level to accompany a child and his family in a difficult life situation. The project also envisages the development of family-type institutions with the number of children not exceeding 12 people.

Kyrgyz authorities make efforts in the field of education. According to Art.  45 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, every person has the right to education. During its implementation, discrimination on the basis of sex, nationality, language, social and property status and other similar characteristics is not accepted (Article 3 of the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Education”). Citizens are required to obtain basic general education.

The concept of the education development in the Kyrgyz Republic until 2020 is based on the idea of continuous human education throughout life. This supposes the formation and free development of the personality on the basis of the basic values for society: patriotism, love for the family, readiness for active labor activity, etc. Such important educational principles as the secular nature of education in state and municipal educational organizations, the consistency and continuity of the educational process, the academic freedom of educational organizations, academic honesty, etc. are listed in Art.  4 of the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Education”.

The state gives priority to the issues of financing education, and maintains the prestige of pedagogical, scientific, and trustee activities in the society. So, in 2018, expenditures of the consolidated budget of the Kyrgyz Republic on education amounted to 6% of the country's GDP[131].

Educational programs in Kyrgyzstan are divided into general and professional (article 11 of the Law). The first group includes programs of pre-school, primary general, basic general, secondary general and additional general education; the second group includes programs of primary, secondary, higher, postgraduate and additional professional education.

According to Art. 15 of this document, the state assumes the obligation to provide financial and material support in the education of preschool children, to ensure the availability of educational services of preschool educational organizations for all segments of the population. In practical terms, this legislative establishment was reflected in the measures provided for by the Concept for the Development of Education in the Kyrgyz Republic until 2020. It establishes the need to increase the share of financing for preschool education and early childhood development programs to 1% of GDP by 2020. According to the data at the end of 2018, 1.5 thousand preschool institutions were operating in Kyrgyzstan, in which 197 thousand children were studying (21% of all preschool children). For comparison, in 2000 only 6% of children were enrolled in pre-school education, in 2010 - this number increased to11%[132]. The state’s awareness of the strategic importance of the very first educational level, the importance of pre-school education encourages the state to expand the network of preschool organizations.

Large-scale events are held to inform the public and parents about the importance of early child development. 39,700 parents were enrolled in the “Community Development of Young Children” project[133].

Considerable attention is also paid to the main link in the entire educational system of the Kyrgyz Republic - school education. The age of admission to school is 6-7 years; the duration of education in each class is at least one academic year. A five-day training week is established taking into account the maximum permissible training load. According to the data on the beginning of the school year in 2018 in Kyrgyzstan, there were 2,265 full-time secondary schools of general secondary education, in which 1268 thousand people studied[134]. Every year, starting from 2006, funds are allocated from the republican budget for the publication of textbooks, maintenance of schools, the purchase of equipment, computer equipment, and catering for students in grades 1-4.[135]

As part of providing assistance to children in difficult situations, educational authorities are working to return children to school. Low-income families receive assistance in the form of clothing, shoes, and office supplies. With parents who do not want to educate their children, the explanatory work is carried out. Evening classes are organized for working children. Correctional classes and preparatory courses for language learning are created for refugee children who do not speak any of the languages in which education is carried out[136].

The state’s focus on international experience in the development of the educational system in general and school education in particular is confirmed by the participation of Kyrgyz schoolchildren in the authoritative study PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment – International Program for the Assessment of Educational Achievements of Students), the results of which demonstrate positive dynamics in this direction. In 2009, student performance improved by 5% in reading, by 3% in math, and by almost 5% in science compared to 2006[137].

The authorities also pay attention to the sphere of additional education and professional apprenticeship. As part of the lifelong education policy in Kyrgyzstan, 12 “Adult Learning Centers” have been created. They are operating now. They offer a wide range of opportunities, from communication and personal development, vocational education and additional training, training courses to complete basic education and other courses upon completion of which a certificate is issued, and ending with full participation in society and integration through adult education. The centers also provide training for special target groups: single mothers, pensioners, unemployed women[138].

The state is working to facilitate access to education for people with disabilities. The Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Education” in Art.  36 prescribes the creation of special groups, classes or organizations for children with physical or mental disabilities to ensure their treatment, education and training, social adaptation and integration into society. According to the data for 2018, 18 institutions for children with disabilities are operating in Kyrgyzstan, 3.3 thousand people are studying in them[139].

At the same time, the National Development Strategy of the Kyrgyz Republic for 2018-2040 puts a task to form a system of lifelong education, taking into account the targets of medical and social inclusion, based on the principle of inclusion of students with special educational needs in the learning process in the general education system and involvement of the students in the implementation of inclusive education. The development, piloting and implementation of mechanisms for the development of inclusive education, the introduction of the necessary pedagogical knowledge, skills and technologies in the system of training and advanced training of personnel are measures envisaged by the Concept for the Development of Inclusive Education in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2019-2023.

According to the decree signed on January 8, 2020 by the President of Kyrgyzstan S.Sh. Zheenbekov “On the announcement of 2020 as the Year of Regional Development, Digitalization of the Country and Support of the Children”, it was decided to prioritize the state policy of social protection of orphans, children left without parental care, children in difficult situations and children with disabilities. The decree sets the following tasks: to increase the coverage of educational services based on the development of preschool educational institutions;  create 100 centers for the early development of children in the regions;  create a perinatal center at the national level with an updated system of perinatal care at all levels of the provision of medical services using modern information technologies, innovative communication approaches for parenthood preparation activities;  to develop and implement a model of innovative “smart” schools in all regions of Kyrgyzstan using an integrated approach to digitalization of the services provided, etc.

The country has measures aimed at ensuring social protection for both students and educational system employees (the main measures are listed in chapter IV of the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Education”). To increase the access of the population to educational organizations of vocational education, social educational loans are provided with a delay in the start of repayments of the main loan amount until the end of training. Pupils of orphanages and boarding schools are entitled to obtain free primary vocational education. Incentive measures were laid down for employees of educational institutions. In order to reduce the workload, it was established that the fulfillment of obligations not stipulated by the labor contract by the employees of educational organizations should be paid for under an additional contract. Additional payments have been established for educational workers with academic degrees of a candidate or doctor of sciences, employees with a teaching experience of 5 years or more, employees of educational organizations located in rural areas. Among other things, educational organizations are granted the right to independently make decisions on bonus payments to the employees and establish the salary supplements. Young professionals arriving to work in rural schools are provided with a lump-sum allowance in the amount of ten-fold official salary for economic establishment. Employees of educational organizations are required to undergo a free outpatient medical examination at state medical institutions on the annual basis.

According to Articles 9 and 53 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, the state assumes obligations to develop social programs aimed at creating decent living conditions, free personal development and employment promotion;  providing support for socially unprotected categories of citizens, a guaranteed minimum wage, labor protection and health;  development of a system of social services, medical services and the establishment of state pensions, benefits and other guarantees of social protection. Citizens are guaranteed social security in old age, in case of illness and disability and loss of breadwinner. Pensions and social assistance in accordance with the economic capabilities of the state provide a standard of living not lower than the minimum subsistence level established by law. Voluntary social insurance, the creation of additional forms of social security and charity are being encouraged. It is noted that the social activity of the state should not take the form of state guardianship, limiting economic freedom, activity and the citizen’s ability to achieve economic well-being for himself and his family.

The main directions of the modern social policy of Kyrgyzstan are aimed at improvement of the living standards of the population and poverty reduction. In this regard, in the distribution of the state budget, priority is given to financing social expenses and protected budget items, which include: wages;  deductions to the Social Fund;  expenses for the purchase of goods and services, such as medicines, food;  state benefits to low-income families;  mothers before the child reaches the age of one and a half years;  one-time allowance at child birth;  pensions for military personnel and mothers with many children;  allowances for persons with disabilities and for special merits;  compensation payments to pensions for electricity and other benefits[140].

According to 2018 data, the expenditures of the consolidated budget of Kyrgyzstan on the social sector account for 13.8% of GDP, including 2.4% allocated to health care and 5.4% to social policy[141].

In Art. 5 of the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On state benefits in the Kyrgyz Republic”, the following types of payments are defined: lump-sum payment at the birth of each child - “balaga suyunchu”; a monthly allowance to needy citizens (families) with children under 16 years old - “ui-bologo komok”; monthly allowance to persons not entitled to pension provision - “social allowance”. The latter category includes persons recognized by the medical and social expert commissions as persons with disabilities, including children; children - in case of loss of a parent; students in educational institutions - full-time students under the age of 23; persons over the age of: men - 65 years old, women - 60 years old;   mother -heroine 55 years old.

Starting from April 1, 2018, the lump sum payment for each child “balaga suyunchu” was increased to 4 thousand soms. The scope of this measure has also been expanded: since January 1, 2018, it has been provided without taking into account family income (previously it was paid to low-income families exclusively).

Since July 1, 2018, benefits to people with disabilities since childhood have been increased. The amount of the monthly social allowance has increased: for children with disabilities and children born from mothers living with HIV / AIDS, from 3 thousand to 4 thousand soms; persons with disabilities since childhood of group I also - from 3 thousand to 4 thousand soms; persons with disabilities since childhood of group II - from 2.5 thousand to 3.3 thousand soms; persons with disabilities since childhood of group III - from 2 thousand to 2.7 thousand soms.

From October 1, 2019, the amounts of the basic and insurance parts of pensions were increased. The basic part of pensions was increased for those who received payments below the subsistence level of a pensioner in 2018 (4,393 soms).

From January 1, 2019, Kyrgyzstan began to pay benefits for the care of children with disabilities in the amount of 4.9 thousand soms. The reason for this is the report from the medical and social expert commission, confirming that the child needs stable care.

Analysis of statistical data allows us to conclude that the state has a very successful socio-economic policy. The number of unemployed is being reduced: 265.5 thousand people in 2000, 212.3 thousand people in 2010, 192.2 thousand people in 2015, 156.3 thousand people in 2018. The average monthly nominal wage in the economy is increasing: if in 2000 it amounted to 1,227 soms (26 US Dollars), then already in 2010 it increased to 7,189 soms (156 US Dollars), in 2018 it increased up to 16427 soms (239 US Dollars). There is an increase in the average pension: in 2000, it amounted to 462 soms (10 US Dollars), in 2010 - 2352 soms (50 US Dollars), in 2018 0 8934 soms (128 US Dollars)[142].

The universal right to health protection is enshrined in Art. 47 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic.  The state undertakes to create conditions for the medical care of everyone and take measures to develop the public, municipal and private health sectors.

Program of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic for the protection of public health and the development of the health system for 2019 – 2030 “A healthy person - a prosperous country” is a logical continuation of similar documents of previous years. In particular, the Den Sooluk (Health) program for 2012-2018  emphasized the improvement of health indicators in four priority areas: cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health. The increase in the number of pregnant women registered before the maturity of 12 weeks of pregnancy, from 50% of the total number of pregnant women in 2011 to more than 75% in 2016;  high rates of childhood vaccination (97%);  arrangement of a basic package of antenatal care for 95% of pregnant women should be listed among the program achievements[143].

The matrix of indicators of the “Healthy person - a Prosperous Country” Program sets such target indicators, which are primarily aimed at strengthening medical supervision of newborn children, such as: maintaining the proportion of children under 2 years of age covered by the vaccine complex at a level of more than 96% by 2030;  an increase in the proportion of newborns examined by family doctors (general practitioners) in the first 3 days after dismissal from the maternity hospital up to 90% by 2030;  reduction in child mortality to 18 people per 1000 live births by 2030, etc[144].

The promotion of public health is primarily achieved through the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. The Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Public Health” defines a healthy lifestyle as a set of stereotypes of human behavior aimed at maintaining and strengthening health. The list of measures to introduce useful behavioral stereotypes specified in Art.  23 of the normative legal act includes: the creation of motivation and conditions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the development of appropriate skills, the development of physical culture and sports, the introduction of programs to promote health and development of healthy lifestyle skills in the education system, and mental health promotion and a change in the stigmatizing attitude of society towards mental health and patients with mental disorders.

As of the end of 2017, there were 184 hospital facilities in the state. There are 22 doctors per 10 thousand people, including 6 general practitioners, 1 surgeon, 4 pediatricians, 2 dentists[145].

The primary health care for the population of the country is provided by 64 family medicine centers, 28 centers of general practice, in which 696 groups of family doctors, 17 independent legal groups of family doctors and 1,030 feldsher-midwife centers are operating. 26% of the population lives in the service area of feldsher-midwife centers. Ambulance services to the population are provided by 2 stations and 128 departments in healthcare organizations[146].

Particular emphasis in the development of the healthcare system is done on the protection of the reproductive health of citizens. Chapter 3 of the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On the reproductive rights of citizens and guarantees of their implementation” focuses on the right to free reproductive choice, which implies free and responsible decision-making by citizens regarding the number of children and the time of their birth in marriage or out of wedlock, as well as the intervals between births, necessary to maintain the health of mother and baby.

Women are guaranteed the right for a safe pregnancy and pregnancy artificial termination. Coercion to pregnancy and abortion is not allowed and is regarded as violence against a woman. Health organizations should inform the woman who made the decision to terminate the pregnancy artificially or to refuse to terminate the pregnancy for medical reasons, about any possible negative consequences for her health.

In 2017-2018, the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic has implemented a project to raise awareness on improving reproductive health, family planning and safe abortion among women of reproductive age (5,000 women under 49 and 2,000 girls aged 13-16 are covered)[147].

If necessary, services are provided for the use of artificial insemination methods. At the same time, the choice of the sex of the unborn child is not allowed, with the exception of cases when a high probability of inheritance of diseases is revealed. It is forbidden to obtain a human embryo for commercial, military, industrial and other purposes, except for the reproduction of the offspring of a particular person. Infertility treatment and surrogacy services are also provided.

The following rights are also enshrined in the law: the right to receive information on reproductive health protection; the right to use reproductive health services; the right for infertility treatment; the right to use contraceptives; the right for parenthood using the method of surrogacy; the right to be a donor of germ cells; the right to store sex cells; the right to use a surgical method to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

The Art. 16 of the Family Code of the Kyrgyz Republic secures the right of persons entering into marriage to undergo free medical examination at their place of residence. In this case, the results are reported to the person with whom the marriage is entered into, only with the consent of the person who has passed the health examination. Concealment of a sexually transmitted disease or HIV infection is the basis for invalidating a marriage.

The Labor Code of the Kyrgyz Republic contains norms aimed at protecting the reproductive health of women and promoting and supporting the institution of the family as a whole. A number of guarantees is provided to pregnant women and women with children under the age of 3 years, in terms of employment (art. 305), transfer to another job (art. 306), termination of the employment contract (art. 310), referral to business trips (Article 304), engagement for overtime work (Articles 100 and 304), night work (Articles 97 and 304), work on weekends and during public holidays (Articles 114 and 304). Similar guarantees and benefits apply to fathers raising children without a mother, as well as to guardians (trustees) of minors (Article 312).

The standard duration of maternity leave for women with the payment of the allowance is 126 calendar days. For women working in mountainous regions, remote and inaccessible zones, its duration, depending on the circumstances of childbirth, lasts from 140 to 180 calendar days (Article 307). Additional leave without pay for childcare until the child reaches the age of three years can be used in full or in parts by the mother or father of the child, grandmother, grandfather, other relative or guardian who actually cares for the child (Article 137). Working women with children under the age of one and a half years, at least every three hours of work, are provided with breaks for feeding children with a duration of at least 30 minutes (Article 309). Vacations are provided for employees who have adopted a child under the age of 3 months (Article 138).

In order to promote motherhood, in 1996 the Order “Baatyr Ene” (Mother Heroine) was established, it is granted to women who have worthily raised seven or more children. The mothers of six children are awarded the medal “Ene dunky” (Maternal Glory). The status of a mother-heroine gives the right to use a number of benefits, which include: free travel on all types of urban passenger transport (except taxi);  priority provision of residential premises in the houses of state, public and departmental housing funds or improvement of housing conditions;  obtaining medicines according to prescriptions of doctors in state medical institutions at the place of residence with a 50 percent discount on the cost;  exemption from land tax for the use of household plots and plots of horticultural summer associations, etc.

The steps taken by the state to protect and secure the institution of the family prove their effectiveness. The rate of infant (22.6 per 1000 live births in 2000 compared with 14.8 per 1000 live births in 2018) and maternal mortality rates (51.3 per 100 thousand live births in 2010 is decreasing) and 32 per 100 thousand children born alive in 2017). There is a reduction in the number of abortions: from 17 per 1,000 women aged 15-49 years in 2000 to 12 in 2018[148].

The size of households is increasing (from 3.5 people in the city and 4.9 people in rural areas in 2000 to 3.8 and 5.2 people in 2010, respectively). Moreover, in more than 41% of households there are three or more minor children[149].

This indicates an increase in the population as a whole: in the Kyrgyz Republic one of the highest levels of natural growth in the CIS was recorded: 21.9 per 1,000 people in 2018 (19.4 in 2017)[150]. In this regard, large-scale state programs aimed at birth rates increase, like the program of maternal (family) capital, are not provided for in Kyrgyzstan.

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Tajikistan

Considerable attention is paid to the issues of family protection and support in Tajikistan. The Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan recognizes it as the basis of society and establishes the obligation of the state to protect it. Part 1, Art. 1 of the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan includes marriage, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood into the number of protected institutions.

Among other provisions of the basic law that are crucial for this sphere are the consolidation of the right of everyone to create a family, the right for free marriage for men and women upon reaching marriageable age, the idea of ​​equal rights of spouses in family relations and upon divorce, and the prohibition of polygamy (Article 33 of the Constitution Republic of Tajikistan). The state provides protection and patronage of mother and child, takes care of the protection of orphans and disabled people, their upbringing and education. Responsibility for the upbringing of children lies with the parents; care for parents rests with adult and able-bodied children (Article 34 of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan). The legislation is based on the need to strengthen the family, build family relationships on the feelings of mutual love and respect, mutual assistance and responsibility to the family of all its members, the inadmissibility of voluntary interference in the family relations, maintenance of free enjoyment of rights and fulfillment of duties by family members, and the possibility of their judicial protection (part 2 of article 1 of the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan).

The population of Tajikistan is committed to traditional family values, so the issues of creating a family and getting married occupy a special position not only in legislative prescriptions, but also in the public consciousness. The Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan does not contain a definition of the concept of “marriage”, however, the part 4 of Art. 1 includes the principle of voluntary marriage between a man and a woman. From this wording it follows that in the legislation of Tajikistan marriage is considered as the union of a man and a woman.

According to Part 3 of Art. 1 of the Family Code only the marriage, which was concluded in state bodies of civil registration is officially recognized by the State. Meanwhile, Art.  10 of the same law establishes that a marriage entered into in religious rites may have legal significance if it was committed in the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan before December, 19 1929.

Taking into account the importance attached to the institution of the family and family values ​​in society, in 2015 the Concept of Family Development in the Republic of Tajikistan was adopted. This document defines the perspective of state policy in the field of strengthening the family as an important social institution and the foundation of society, protecting the interests of family members and improving, taking into account the modern realities of the family as a social institution and the place of raising a child. Among the goals of the policy in this area there are purposes to strengthen the economic and social foundations of the family, increase family education and development of its members, and ensure the unquestioning implementation of the constitutional principle of the equal rights of men and women in family relations.

The main conditions for marriage are the mutual consent of a man and a woman and their attainment of marriageable age - eighteen years old. However, Art.  13 of the Code contains an indication of the possibility of its reduction by the court in exceptional cases at the request of persons wishing to start a family, up to seventeen years.

In order to prevent a further decrease in the marriage age level, the legislator in Art.  29 of the Family Code has secured the right to demand recognition of a marriage as invalid if it was concluded with a person who has not reached marriageable age, in the absence of authorities permission. In accordance with Art. 30 of the same act, the court may refuse the claim for declaring the marriage invalid in the interests of the minor spouse. After reaching the age of eighteen by a minor spouse, only this spouse is entitled to demand marriage recognition. The extradition of a girl under marriage age by the Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan is recognized as a crime and entails punishment in the form of corrective labor for up to two years, or restriction of liberty for up to five years, or arrest for up to six months.

In Tajikistan, there is a trend towards an increase in the number of marriages, which is accompanied by a gradual increase in the average age at marriage. So, in 2000, the rate of marriages per 1,000 people in the country was 4.3, in 2018 it increased to 9.2[151]. The average age at first marriage for men in 2000 was 24.7 years, in 2015 - 25.9 years. For women, this index remains unchanged at 21.6 years[152]. At the same time, the majority of men marry at the age of 20-29 years (37.8 thousand people - at the age of 20-24 years (52.1% of the total number of marriages), 22 thousand people - at the age of 25-29 years (30.3%). For women, the marriage age is lower: 32 thousand people (44.1% of the total number of marriages) marry under the age of 19, 27.7 thousand people marry at the age of 20-24 (38.2%)[153].

Civil registry offices provide free advices for young couples before marriage to protect the rights, equal rights of men and women, as well as to eliminate the relevant stereotypes.

Activity in this direction is also being carried out at the stage of  school training where since 2016 the Ministry of Education and Science of Tajikistan has introduced  the subjects “Family Culture” (for students of grade 10) and “Fundamentals of Communication and Life Skills” (for students of grade 8). They are aimed at preparing young people, especially boys and youths, for family life and corresponding responsibilities.

According to Art. 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan, men and women have equal rights. Art. 32 of the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan establishes the equality of spouses in the family, which implies their freedom in choosing the type of occupation, education, profession, activity, place of residence and place of residence, joint decision  of family life issues.

From a regulatory point of view, the protection of institutions of the family and marriage, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood is reflected in a number of specialized laws (the Law on Preventing Domestic Violence, the Law on Parental Responsibility for Teaching and Raising Children, etc.) and  by-laws (the decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan “On approval of the Strategic Plan for Reproductive Health for the period up to 2014”, the decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan “On the National Strategy for the Activation of the Role of Women in the Republic of Tajikistan for 2011-2020”, etc.).

The labor legislation of Tajikistan also plays a role in ensuring the conditions for the progressive development of family relations. Chapter 15 (Articles 215-227) of the Labor Code of the Republic of Tajikistan regulates the specifics of the regulation of labor of women and other persons with family responsibilities. So, pregnant women are granted maternity leave of seventy calendar days before delivery and seventy calendar days after delivery (this period can be increased in case of complicated birth or the birth of two or more children), benefits are paid from state social insurance. Payments are also made during parental leave provided until the baby reaches the age of one year and six months. It can be extended until the child reaches the age of three, but without saving wages, not only the mother can use it, but also the father, the legal representative raising a child left without parental care, as well as adoptive parents of newborn children.

During pregnancy, women cannot be involved in night work, work on weekends and non-working holidays, overtime work, cannot be sent on a business trip, it is forbidden to recall them from paid annual leave. Similar restrictions apply to people raising children under the age of fourteen and employees caring for sick family members or raising disabled children if they need constant care. The ban can be lifted only with the written consent of the latter two categories of persons. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are entitled to transfer to another job, excluding the effects of harmful and dangerous production factors, with preservation of the average wage.

For pregnant women and a number of other persons with family responsibilities, it is possible to switch to part-time or part-time work based on their written application.

For persons raising a child under the age of one and a half years, additional breaks are provided for feeding a baby at least every three hours of work. Such breaks are included in working hours.

Denial of employment and wage reductions for reasons related to pregnancy or having children are prohibited. Termination of the employment contract at the initiative of the employer with a pregnant woman, women and other persons with family responsibilities, having children up to three years old or raising a disabled child is not allowed.

Guarantees and benefits provided to women in connection with motherhood apply to fathers raising children without a mother and guardians (trustees) of minors.

Tajikistan provides government support to a number of population groups. It consists primarily in the provision of targeted social assistance to poor citizens and families. According to Art. 11 of the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On targeted social assistance”, it can be provided in the form of a cash allowance assigned by the general amount taking into account members of poor families eligible to receive it, or material assistance in the form of fuel, food, medicines, clothes, shoes, sanitary and hygiene products, other basic necessities, full or partial payment for housing and communal services and other types of services, depending on the needs of a particular citizen or family. Art. 18 of the specified act establishes that advice on the receipt of targeted social assistance is free of charge.

Financing of expenses for the provision of targeted social assistance is carried out at the expense of the provided funds of the state budget and other sources not prohibited by the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan (Article 5 of the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On targeted social assistance”).

As noted in the National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan until 2030[154], the state has difficulties in creating a comprehensive system of socio-economic relations aimed at providing comprehensive support to persons with disabilities and senior citizens, children from low-income families, and mothers to care for children with disabilities, retired persons and low-income families. A decline in the standard of living of the population, accessibility and quality of basic social services, especially for vulnerable groups, was noted in the 90s of the XX century. Accordingly, activities to improve the current situation are going on.

In particular, the measures proposed by the Strategy include the development of a package of incentives for social protection, including through the provision of food (primary school students) and modern textbooks (priority for orphans, children from low-income families and children with special needs), as well as to develop a system of targeted assistance to poor households in the direction of stimulating the education of children. Home-based social assistance departments are operating in the structure of local executive bodies, which provide social support to vulnerable groups of the population in maintaining their habitual environment and social status.

There is also a legislative tool to protect divorced women with one or more young children. So, Art.  91 of the Family Code governs the receipt of alimony by former spouses after divorce. Categories vested with this right include: ex-wife during pregnancy and within three years since the birth of a common child;  a needy former spouse caring for a disabled common child until the child reaches the age of eighteen or a disabled common child since childhood of the first group;  a disabled spouse, a former spouse who has become disabled before the divorce or within one year from the date of divorce; a needy spouse who has reached retirement age no later than five years after the dissolution of the marriage, if the spouses have been married for at least five years.

In addition, to ensure the protection of the rights of children and their mothers, regardless of whether the spouses were officially married or married according to a religious ceremony, upon its dissolution, the court recognizes the woman as a member of the owner’s family and brings her along with minor children to his house (apartment), giving them the right to use the premises on an equal basis with him. Paternity is also established and child support is collected[155].

The efforts made by the state to develop the health system as a whole deserve a certain attention. To implement the National Strategy for Public Health 2010-2020 the expenditures in this area increase every year. The total level of these expenditures to GDP in 2010 was 1.9%, in 2011 - 2.0%, in 2012 - 2.0%, in 2013 - 2.2%, in 2014 - 2.3%[156]. In 2017-2018 this index remained at the same level[157].

Particular efforts are being made in the field of reproductive care, as well as the introduction of healthy lifestyle models. Accessibility in reproductive services, reduction in maternal mortality, and protection of reproductive health are named among the tasks of the State Reproductive Health Program for 2019-2022. According to the document, medical care for mothers and children in Tajikistan has been reorganized to date in accordance with evidence-based medicine and international standards. The authorities have developed and implemented new cost-effective programs, new documents and national standards to ensure quality medical care: “Monitoring and antenatal care during physiological pregnancy”, “Maintenance of safe abortion and examination of complications after abortions”, “Uterine leiomyoma”, “Clinical protocols  on the use of contraceptives "and others. Additional training courses are being conducted with specialists in the field of health care on issues related to reproductive health: “Surveillance and antenatal care,” “Protecting the spiritual health of young people,” “Modern contraceptive technologies,” “Preventing the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus from mother to child,” etc. 

The result of work in this direction was a decrease in maternal (from 34.7 per 100,000 live births in 2000 to 18.5 in 2015) and infant mortality (in 2000 - 125.7, in 2018 - 104, 6 per 10,000 live births)[158]. Providing women with access to family regulation services has led to a decrease in the number of unwanted abortions (from 14.8 per 1000 women in 2000 to 5.9 in 2018), the avoidance of early pregnancies and the increase in the interval between births. All this has a positive effect on children's health[159].

Currently, Tajikistan is striving to improve the care and feeding practices at the family level, which include, in particular, exclusively breastfeeding among children under 6 months of age. Among the expected results of the implementation of the State Reproductive Health Program for 2019-2022 in the field of healthcare resources development - the development and implementation of medical information management systems, the creation of electronic registers for monitoring the health of pregnant women.

The Sexual and Reproductive Health Action Plan for Mothers, Newborns, Children and Adolescents is adopted in the framework of the National Strategy for the Health of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan for 2016-2020.

The Law on the Protection of Public Health provides for the right of children to health protection. Obligatory periodic medical examinations of children and constant clinical supervision, immunization against diseases preventable by the use of vaccines are carried out. Children with disabilities of physical or mental development have the right to receive medical and social assistance, as well as living at state expense in specialized kindergartens, boarding schools, orphanages and orphanages for children (with the consent of parents, guardians and guardians). During inpatient treatment of sick children, the mother (father) or another person directly caring for the child is given the opportunity to stay with him in a medical care institution with the payment of the appropriate allowance in the manner prescribed by law. Children have the right to sanatorium-resort treatment[160].

The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan organizes summer health vacations for minor members of low-income families, orphans and schoolchildren. Vouchers for sanatorium holidays are also acquired through subsidies from public funds and trade unions.

In total, at the end of 2018, 490 hospital facilities, 3.9 thousand outpatient clinics were operating in the country. The number of doctors of all specialties for 10 thousand people was 21, of which 4 were pediatricians[161].

As part of the World Health Organization project aimed at implementing the WHO / UNICEF integrated childhood illness management strategy in four countries of Central Asia and Africa, it is planned to create an demonstrative resource center for training of medical personnel on in-patient pediatric care. To develop this project, WHO has been implementing a grant from the Russian Federation since 2012 to improve the quality of such assistance.

Art. 15 of the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan provides for mandatory medical examination of persons entering into marriage, and their familiarization with the results of medical examination of each other. Advisory work is also provided for spouses on a healthy lifestyle, family planning and the impact of disease on the health of offspring.

Tajik authorities are making significant efforts to improve living standards, reduce poverty and socio-economic development. According to the CIS Statistics Committee, in 2018 social policy expenditures amounted to 1.2% of the country's GDP[162]. The budget of the state social insurance system in 2020 amounted to 3.2 billion somoni, which is almost two times more than in 2013. In order to provide social support to the most vulnerable segments of the population, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan instructed to increase by 50% pensions for people with disabilities under the age of 18, as well as unemployed people with disabilities who need care, the pension of which is prescribed in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On Pension Provision for Tajik Citizens”, and  also by 15% - minimum and maximum old-age pensions, basic pension and labor pensions of citizens from September 1, 2020. The average monthly nominal wage has a strong tendency to increase. Between 2005 and 2017 he grew more than 4 times.

In the National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period until 2030, much attention is paid to the development of human capital. Priority directions of actions of the authorities in order to create a comfortable environment for life, namely: increase of access to housing;  development of public services;  increasing the availability of drinking water supply, sanitation and hygiene;  strengthening incentives to protect the environment among the population and business entities;  development of a disaster risk management system.

Demographic growth is observed in Tajikistan: from 2000 to 2019, the country's population increased by almost 50% from 6.1 million people up to 9.1 million people[163]. A significant part of the country's population is presented by children (46.7% of the total number as of 2003[164], 3613.2 thousand people under the age of 17 inclusive as of January 1, 2019)[165].

Most of the rules governing the rights of minors, as well as the rights and obligations of parents on their upbringing and education, are concentrated in the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On the responsibility of parents for the education and upbringing of children. Thus, the child’s right is guaranteed to protect his rights and legitimate interests, to his last name, first name and patronymic, to communicate with parents and other relatives, to a number of property rights, etc.

The right of a child to live and be brought up in a family is established by Art. 55 of the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan. According to Art. 65 of the Code, methods of raising children should exclude neglect, cruel, rude, degrading treatment of the dignity of children by parents or abuse of a child. Violation of this norm, as well as parents' refusal to fulfill their duties, their refusal to take their child out of the maternity hospital or other institution without good reason, and a number of other circumstances may lead to deprivation of parental rights.

According to Art. 152 (1) of the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan in case of a prolonged (more than three months) absence of parents, guardianship authorities shall appoint guardianship over children. The same applies to those who are in training and education with relatives, if the latter do not have relevant documents.

Art. 77 of the Family Code of Tajikistan establishes the right of a guardianship and trusteeship body to order the immediate removal of a child from the parents (one of them) or other persons in whose care he is in direct danger to the child’s life or health. The prosecutor must immediately be notified of the child's withdrawal. It is also necessary to ensure the temporary placement of the child and, within seven days after drawing up the act of examination and the report on the withdrawal of the child, apply to the court with a claim for the deprivation or restriction of parental rights.

Art.  73 of the Code leaves open the possibility of withdrawal of a child without depriving parents of parental rights in cases where leaving a child with parents is dangerous for a minor for reasons beyond their control (due to mental illness or other chronic illness, difficult circumstances). The removal of the child is also possible in cases where the abandonment of the child with parents due to their behavior is dangerous for him, but there are no sufficient grounds for deprivation of parental rights. If the parents do not change their behavior within six months after the child has been seized by the court, the guardianship and trusteeship bodies shall initiate proceedings regarding the issue of deprivation of parental rights.

The priority form of placement of children without parental care is adoption (part 1 of article 125 of the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan). Mediation in the adoption of children is prohibited by law. Children can also be transferred to foster care or institutions for orphans or children left without parental care. When placing a child, his ethnic origin, belonging to a certain religion and culture, his native language, and the possibility of ensuring continuity in upbringing and education are taken into account (Article 124 of the Family Code of the Republic of Tajikistan).

Between 2010 and 2018 the number of child care centers in Tajikistan has not changed. According to data from 2018, there are 205 orphans in the child care centers[166].

The Constitution of Tajikistan and the Law on Education provide for compulsory basic education (9 grades). The Law “On Parental Responsibility for Parenting” also provides for the responsibility of parents for child’s education and profession regardless of the gender of the child.

The right to education is realized through the structure of several types of educational institutions: preschool education, general education, primary, secondary and higher vocational education, vocational education after a higher educational institution, additional education, special education, educational institutions for orphans and children left without care  parents (Article 10 of the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On Education”). In accordance with Art. 16 of the aforementioned act, the state undertakes to ensure the availability of services, upbringing and pre-school education for low-income families, providing financial and economic support to the pre-school institutions.

Public education financing is over 5% of the country's GDP. For example, in 2016, 2,918,639 thousand somoni were allocated for these purposes (in the share ratio to GDP it amounted to 5.5%)[167]. In 2017, expenditures in this area increased to 5.9% of GDP, in 2018 they slightly decreased (5.6%)[168].

In the early 2010s Tajik authorities made efforts to improve the quality of educational institutions in the country. So, in the framework of the State Education Program from 2010 to 2013 a number of measures were taken to attract children to study, including various forms of stimulation. The program “Non-formal education” was successfully implemented, a program and textbooks of accelerated learning were prepared.

The Tajik authorities also took measures to address the lack of schools and improve girls' education. In newly formed settlements where there are no schools, children are sent to boarding schools and educational institutions located nearby. As a result, the number of students not enrolled in educational institutions has significantly decreased. If in the 2012-2013 academic year the number of students not enrolled in educational institutions were 2,630, then in the 2013-2014 academic year this number dropped to 375. According to 2016 data, 1 million 940 thousand 481 students obtain education in Tajikistan at all levels. Out of this number, 889 thousand 744 are girls, which, compared to 2005, represent an increase of 15%. In addition, since 1997, girls from remote regions of Tajikistan have been allocated presidential quotas for entering the universities. In 2014, according to quotas, 679 girls entered the country's universities[169].

The strategy for the development of education until 2020 in Tajikistan includes provisions to improve the quality of teacher’s training and retraining. The continuing education programs for teachers and senior staff of educational institutions are being developed by the Institute for Continuing Education and Retraining of Personnel in the Field of Education.

The Tajik authorities are taking measures to attract university graduates to the teaching profession. These goals are served by a special clause “Teacher Status” in the Law “On Education”. In particular, this provision determines the status of the teacher, methods of activity, rights and obligations, responsibility, protection of dignity and honor, privileges and material support of teachers and other educational workers. Since 2014, additional benefits have been introduced for young teachers (Decree of the Government of Tajikistan of May 3, 2014. On the establishment of benefits for young teachers ”): allocation of a land plot for the construction of a residential building, for gardening, as well as a loan to young teachers who have higher education and work as teachers in various educational institutions. This measure is also aimed at promoting the employment of graduates of pedagogical universities. After the increase in teacher salaries in 2013-2014 the outflow of teachers from schools decreased. As of October 2014, the shortage of teachers in educational institutions was 452 people.

The National Strategy for the Development of Education in the Republic of Tajikistan for 2012-2020 was adopted to support early development and the provision of comprehensive pre-school educational services; it is aimed to expand the access of the population to preschool education services[170].

At the end of 2018, about 600 pre-school institutions were operating in Tajikistan, in which 7.3% of children were studying, according to the data for the beginning of the 2018/2019 school year, there were 3869 full-time educational institutions, in which 1970 thousand students were studying, and 60 daytime general education non-governmental (private) institutions with the number of students amounted to 23.2 thousand people[171].

With continued population growth, the size of this category will increase as well. So, by 2030 the number of children from 3 to 6 years old will be 1,137.4 thousand people (an increase of 255 thousand people compared to 2015). Accordingly, it is planned that the coverage of children with preschool institutions should increase to 50%, including in urban areas - up to 70%, in rural areas - up to 30%. The number of children at the age of primary and secondary education will grow by an average of 2.3% annually, and by 2030 will reach 2.58 million. At least 30% of school graduates (annually about 58 thousand people) should be involved in primary and secondary vocational education, which will require almost double the capacity of this level of education[172].

Tajik authorities are focusing on empowerment of women. The incentive for the development of legislation in this area was the decree of the President of Tajikistan of 1999. “On increasing the role of women in society”. As a follow-up to this decree, the Laws “On State Guarantees of Equal Rights of Men and Women and Equal Opportunities for Their Implementation” were adopted in 2005 (regulates relations to ensure constitutional guarantees of equal rights for men and women in the social, political, cultural, as well as in any other field and establishes State guarantees of equal opportunities for people of equal sex, regardless of nationality) and “On Prevention of Domestic Violence” 2013. In addition, the National Strategy for the Promotion of the Role of Women in the Republic of Tajikistan for 2011-2020 and the Action Plan for the implementation of the National Strategy for the Promotion of the Role of Women in the Republic of Tajikistan for 2015-2020 are being implemented.

Separate efforts of the Tajik authorities are aimed at fight with violence against women. Section 7 of the Strategy is addressed to this issue.

The Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On the Prevention of Domestic Violence” defines a wide list of entities involved in its practical implementation from the government of Tajikistan, internal affairs bodies, education and health authorities to local authorities and public initiative. According to Art. 23 their activities are financed from the state budget, individuals and legal entities and other sources not prohibited by the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan.

At all these levels, a wide range of tasks is performed: programs are being developed to prevent domestic violence;  persons who have committed domestic violence and families in which acts of violence are systematically recorded;  training courses are organized for employees of law enforcement bodies on issues of violence prevention;  analysis of the causes and conditions conducive to its manifestation;  provision of primary medical care, as well as psychiatric care, psychological assistance to victims;  medical and preventive measures are being taken in relation to persons who have committed domestic violence;  preventive, as well as informational and propaganda measures are being taken to prevent violence, etc.

Measures, including television and radio broadcasts, articles and essays, are being taken to increase the awareness of citizens about the content of this law. Its provisions are mandatory included in educational programs at various levels.

The options for individual measures used to prevent violence are listed in Art. 18 of the Law: delivery to the internal affairs bodies of a person who has committed domestic violence; conducting educational conversations; issuance of a protective order; administrative detention.

The Code of Administrative Offenses of the Republic of Tajikistan contains two narrowly targeted articles on offenses related to domestic violence: Art.  93 (1) “Violation of the requirements of the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan on the prevention of domestic violence” and Art. 93 (2) “Violation of the requirements of a protective regulation”. Sanctions of articles stipulate liability in the form of a fine and administrative arrest.

The interdepartmental working group also resolves the issue of establishing responsibility for all forms of domestic violence in a separate article of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan[173].

State program for the prevention of domestic violence for 2014-2023 is carried out in the following main areas: modification of public opinion regarding domestic violence;  improvement of the activities of specialized institutions to ensure social support for families and children, psychological and pedagogical centers to bring families out of crisis and adapt victims to normal life;  the establishment of a single information center on crimes of the nature of domestic violence;  improvement of the content and essence of information and educational activities in the field of preventing domestic violence;  improvement of the legal literacy of citizens on the prevention of domestic violence;  development of guidelines for improving the culture of family relations.

The coordination and monitoring of the implementation of the Program is entrusted to the Committee on Women and Family Affairs under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan. An expert council on gender analysis of legislation has been created within its framework; it carries out analysis from the position of legislation gender sustainability before the legislative drafts are submitted to the government and parliament. The staff and funding levels of this structure are being increased on a regular basis.

The Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On Prevention of Domestic Violence” in Art. 6 determines the rights granted to domestic harassment victims. Among them, there is a right to place the victim upon his written consent in support centers, centers or departments for medical and social rehabilitation of victims. The list of functions of such centers is specified in part 2 of article 16 of the above mentioned act. These include, without limitation, the provision of necessary medical, psychological and social assistance, shelter for temporary stay.

In order to effectively implement the provisions of the legislation on the prevention of domestic violence, as well as to provide assistance and support to women victims of violence, to prevent and suppress domestic violence in the family, to protect the rights, freedoms and constitutional guarantees of women in the field of family relations in the country, 33 crisis centers and 3 temporary shelters are operating in Tajikistan. At maternity wards of hospitals in a number of cities and regions of the Republic, social counselling centers and medical care rooms for victims of domestic violence have been organized, which are most often visited by women and minor children. Within the framework of a joint project of Tajikistan with the OSCE/ODIHR, 12 offices for the prevention of domestic violence have been created (where more than 2500 victims of domestic violence have already applied); since 2010, the post of inspector for resistance to domestic violence has been established in the internal affairs bodies.

In order to improve the legal education of citizens of Tajikistan, to prevent the commission of indecent acts, including domestic violence, 110 information and social counselling centers have been established with departments for women and family affairs of executive bodies of state power in regions, cities and districts of the country, where lawyers and psychologists  provide practical assistance to citizens. These centers are financed from the budget of local executive bodies of state power[174].

One of the most famous is the Bovari Crisis Center (Trust). The center has a helpline, it publishes brochures and booklets; its representatives make a public appearance to the media and protect the women's rights in court proceedings. The State Center for the Education of Orphaned Girls “Charoids” carries out educational activities for girls from 10 to 18 years of age who became victims of violence. Since 2010, the State Institution “Center for Women's Self-Knowledge of the City of Dushanbe” has been operating in Dushanbe, where free legal and psychological counselling and first aid are provided. The institution has a “Support Center for women in difficult situations”. In addition, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan has created assistance rooms for victims of violence in hospitals.

The Council of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan in 2010 held training for judges on the prevention of domestic violence. The same thing was done in 2014 by the National Center for Legislation under the President. It is planned to create a unified statistical base on the issues under consideration. In the internal affairs directorates of a number of regions of the country (in particular, in Dushanbe, as well as in Khatlon and Sughd regions), local inspectors for the prevention of family violence are operating. As an illustration of the steps taken by local executive bodies of state power, we can cite the creation of observer groups in all cities and districts of the Sughd region, in urban-type settlements, which twice a month make rounds of residents of their quarter. They study living conditions, inform the population about the practice of preventing family violence, and improve the legal culture of vulnerable categories of the population. In the Khatlon region, there is a regular broadcasting of television programs Zan wa Zindagi (Woman and Life), Farhangi Oladori (Culture of Family Behavior), Zamon (Time) with the participation of women activists and exemplary families.

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Turkmenistan

Support and protection of the institution of the family is one of the priority areas of state policy of Turkmenistan. In many respects this is facilitated by the high culture of respect for historical and national traditions that has developed in the state.

The legal framework provides the necessary legislative tools to support and protect the institution of family and marriage. The basis is the Constitution of Turkmenistan and the Family Code of Turkmenistan. The key provision is enshrined in Art.  40 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan, Art. 3 of the Family Code of Turkmenistan, it declares that the family, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood are protected by the state. This creates the conditions for the economic independence of the family and the growth of the well-being of all its members; the equality of spouses in family relations is established at the legislative level. Young families, large families, children who have lost their parents are provided with additional support and benefits from state and public funds (Article 54 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan).

The traditional way of life is widespread among the population of Turkmenistan. This is reflected in the institutions of marriage and the family, which are mostly built on the patriarchal type. At the same time, the state makes significant efforts to ensure the equal status of men and women in various spheres of society. Art. 1 of the Family Code of Turkmenistan defines marriage as a voluntary equal union of a man and a woman, concluded in the manner prescribed by law to create a family, generating mutual rights and obligations of spouses. In this case, marriage is recognized as legal only if it was registered by the registry office. An exception to this rule refers to the acts of religious ceremonies of marriage held before the formation of civil registry offices in Turkmenistan. In order to prove the act's registry, documents on birth, marriage and divorce, as well as death (Article 7 of the Family Code of Turkmenistan) should be received by the applicants. In family relations, spouses have equal personal non-property and property rights and obligations (part 1 of article 50 of the Family Code of Turkmenistan). In addition to the annual paid leave of 30 calendar days, citizens are granted additional paid leave of 10 calendar days for marriage and for the performance of funeral and commemoration ceremonies. The Law of Turkmenistan “On State Guarantees of Ensuring Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Women and Men” contains a provision providing that men and women enjoy equal rights at marriage, during the marriage status, as well as in the event of its dissolution.

Art. 21 of the Family Code of Turkmenistan establishes the right of persons wishing to marry, by mutual agreement to undergo a medical examination for free and get advice on medical and genetic issues and family planning in institutions of the state healthcare system.

Part 4, Art. 3 of the aforementioned law, as well as part 4 of art. 13, part 4, article 35 of the Law of Turkmenistan "On State Guarantees of the Rights of the Child", establish the provision that women and men are jointly responsible for raising their children. Meanwhile, in all cases, the interests of children are predominant.

Art. 97 of the Labor Code of Turkmenistan provides the possibility of granting leave to care for a child until he reaches the age of three years, not only for his mother, but also for his father or other person caring for the child.

Detailed regulation of various aspects of the life of the family and its members is contained in the laws (Law of Turkmenistan “On State Guarantees of the Rights of the Child”, Law of Turkmenistan “On Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding”, Law of Turkmenistan “On State Guarantees of Ensuring Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Women and Men”  etc.) and by-laws and regulations (Decree of the President of Turkmenistan “On family-type orphanages”, Decree of the President of Turkmenistan “On conferring the honorary title of Turkmenistan“ Enemähri ”(“ Maternal Tenderness, etc.).

Legislative recognition of the exceptional importance of family values is reinforced by practical measures. Particular attention in the state is given to the promotion of motherhood. Every year, mothers of many children who have given birth and raised eight or more children are awarded the honorary title “Enemähri” by presidential decree (“Maternal Tenderness”). This status implies the provision of a number of benefits, including the right to receive a number of medical services (for example, dental prosthetics) at the expense of the state budget of Turkmenistan, as well as the right to use public transport (except taxi), water, gas, electricity and housing and communal services at the expense of own funds of the relevant authorities.

Labor protection standards for pregnant women and women with young children have been fixed and are being put into practice at the legislative level. So, for the period of maternity leave, the woman is paid the corresponding state allowance. Among other benefits provided to pregnant women are reduction of production standards, transfer to easier work, excluding the impact of adverse production factors while maintaining average earnings of the previous place of work (Art.  35 of the Labor Code of Turkmenistan). For pregnant women and women with children under the age of three, there is a ban on engaging in night work, overtime work, weekend work and business trip assignment (Article 242 of the Labor Code of Turkmenistan).

The authorities of Turkmenistan are taking active measures in the field of improving the effectiveness of healthcare aimed at improving the health of mothers and children, including improving the general socio-economic conditions, raising the social status of women, as well as improving the quality of services in obstetric institutions. Providing the population with medical services in the field of family planning is under the responsibility of the Reproductive Health Protection Service, operating in the system of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan. Its activities are aimed at reduction of the incidence of pregnant women, reduction of child and maternal mortality, ending pregnancy with a safe birth. Health Centers are operating to monitor the health of young mothers and children during the first year of life.

Maternal and child health programs are integrated in primary health care. In the capital and in all regions of the country, a network of EneMähri centers is operating, it is equipped with the latest equipment and the necessary medicines for baby nursing. A reproductive health service is operating, it provides the population with medical services in the field of family planning, distributes contraceptives free of charge, provides advice and information materials. Reproductive health centers for women, men and adolescents operate throughout the country. Services are provided at 3 levels: a family doctor (GP), reproductive health rooms (105 rooms), 6 regional centers and the National Center for Reproductive Health. As a result, for the period 2009–2014.  There is a steady downward trend in infant mortality (by 25%) and child (by 23%) mortality rates. In the same period, the maternal mortality decreased by 3.5 times (from 11.5 3 cases per 100,000 births of living children)[175].

Turkmenistan has an active policy to promote breastfeeding, which, in addition to the general break for rest and food, provides nursing mothers additional break time for feeding the child. In enterprises with extensive use of female labor, regardless of the form of ownership, the state guarantees the organization of personal hygiene rooms for women, rooms for feeding the baby, as well as day nurseries, kindergartens and other types of pre-school institutions. Rooms for mother and child should be provided at railway and sea stations, bus stations, airports, large shopping centers. At the same time, pregnant women and nursing mothers use these rooms for free. At the enterprises of trade and public catering, as well as in medical institutions, they are entitled to extraordinary services. They can also purchase tickets for any type of transport out of turn in a fast-track manner. Transportation of infants and babies by air, rail, sea and road public transport is free of charge (Article 3 of the Law of Turkmenistan “On the Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding”). Financing in the field of promotion and support of breastfeeding is carried out at the expense of the state budget of Turkmenistan.

A certain consideration in the state is paid to child protection issues. The law of Turkmenistan “On state guarantees of the rights of the child” provides for standards to ensure the comprehensive development of children, the formation of their high moral qualities, their education in the spirit of patriotism, citizenship based on historical and national traditions, universal spiritual, moral, cultural and social values and principles accepted in the society, rules and norms of morality, respect for public and state interests. It is emphasized in Article 6 of the p.1 of the Law that the priority of state policy in the field of childhood support is to ensure the best interests of the child, which is fully consistent with the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is outlined in p. 2 Art. 6  that its main areas, include legislative support and protection of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the child, protection of his life and health, non-discrimination against children, restoration of rights in case of violation, protection and development of the child’s abilities, respect for child's right to maintain his individuality, protection of child's honor and dignity, etc. Art. 13 of the Law establishes the right of a child to live and be raised in a family, to know his parents, art. 19 - the right of the child to obtain appropriate education, art. 20 - the right to communicate with parents (one of them) and close relatives, including those living outside of Turkmenistan, and the right to leave the Turkmenistan. In part 5 of article 35 of the Law, the state assumes the duty to provide a family form of education for an orphaned child, a child left without parental care. Art.  42 regulates the issues of the maintenance and upbringing of such children in a detailed manner. In particular, their transfer for adoption to a family of close relatives is envisaged. If the implementation of a family form of education is not acceptable, children are transferred under guardianship (trusteeship), guardian (curator) or sent to the appropriate child care institution, social service institution for full state support. Any mediation, commercial activity in this area, as well as the receipt of unjustified financial benefits, are prohibited. In addition, Art. 16 of the Law of Turkmenistan “On Guardianship and Guardianship” regulates issues of establishing guardianship or guardianship of a child in the event of temporary absence of his parents at their place of residence.

Measures are being taken to ensure living conditions for citizens. Annual re-adjustment of wages, scholarships, pensions and state benefits is done according to the Decrees of the President of Turkmenistan. Annually from 2010 to 2015 government benefits increased by 10%. At the same time, in 2011, the legislation of Turkmenistan on social security was amended, according to which from January 1, 2012, the amount of disability benefits increased by an average of 80%, including 88% for disabled people from childhood. On average, the benefits of the loss of the breadwinner, including for orphans, increased by 30%. Thus, the state disability benefit rate compared with 2007 increased by more than 5 times. The legislation of Turkmenistan establishes an allowance for the assigned pension (allowance) for persons with disabilities of groups I and II, who have dependent children, for each child. Persons with disabilities of the first group and single persons with disabilities of the second group of vision who need medical assistance in extramural care are assigned a pension (allowance) allowance for their care[176].

Among other measures significant for this sphere, the payment of state benefits at the birth of a child and for caring for him until the child reaches the age of three should be mentioned. Also in 2020, in order to improve the housing and communal conditions of large families on the occasion of International Women's Day, such families were provided with new apartments in a superior house.

Turkmenistan has developed strategies and programs aimed at promoting the development of children. To date, the country has implemented the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Protection of the Health of Mothers, Newborns, Children and Adolescents in Turkmenistan for 2015 - 2019, the National Program for Improving Perinatal Medical Care for 2014 - 2018, and the National Early Childhood Program of Turkmenistan development and preparation for the child’s school for the period 2011 – 2015. Work is underway to implement the National Strategy for the Early Development of the Child for 2020-2025, the National Action Plan for the realization of children's rights in Turkmenistan for 2018-2022, the National Program and Action Plan for feeding infants and young children in Turkmenistan for 2017-2021, providing for various activities for the early development of children, including children with disabilities (including on the basis of the Center for the Early Development of the Child opened jointly with UNICEF), strengthening their preparation for school, as well as certain improvement of parenting skills. Specialized professionals conduct classes for children development and correction of health, as well as preparation for school for children of preschool age, including those with disabilities who are brought up in the family and do not attend kindergartens. Classes are also held with parents, who are provided with methodological and advisory assistance in teaching and raising their children, preparing them for school at home. In addition, Parental educational centers operate in all regions of the country, which were opened as pilot ones together with the UNICEF Representative Office in Turkmenistan.

The body coordinating the work on their practical implementation is the Interdepartmental Commission to ensure the implementation of Turkmenistan’s international obligations in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law.

According to the Law of Turkmenistan “On Education”, “preschool education serves the purpose of educating and raising children in early childhood, ensuring the formation of the foundations of the physical and intellectual development of the child’s personality, introducing child to national and universal spiritual and cultural values, revealing children's abilities and talents

A network of preschool institutions operates in Turkmenistan to bring up and educate preschool children in order to help families to perform these duties. An integral part of preschool education is the preparation of preschool children for the development of the primary education educational program, which is compulsory and implemented in the family, in preschool or other educational institutions.[177] ”In accordance with the Concept of transition to 12-year general secondary education and the current Regulation on state preschool institutions, children are brought up and study in them from 1 year to 6 years.

The practice of preschool institutions has introduced the annual monitoring of the degree of readiness of all children of senior (preparatory) groups to study at school at the end of the school year, inspection of their level of knowledge, abilities in accordance with the norms and standards of preschool education being in force in the country. Based on the analysis of its results for each child, a characteristic is compiled to be provided to school upon admission to first grade. Practice confirms the effectiveness of this approach: for example, in 2014 and 2015.  More than 90% of preschool children have been trained in school[178].

Within the framework of the “National Program of the President of Turkmenistan on the transformation of the social and living conditions of the population of villages, towns, cities of etraps and etrap centers for the period until 2020” for 2008–2014.  216 kindergartens, 172 secondary schools, 53 hospitals, 97 houses and health centers, 48 culture houses, 109 sports schools and 68 sports facilities, totaling 763 buildings and facilities were commissioned in the country[179].

In Turkmenistan, considerable attention is paid to social policy, one of the goals of which is to increase the level and quality of life of the population, as well as to create conditions for the development of human potential by improving the functioning of health systems, education, culture and activities related to the service sector. Significant amounts of funding are being allocated for the development of these industries. For example, compared with 2013, allocations to the social sphere — education, healthcare, the Pension Fund and state social security, housing and communal services and culture — increased by 14.9%[180].

In order to improve living standards and ensure effective social protection of the most vulnerable part of the population - elderly people, persons with disabilities and children - in October 2012, Turkmenistan adopted the Code "On Social Protection of the Population", which provides for a mandatory pension system based on mandatory types  pension insurance and the personification of pension contributions and the initial conditional pension capital of insured persons, and the state pension system based on voluntary pension insurance and the personification of pension contributions and pension capital of insured persons. This measure guarantees that all citizens who have reached retirement age are entitled to social benefits. In particular, the Code provides for the appointment of several types of pensions - old-age pension, long-term pension, occupational pension, disability pension, survivor's pension, and funded pension (previously disability and survivor benefits were recognized as benefits). Among other measures, the Code provides for reducing the length of service for retirement from 20 years to 15-18 years depending on the number of children.

Measures are being taken to develop a national system of protecting public health, which provides for rational nutrition, rejection of bad habits, a harmonious combination of work and leisure, sports activities. In order to implement the necessary reforms in the health system and disease prevention, large-scale measures are being implemented. In 2015, the new state program “Health” was approved, as well as the National Plan for its implementation for 2015–2017. As part of these efforts, the educational and scientific center of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, the International Center for Cardiology, the Scientific and Clinical Center for Maternal and Child Health with 670 seats, and the Emergency Center have already been opened[181].

The Turkmen authorities are taking measures to improve the social standard of the population, increase the level of job security of the population and develop the productive forces of the economy, increase the real incomes of the country's citizens by ensuring maximum employment for the able-bodied population. A management system (departments) of labor and employment has been created, it is operating now. The main tasks and functions of these structures include: expanding employment, registering citizens applying for employment issues, providing the population with reliable information about employment opportunities, assisting in the selection of jobs, providing enterprises, organizations and institutions with information on the state of the labor market and assisting them in the selection of necessary workers, the creation of databanks of the labor demand and supply. In addition, these structures arrange vocational training and retraining of the unemployed.

Since May 2015, the country has been implementing the President-approved Program for Improving the Sphere of Employment and Creating New Jobs in Turkmenistan for 2015–2020 and Action Plan for its implementation.

The system of training, retraining, reskilling and advanced training of personnel is being modernized, it provides for the strengthening of professional knowledge and skills, updating of professional knowledge taking into account modern achievements in the field of science and technology, as well as international practice, the acquisition of new professions, specialties and qualifications. Further training and retraining of personnel (workers, employees and specialists) is carried out both at the expense of the state and on a contractual basis in educational institutions of all types, in scientific organizations and in factories.

The authorities are taking measures to facilitate the employment, first of all, of young people from among the graduates of professional educational institutions. Encouraging events are regularly held to ensure that the working conditions of young professionals correspond to state standards, including the training facilities in remote areas. General coordination of all actions is carried out by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of Turkmenistan.

One of the results already achieved in the direction of socio-economic development was the improvement of the demographic situation in the country, an increase in the share of young people in the total population. The dynamics of the age structure of the residents of Turkmenistan indicates a favorable demographic situation and a growing population trend. Persons under working age make up about 29.6% of the population, the working-age portion of the population is 64%, and persons of retirement age make up 6.4% of the population. The index of the average life expectancy of the male and female population has a growth tendency. In 2014, it was 74.6 years for women and 68.5 years for men. A high proportion of young people (18.9% of the total population), that is, people aged 15-24 years, provides a steady increase in labor resources and fertility of the population. Improvement in the demographic situation was promoted by those introduced in the 2000s. New types of state benefits (childbirth allowance, monthly childcare allowance until they reach the age of one and a half years - from July 1, 2007. Meanwhile, from July 1, 2009, the duration of the payment of childcare benefits increased until the child reached the age of 3 years.). In 2014, the average household size in Turkmenistan was 4.95 people. Meanwhile, 20% of them included 7 or more people[182].

The legislation of Turkmenistan contains guarantees of equal protection of women and men from domestic violence, manifested in the form of physical or psychological impact or damage (harm) committed by one family member in relation to another family member (part 2 of article 22 of the Law of Turkmenistan “On state guarantees of equal rights and equal opportunities for women and men”. In January 2015, the National Plan of Action for Gender Equality in Turkmenistan for 2015–2020 was adopted.  The recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women made in October 2012 during the dialogue of the Committee’s experts with the official Turkmen delegation when considering the national periodic report of Turkmenistan on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women were taken into account during development of this document.

In order to put into practice the principles enshrined at the national and supranational levels, educational campaigns are conducted in the state aimed at encouraging the participation of men and youth in homework and child care. Informational round tables are organized to raise awareness of representatives of state and public organizations about the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and its optional protocol within the framework of cooperation with UNFPA.

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Uzbekistan

The Republic of Uzbekistan (RU) is a country of traditional ideas regarding the family, support and protection of family values. President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh.M. Mirziyoyev repeatedly emphasized in his public speeches that the state’s concern is the formation of the correct model of an exemplary family in the society and the understanding that the family union is a sacred pattern. He also repeatedly pointed out the need for interaction between older and younger generations in strengthening the institution of the family. According to Part 1 of Art.  63 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the family is the main unit of society. The Family Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Part 1 of Art. 4 declares that the family, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood are protected by the state. Motherhood and fatherhood in the Republic of Uzbekistan are held in high esteem and respect. In Uzbekistan, a unified state policy is being implemented in the field of strengthening the institution of the family under the motto “Healthy family - a healthy society”, annual state programs are being devoted to the Year of a Healthy Child (2014), the Year of Attention and Care for the Older Generation (2015), the Year of healthy mother and baby (2016).

According to the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated February 18, 2020, in order to reach a new level of work with families and women, to fundamentally reform the organizational and legal mechanisms for ensuring peace, peace and harmony in the family, and increase the social activity of the older generation, a  Ministry for support of mahalla[183] and the families of the Republic of Uzbekistan (hereinafter referred to as the Ministry), as well as its territorial units in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions, the city of Tashkent and areas (cities) was officially established.

The Ministry is responsible for the development and implementation of a unified state policy in the field of supporting families, women and the elderly, protecting their rights and legitimate interests, as well as establishment of cooperation with citizens' self-government bodies. The main tasks of this Ministry include: establishment of close cooperation with citizens' self-government bodies on improving the atmosphere in families, organizing targeted assistance to dysfunctional and problem families;  ensuring the implementation of state policy to support women, protect their rights and legitimate interests;  the provision of social, legal, psychological and material assistance to women in need of assistance and in a difficult social situation, including women with disabilities; ensuring the employment of women, improving their working conditions, providing women, especially young girls in rural areas, targeted support in order to attract them to family and private entrepreneurship, handicrafts, providing legal, methodological and practical assistance in ensuring the effective use of knowledge and life experience of senior  generations representatives  in order to improve the spirituality of youth, strengthening the spirit of patriotism.

The first deputy heads of the territorial divisions of the Ministry are the chairmen of the Public Councils of Women, and the deputy heads are the chairmen of the Public Councils of Veterans.

In addition, the Ministry of Science established the Mahalla wa oila Research Institute (Mahalla and Family), which conducts research on the problems of intra-family and interpersonal relationships, and develops proposals on the basis of traditional family values to strengthen the institution of the family and prepare young people for family life and the prevention of divorces, as well as opposition to harmful influences alien to the national mentality.

Relevant educational work on a systematic basis is carried out in the information space of Uzbekistan. The national television and radio company of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as non-governmental television and radio channels broadcast programs promoting traditional family values, for example, Otalar Suzi Aklning Kuzi (The Wisdom of Parent Words), Otalar Choikhonashi (Parent Chaykhona), Onalar Mehri (“Maternal kindness”) and “Oil - Zhamiyat Kuzgushi” (“Family is a mirror of society”).

Generational solidarity issues are legally regulated in Articles 64 and 66 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The duty of parents to support and raise children until they reach the legal age is enshrined in the mentioned articles; able-bodied adult children are required to take care of their parents.

Efforts are being made to ensure intergenerational communication. Veterans are involved in the psychological preparation of youth for family life, the formation of a sense of responsibility for the family and the creation of a healthy environment in the home, and the prevention of divorces among young couples. For this, the work of the advisory board of Fakhriylar ibrati was organized (Example of Veterans)

Grandparents act as a living source of historical memory and national traditions. At present, the Ministry of Support of the Mahalla and Family of the Republic of Uzbekistan, together with the Nuroniy Veterans Public Support Fund, is developing a program of measures to increase the activity of the older generation in educating the young in a military-patriotic spirit, introducing national and universal values into the mind of young generation.

The state encourages an active lifestyle of senior citizens. In accordance with the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On measures to further increase the role of representatives of the older generation in society and social activity”, since 2019 the first week of October has been announced in RU as the Week of Senior Citizens.

In all ministries, departments and economic associations of the Republic of Uzbekistan, one of the deputy heads is responsible for the issues of senior citizens and coordinates the activities of the “Veterans Council” of this structure. Groups of “Advices for the elderly persons” were created to study and solve the problems of persons of retirement age. In the framework of the program “Travel in Uzbekistan!” pensioners travel around the country to historic cities and places of pilgrimage

In accordance with Art. 2 of the Family Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, family relations are regulated on the basis of the principle of voluntary marriage between a man and a woman, equality of personal and property rights of spouses, resolution of intra-family issues by mutual consent, priority of family education of children, concern for their welfare and development, and protection of the rights and interests of minors and disabled family members.

Art.15 of the Code sets the age of marriage at 18 years. This provision also specifies the grounds for reducing the marriage age by one year: pregnancy, childbirth, declaring a minor fully capable (emancipation). Violation of legislation on marriageable age may result in both criminal and administrative liability. RU Code of Administrative Responsibility in Art.  47-3 establishes a penalty of a fine of five to ten basic calculated values for entering into actual marriage with a person who has not reached marriageable age. The marriage of men and women who had not reached marriageable age, by parents or persons replacing them, shall entail the imposition of a fine of seven to fifteen basic calculated values. The performance of a religious ceremony for marriage with a person under the age of marriage shall be sanctioned by a fine of ten to twenty basic calculation values. If the subject of liability repeatedly commits an act for which an administrative penalty was applied against him, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan according to Art.125-1, imposes sanctions against such person in the form of a fine from twenty to thirty basic calculation values or compulsory community service up to two hundred and forty hours or correctional labor up to one year.

In accordance with Art.13 of the Family Code, marriage shall be entered into in the registry office. Religious marriages do not have legal force.

Part 2, Art.  63 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan indicates that marriage is based on the equal rights of the parties. Meanwhile, Art.19 of the Family Code concretizes this provision, establishing that spouses enjoy equal rights in the family and bear equal responsibilities.

The Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Guarantees of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men” defines the distinction between direct and indirect discrimination based on sex distinctive feature. So, direct discrimination includes discrimination due to marital status, pregnancy, family responsibilities, as well as sexual harassment, different remuneration for equal work and qualifications. At the same time, indirect discrimination based on sex feature involves the promotion of gender inequality through the media, education, culture, the establishment of conditions or requirements that may lead to negative consequences for persons of a certain gender.

It does not constitute discrimination on the basis of sex feature, according to Art. 5 of the aforementioned law, the establishment of differences in the regulation of relations related to the functions of childbirth and breastfeeding; conscription for military service; features of labor protection of women and men associated with the protection of their reproductive health; positive measures aimed at strengthening the social status of women in society, ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and men, etc.

In accordance with Art. 7 of this normative legal act, a mandatory gender-legal examination of normative legal acts was introduced into the normative sphere.

The issues of practical ensuring equality of men and women in various spheres of society have always been in the focus of attention of the authorities of Uzbekistan

So, back in 1991, a non-governmental organization, the Committee of Women of Uzbekistan, was created. Its chairman is also the deputy prime minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which gives the organization the opportunity to carry out tasks to protect the rights and interests of women, increase their socio-legal and socio-political activity, protect motherhood and childhood, improve the social and spiritual atmosphere in families, and employ women and ensure their social and labor rights. In addition, in 2017, the Commission on Family and Women Issues was established in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis (parliament of Uzbekistan), which carried out a number of activities related to raising the awareness of deputies about the role and significance of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in order to improve the state policies in the sphere of women's rights and interests.

In 2019, the Senate Committee of the Oliy Majlis on women and gender equality was created. This body implements in practice the National Platform to support and create conditions for the participation of women in all spheres of society (website www.gender-platform.uz). In addition, the preparation of the Gender Equality Strategy has begun, an extensive information campaign has been conducted to familiarize the population with the laws “On Guarantees of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men”, “On the Protection of Women from Harassment and Violence” in the Namangan, Jizzakh, Syrdarya and Tashkent Regions[184].

Issues of gender equality are in the focus of attention of the Uzbek media. The activities of state bodies and officials in this area are openly discussed in television and radio programs with the participation of civil society institutions. Recently, the number of programs highlighting the image of modern women, socially and politically active, has increased, in particular, a series of programs has been created about female leaders awarded the State Prize named after the Uzbek poetess Zulfiya. The discussions of the state TV channel “Uzbekistan” within the framework of the talk show “For us it is important” are often dedicated to issues of gender equality and increasing the number of women at the decision-making level. Currently, the program “One Woman's Day” is being broadcast on the Tashkent TV channel, which broadcasts the image of women who lead an active lifestyle and have achieved significant results in professional and career growth[185].

In the fight against gender-based discrimination, special emphasis has been placed on countering domestic violence. Art. 3 of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the Protection of Women from Harassment and Violence” identifies various types of violence: sexual, physical, economic, psychological. A number of bodies at various levels are involved in the implementation of the state policy on fighting against domestic violence in practice: the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the bodies of internal affairs, the state education administration, the management of the public health system, local government bodies and others.

The types of individual measures to prevent harassment and violence against women, in accordance with Art. 21 of the law include: conduction of preventive interviews, issue of protection order, placement in special centers to assist victims of oppression and violence, passing of correctional programs aimed at violent behavior modification. The protection order contains information about the victim's right to initiate legal actions regarding the administrative responsibility of the person who committed the violence, for failure to comply with the requirements of the protection order.

According to Art. 28 of this law, authorized bodies and organizations provide, upon request of the victim, the placement of survivor in special centers for up to 30 days. After this period, if there is a threat to the victim, the administration of this institution must inform law enforcement authorities. When the survivors are placed in a special center their job opportunities remain the same. The time spent in a special center is not a reason for expulsion from an educational institution in connection with skipping classes

The Uzbek specialized departments and public organizations have developed a draft "Strategy for achieving gender equality in the Republic of Uzbekistan 2020-2030", which includes, inter alia, strengthening of preventive measures against family violence in relation to women and young girls. At the beginning of 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted a resolution “On Measures to Improve the System of Protection of Women from Harassment and Violence”, according to which social adaptation centers provide assistance to victims of domestic violence, and improve the work of helplines for people in difficult situations.

Since 2018, the Republican Center for the Rehabilitation and Adaptation of Victims of Violence and the Prevention of Suicide has been operating in Uzbekistan.

The stage-by-stage creation of centers for the rehabilitation and adaptation of persons affected by violence and the prevention of suicide under the territorial units of the Committee of Women of Uzbekistan is being envisaged.

In mahallas there are conciliation commissions acting as arbiters in family disputes between spouses for work with families in pre-conflict and conflict situations. These mechanisms are quite effective. So, thanks to their work only in Tashkent in 2019, it became possible to avoid more than 1 thousand divorces. Another interesting initiative of Uzbekistan in preserving marriage was the creation of a “mother-in-law council”, where girls are told about the basics of family life, and mother-in-law is taught to get along with daughters-in-law.

In the structure of the local self-government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, commissions have been created to strengthen family values and social support, as well as the posts of deputy chairman of the gathering of citizens for family, women and social and spiritual issues. People with the necessary knowledge and life experience, with high spiritual and moral qualities are elected to these positions.

At the beginning of 2019, persons under 18 years old are 33.4% of the population of Uzbekistan (11,117.9 thousand people)[186]. In traditional Uzbek families, parents even after the maturity of their children continue to help them and take care of them in every way.

They are actively involved in the education of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There are public “Parent Universities” under local government, where teachers, doctors and psychologists give lectures and conduct practical classes on the subject of raising children and creating a prosperous family.

According to Art. 67 of the Family Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the child has the right to protect his rights and legitimate interests.

Protection is carried out by parents (persons replacing them) or by the guardianship authority, the prosecutor and the court. The functions of the Commissioner for the Rights of the Child in the Republic of Uzbekistan are performed by the Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights.

The fundamental right of a child to live and be brought up in a family is enshrined in Art. 65. The child also has the right to know his parents, the right to care for them, the right to live together with them, unless this is contrary to his interests.

Art.  4 of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Guarantees of the Rights of the Child” defines the main directions of the state policy for the protection of the rights of the child, including: ensuring the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the child;  protecting the life and health of the child, ensuring equal rights and opportunities for children, promoting the physical, intellectual, spiritual and moral development of children;  familiarizing the child with historical and national traditions, spiritual values of the people of Uzbekistan and the achievements of world culture.

Section IV of the Family Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan defines the basic property and non-property rights of minors. Chapter 2 of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On guarantees of the rights of the child” includes a detailed list of such rights and their guarantees.

Parents, according to Art.  73-75 of the Code, have the right and the duty to raise their children. They are also obligated to ensure that children obtain the required level of education as established by law.

The Code explicitly states that parental rights cannot be exercised contrary to the interests of children. Ensuring the interests of children should be the primary concern of their parents. When exercising parental rights, parents are not entitled to harm the physical and mental health of children, their moral development. Ways to raise children should exclude neglect, cruel, rude, degrading treatment, abuse or exploitation of children

Evasion of parents from fulfilment of their duties, according to Art. 79 of the Family Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, entails the deprivation of parental rights

Art.  83 of the aforementioned act also provides the possibility of restricting them in cases when leaving a child with parents poses a danger to him either due to their behaviour (if there are insufficient grounds for depriving them of parental rights), or due to circumstances beyond their control (for example, due to a mental disorder or other  chronic disease). In case of a threat to the life or health of the child, when urgent measures are required to protect him, in accordance with Art. 87 it is allowed to immediately place him outside the family until a decision is made on the restriction or deprivation of parental rights.

The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan and its territorial departments are actively working to increase the level of legal awareness and legal culture of citizens, to form a respectful attitude towards the rights and freedoms of children among the population. In 2017 alone, over 5 thousand educational activities were carried out to clarify the provisions of the laws “On guarantees of the rights of the child”, “On the protection of children from information harmful to their health”, “On measures to further improve the system for preventing crime and combating crime”  , “On guardianship and trusteeship”, “On combating trafficking in human beings” and other legal acts in the field of children's rights,  793 of which were held in the media, over 5 thousand of round tables, seminars, scientific and practical conferences, 137 other events[187].

Information measures are being taken regarding the use of forced child labour. Themed thematic posters are placed in all general educational institutions. These issues are widely discussed at parental meetings and educational hours with students. Clarifications are given on the negative effects of forced labour on children[188].

Section VI of the Family Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan contains detailed regulation of various forms of placement of children without parental care. These include adoption, guardianship and custody, patronage. If it is not possible to transfer children to a family, they are assigned to institutions for orphans or children left without parental care (educational institutions, medical institutions, social welfare institutions and other similar institutions).

The functions of checking the conditions of upbringing and orphans and children left without parental care in educational institutions, as well as preventing neglect and homelessness among minors are entrusted to the interdepartmental commissions for minors of the republican, regional and district levels. They submit representations to relevant state bodies on the application of measures of influence to parents or their substitutes, who are inappropriately related to raising children, as well as on bringing to justice those who create conditions for children to commit offenses, or incite or provoke minors to commit crimes and other antisocial actions.

Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Art.41 guarantees the universal right to education. The state guarantees free general education. Schooling is under state supervision. The education system of the Republic of Uzbekistan consists of state and non-state educational institutions that implement educational programs in accordance with state educational standards, scientific and pedagogical institutions that carry out the research work necessary to ensure the functioning and development of the education system and government authorities in the field of education, as well as subordinate   enterprises, institutions and organizations.

In accordance with Art.10 of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Education”, education in the country is implemented in the form of preschool, general secondary, specialized secondary, vocational, higher, postgraduate education, advanced training and retraining of personnel, out-of-school education.

The Program of measures for further improvement of the public education system of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2018-2021 is aimed to improve the system of lifelong education, increasing the availability of educational services.

The legislative norms of the Republic of Uzbekistan specify that preschool education is aimed to create a healthy and full-fledged personality of a child prepared for school. In accordance with the Concept of development of the system of preschool education in the Republic of Uzbekistan until 2030, the network of preschool educational institutions is constantly expanding, measures are being taken to ensure accessibility and increase the coverage of children with preschool education. A pilot project is being implemented to introduce mandatory one-year free preparation of children for primary education.

According to the data at the end of 2018, 6.4 thousand preschool institutions with 874 thousand pupils were operating in Uzbekistan. At the same time, the coverage of children with preschool institutions has increased significantly: if in 2010 and in 2015 it was 15%, then in 2018 it increased to 32%[189].

Primary education is aimed at creating the basics of literacy, knowledge and skills necessary to obtain a general secondary education. Children are admitted to the first grade of the school from six to seven years old. General secondary education settles the necessary scope of knowledge, develops the skills of independent thinking, organizational skills and practical experience, contributes to the initial professional orientation and the choice of the next stage of education. Specialized schools can be created to develop children's abilities and talents. In 2018 5851 thousand students were studying at 9774 full-time educational institutions of Uzbekistan[190].

The legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan enshrines the right of citizens to choose the direction of study at an academic lyceum or vocational college on a voluntary basis in order to obtain secondary specialized, vocational education on the basis of general secondary education. These institutions provide secondary specialized, vocational education, which grants the right to work in a acquired profession or continue education at the next level.

Higher education provides the training of highly qualified specialists in higher educational institutions (universities, academies, institutes and other educational institutions of higher education) on the basis of specialized secondary, vocational education. Higher education has two levels: undergraduate and graduate programs, supported by state-approved higher education documents. In 2018, 98 universities operated in Uzbekistan. The number of students in them was 360.2 thousand people[191].

The ZiyoNET National Public Educational Information Network was organized in order to provide children and youth with the necessary educational and enlightening information[192].

The number of institutions for children with disabilities in 2018 was 89 units. They educated 21 thousand students. Special courses on teaching Braille are opened in the regional and district centers on the basis of secondary schools to improve the literacy of persons with visual impairment[193]. Since 2018, a two-percent quota of admission to higher educational institutions has been additionally allocated for persons with disabilities[194].

According to the government’s decree “On measures to improve the activities of boarding houses for disabled children“ Muruvvat ”(Generosity) and other medical and social institutions”, day care groups for children with disabilities or significant mental disorders were established at boarding houses for disabled children “Muruvvat”. Their task is not only to provide comprehensive medical and social assistance, but also to organize the educational process for such children.

To support the activities of the boarding houses “Muruvvat” and “Sahovat” (Generosity), republican and territorial board of trustees were created, as well as the extra-budgetary Fund for supporting boarding houses “Muruvvat” and “Sakhovat” under the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The Fund’s resources are used to develop and strengthen the material and technical base of boarding houses, the system of social, medical and cultural services, as well as for other purposes to support the disabled and elderly persons[195].

Within the framework of the Action Strategy for the five priority areas of development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021 and the Concepts of Strengthening the Family Institute in the Republic of Uzbekistan, measures are being taken to improve the institutional and legal foundations of strengthening and developing the family, stimulating demographic development and increasing the level of family well-being, strengthening the educational and educational potential of the family, maintaining traditional family values in society, and improving the spiritual and moral atmosphere  in families and the creation of a system for the provision of methodological, advisory and practical assistance to families.

Chapter IV of the Strategy provides for a consistent increase in real income and employment, a reduction in the number of low-income families and the level of differentiation of the population by income;  increase  of social benefits rates in the amount ahead of the rate of inflation;  creation of conditions for the full realization of labor and entrepreneurial activity of the population;  expanding the system of vocational training, retraining and advanced training of persons in need of employment.

President Sh.M. Mirziyoyev in his Address to the Oliy Majlis of RU dated January 24, 2020 paid considerable attention to the problem of poverty reduction in the country, including the development and implementation of a new system of social benefits payments to low-income families. Currently, in Uzbekistan this issue is regulated by the Regulation on the procedure for the appointment and payment of social benefits and material assistance to low-income families.

From January 1, 2019, a number of new social benefits rates were introduced.

So, a family with one child under the age of 14 is paid 122 thousand soums (equivalent to 13 US Dollars), a family with two children - 203 thousand soums (21 US dollars), a family with three or more children - 284 thousand soums (30 US Dollars). In addition, the childcare benefit until he reaches the age of 2 years is 406 thousand soums (42 US Dollars). Exceptions are mothers working in enterprises or organizations where the payment of this allowance is carried out at their own expense. Material assistance to low-income families varies from 305 thousand (32 US Dollars) to 610 thousand soums (64 US Dollars). One-time financial assistance to needy families in the Republic of Karakalpakstan and the Khorezm region is from 406 thousand (42 US dollars) up to 1 014 thousand soums (106 US Dollars).

Authorities are conducting targeted work with people in difficult situations. Local governments together with law enforcement authorities identify families that need help and are in a difficult social situation, compile special lists to provide them with targeted social, legal, psychological support and material assistance.

A family recognized as a needy unit is entitled to receive childcare benefits or material assistance from local budgets and extra budgetary sources (public and charitable foundations, company funds, voluntary donations from citizens, etc.).

Measures are being taken to ensure the employment of young people and to attract women, especially young girls in rural areas, to family and private entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, taking into account their living conditions. In 2019, in the framework of the programs “Every Family is an Entrepreneur” and “Youth is Our Future”, over 2,600 business projects were implemented in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Measures are being taken to improve the living conditions of young families by providing mortgage loans on favourable terms and building affordable housing in cities and rural areas. Over the past three years, the scope of construction of affordable housing in the Republic of Uzbekistan has doubled, currently 2,149 houses are being built for young families.  The initial mortgage of 570 women with disabilities living in difficult housing conditions was paid at the expense of the state budget. The terms of preferential mortgage lending also apply to orphans and children left without parental care. The initial mortgage payment is paid from the funds of the Youth Union Development Fund.

8.4% of the consolidated budget of Uzbekistan was allocated for the social sector (2.4% was allocated for healthcare, 5.1% for education, 0.9% for social policy)[196].

The result of the state’s systematic policy to improve the living standards of the population was an increase in the average monthly nominal wage in the economy. In 2000, it was 13 thousand soums, in 2010 - 505 thousand soums, in 2018 - 1,823 thousand soums[197].

The average pension in Uzbekistan tends to increase. So, in 2000 it was equal to 7 thousand soums, in 2010 - 172 thousand soums, in 2018 - 641 thousand soums[198].

Strategy of action in five priority areas of the development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021 provides a set of measures to strengthen family health, protect mothers and children, expand access of mothers and children to quality medical services, provide specialized and high-tech medical care, and reduce infant and child mortality. Measures are envisaged to further develop and improve the system of medical and social assistance to pensioners, people with disabilities, lonely elderly people and other vulnerable categories of the population to ensure their full-fledged life. So, in 2019, 23,600 units of prosthetic, orthopedic and rehabilitation equipment were provided to persons with disabilities.

The State program for the early detection of congenital and hereditary diseases in children for the period 2018-2022 is being implemented, which provides for the improvement of measures for the prevention and early diagnosis of congenital and hereditary diseases in the fetus, as well as an increase in the effectiveness of the treatment of hereditary diseases.

A detailed medical examination of 6.5 million pupils of preschool institutions and students of schools, vocational colleges and lyceums was conducted in the country to identify diseases at an early stage and successfully control them. All children under 2 years of age are vaccinated free of charge, as a result of which diseases such as diphtheria, poliomyelitis and tetanus are completely eliminated.

The incidence of acute respiratory viral infections among children aged 6 to 15 years, decreased by 34.4%, pneumonia - by 49.7%, bronchitis - by 32.8%, scoliosis - by 32.7%[199].

Special measures are aimed at protecting the health of children living in the zone of ecological crisis. The necessary high-tech specialized medical care is provided for their treatment and rehabilitation in all specialized centers, clinics of medical institutes and sanatorium institutions of Uzbekistan. During the period of the summer recreation season, about 3 thousand children from the Aral Sea region annually rest and get health-improving practices in the countryside and school camps of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and the Khorezm region, as well as in the camps of the Tashkent region[200].

In 2016, credit and grant funds in the amount of $ 80 million US Dollars were allocated to equip the country's medical institutions with modern diagnostic and medical equipment[201]. According to the data, by the end of 2018, 1165 hospital facilities and 5.6 thousand outpatient clinics were operating in the country. The number of medical personnel was 27 people per 10 thousand patients, including 6 therapists, 3 surgeons, 6 pediatricians, 3 dentists[202].

Reproductive health issues are regulated in detail by the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the Reproductive Health of Citizens”. It provides for such rights of citizens as the right to make independent decisions regarding the birth of their children using safe and effective reproductive technologies;  the right to receive reliable and complete information about their reproductive health;  the right to access safe birth control methods and the use of contraception;  the right to use medical and preventive services and to be protected from factors that pose a threat to health, including the use of scientific experiments;  the right to receive medical, social as well as psychological assistance and information when they realize their reproductive rights;  right to use assisted reproductive technology.

Women can also use the right to induced termination of pregnancy, which can be carried out either at the request of a woman with a gestational age of up to twelve weeks, or in the presence of medical conditions that threaten the life of the pregnant woman, regardless of the gestational age. Medical institutions are required to inform the woman who made the decision to induce termination of pregnancy or to refuse to terminate the pregnancy for medical reasons, about the possible negative effect for her health.

Within the framework of the implementation of the national model “Healthy mother - healthy child”, the State Program on further strengthening of the population's reproductive health, protecting the health of mothers, children and adolescents in Uzbekistan for the period 2014-2018 was approved, the Program has ensured a performance of total medical examinations of women of reproductive age, girls, and teenage girls, as well as a preventive treatment of childbirth with congenital ailments. In all obstetric institutions, favourable conditions have been created for the joint stay of mothers and their new born children, parents have been provided with all the necessary information about the developmental needs of their children, including breastfeeding. Each institution carries out an audit of each maternal death, as well as an analysis of each death of children[203].

Specialists in reproductive health are trained on the basis of special training courses for retraining and advanced training of personnel of the Center “Oila” (Family). In addition, great importance is attached to the “Maternity School” activities improvement, which makes a great contribution to protection of the health of a pregnant woman and preparation of her family members for the birth of a child. 110 instructors (doctors, health visitors, midwives) have been trained at events arranged by pilot institutions of primary health care, as a part of the regional program “Healthcare in Central Asia”, in order to improve the activities of “Maternity Schools”. The Republican Center for Reproductive Health of the Population works with adolescents, introducing youth-friendly health services, and also preventive treatment of marriages and child births at a young age, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases among young people, including HIV infection[204].

According to Part 2 of Art. 4 of the Family Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the protection of the interests of mother and child is ensured by the creation of conditions that allow women to combine work with motherhood, legal protection, material and moral support for motherhood and childhood. The labor legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan is really oriented towards the support and protection of motherhood, fatherhood and childhood and creates all conditions for a full combination of work and family responsibilities. Thus, in accordance with statutory regulations if the women having children under the age of two years are unable to perform the previous work, they are transferred to easier work at full average monthly salary for the previous work until the child reaches the age of two years (Article 227 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan). It is prohibited to engage women who have children under 14 years of age (disabled children under 16 years) in night works, in overtime works, works on weekends and to order business trip assignments without their prior consent (Article 228).

The labour hours of women having children under the age of three and working in budgetary institutions and organizations may not exceed 35 hours per week. Their labour is paid in the same amount as for the full duration of work (Art. 228-1).

The employer shall establish a part-time or part-time work week upon request  of a woman who has a child under 14 years of age (a disabled child under 16 years of age) or a person caring for a sick family member in accordance with a medical assessment report (art. 229). Women who have children under two years of age are provided, in addition to a break for rest and food, additional breaks for feeding the child, which are included in working hours and are paid according to the average monthly salary (Article 236).

Maternity and parental leaves according to the Art.  149 of the Labor Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan are classified as social leaves. Maternity leave is granted for seventy calendar days before childbirth and fifty six (in the case of abnormal labour or at the birth of two or more children - seventy) calendar days after childbirth with the payment of state social insurance benefits (Article 233). At the end of the maternity leave, the woman upon request is granted two years' parental leave with the payment of benefits within this period. Upon request, she may be granted an additional three years' parental leave without pay (Article 234).

The guarantees and benefits provided to women in connection with motherhood extend to fathers raising children without a mother, as well as to guardians (trustees) of minors (Article 238).

In accordance with Art. 18 of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the Protection of Citizens' Health”, when the hospital treatment is provided for children under three years of age, as well as for critically ill elder children who need extended care, one of the parents or other family member directly providing care for the child is given the opportunity to stay together with child in a medical institution and issued a medical certificate.

In general, the policy of Uzbekistan to support the family and traditional family values proves its effectiveness. This is evidenced, in particular, by an increase in the number of marriages in the country and a small number of divorces. If in 2000 there were 6.9 number of marriages per 1,000 people, then in 2016 it increased to 8.6. The number of divorces at the same time remained almost unchanged: while in 2000 there were 0.8 divorces per 1000 people, then in 2016 - 0.9. This is the lowest rate of divorced marriages in the CIS. Meanwhile, in Uzbekistan the number of women and men in the sex pattern of the population is approximately the same: as of the beginning of 2017, there were 992 women per 1000 men.

The tendency of increase in age at the first marriage is also common for all countries of the Commonwealth: for men in 2015 it was 25.8 years, for women -22.5 years (in 2000, these indicators were 24.2 years and 21, 4 year respectively)[205].

The rate of natural population increase remains traditionally high. The rate of population increase in 2018 was 18.6 per 1000 people. It is also one of the highest rates in the CIS[206].

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[1] Information from the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan on the demographic situation in the country dated February 12, 2020 https://www.stat.gov.az/news/index/php?id=4477

[2] "Family in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States". Brochure of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee. Moscow, 2017 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/pocket_CIS_family.pdf

[3] Data for 2000 are based on the CIS Interstate Statistics brochure "Family in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States". Moscow, 2019. According to the publication of the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan dated February 12, 2020. https://www.stat.gov.az/news/index/php?id=4477

[4] Data for 2000 and 2016 are provided for the CIS Interstate Statistics brochure "Family in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States" Moscow, 2017, and for 2005-for the CIS Interstate Statistics collection "Youth in the Commonwealth of Independent States: A Statistical Portrait". Moscow, 2018

[5] ABAD (Az. Ailə Biznesinə Asan Dəstək) - Affordable assistance for family businesses

[6] Azerbaijan's 6th periodic report to the Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women. June 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fAZE%2f6&Lang=ru

[7] Statistical collection of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Population, Employment and Living Conditions in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018". Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[8] The general basic document of Azerbaijan (is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies). June 2008 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fAZE%2f2008&Lang=en

[9] Azerbaijan's 4th periodic report to the Committee on economic, social and cultural rights. January 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=E%2fC.12%2fAZE%2f4&Lang=ru

[10] Azerbaijan's 6th periodic report to the Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women. June 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fAZE%2f6&Lang=ru 

[11] Azerbaijan's 6th periodic report to the Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women. June 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fAZE%2f6&Lang=ru

[12] Azerbaijan's 6th periodic report to the Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women. June 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fAZE%2f6&Lang=ru

[13] Statistical collection of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Population, Employment and Living Conditions in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018". Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[14] Azerbaijan's 6th periodic report to the Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women. June 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fAZE%2f6&Lang=ru

[15] Statistical collection of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Population, Employment and Living Conditions in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018". Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[16] Combined 3rd and 4th periodic reports of Azerbaijan to the Committee on the rights of the child. April 2011 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fAZE%2f3-4&Lang=ru

[17] Statistical collection of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Population, Employment and Living Conditions in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018". Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[18] Azerbaijan's 6th periodic report to the Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women. June 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fAZE%2f6&Lang=ru

[19] Statistical collection of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Population, Employment and Living Conditions in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018". Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

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[24] Statistical collection of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Population, Employment and Living Conditions in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018". Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

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[26] Statistical collection of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Population, Employment and Living Conditions in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018". Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[27] Data for 2000 are provided for the CIS Interstate Statistics brochure "Family in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States" Moscow, 2017, and for 2005 and 2916 for the CIS Interstate Statistics collection "Youth in the Commonwealth of Independent States: A Statistical Portrait". Moscow, 2018

[28] Statistical collection of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Population, Employment and Living Conditions in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018". Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

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[32] Armenia's national report under the third cycle of the Universal periodic review procedure. November 2019 https://undocs.org/ru/A/HRC/WG.6/35/ARM/1

[33] Of the 29,000 families receiving poverty benefits, a thousand were selected according to three criteria: if the family has two or more minor children, if the family has an adult unemployed, and if the family already has experience in raising livestock.

[34] Armenia's national report under the third cycle of the Universal periodic review procedure. November 2019 https://undocs.org/ru/A/HRC/WG.6/35/ARM/1

[35] The general basic document of Armenia (is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies). May 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fARM%2f2019&Lang=ru

[36] Armenia's national report under the third cycle of the Universal periodic review procedure. November 2019 https://undocs.org/ru/A/HRC/WG.6/35/ARM/1

[37] Detailed data on the age structure of the population are provided in the statistical collection of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Population, Employment and Living Conditions in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018". Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[38] Statistical collection of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Population, Employment and Living Conditions in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018". Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

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[51] Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 46 of January 21, 1998 Website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus. http://mintrud.gov.by/system/extensions/spaw/uploads/files/Ukaz-46.pdf

[52] National Internet portal of the Republic of Belarus http://www.pravo.by/document/?guid=3871&p0=C21600200

[53] Data on the subprogram “Family and Childhood” of the State program “Health of the people and demographic security of the Republic of Belarus” for 2016 - 2020 (as amended by the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of December 16, 2019 No. 867).  National legal Internet portal of the Republic of Belarus http://www.pravo.by/document/?guid=3871&p0=C21600200

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[55] Information from the website of the Ministry of Labour of the Republic of Belarus. http://mintrud.gov.by/system/extensions/spaw/uploads/files/ZAKON-s-1.07.2017-2.pdf

[56] Support system for families raising children. Information from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Belarus. http://mintrud.gov.by/system/extensions/spaw/uploads/files/Sistema-podderzhki-semej-1.pdf

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[87] Data on the sub-program "Ensuring the functioning of the health system of the Republic of Belarus" of the State program "People's Health and Demographic Security of the Republic of Belarus" for 2016-2020 (as amended by the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated December 16, 2019 No. 867). National legal Internet portal of the Republic of Belarus http://www.pravo.by/document/?guid=3871&p0=C21600200

[88] Armenian's 7th periodic report to the Committee on economic, social and cultural rights. October 2018 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=E%2fC.12%2fBLR%2f7&Lang=ru

[89] Information from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus on support for the elderly and veterans. http://mintrud.gov.by/ru/gosudarstvennaya-socialnaya-podderzhka

[91] Information from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus http://mintrud.gov.by/system/extensions/spaw/uploads/files/Natsplan-po-konventsi-OON-invalidy.pdf

[92] Information from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus on support for the elderly and veterans. http://mintrud.gov.by/ru/gosudarstvennaya-socialnaya-podderzhka

[93] 5th periodic report of Kazakhstan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

July, 2018. https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fKAZ%2f5&Lang=ru

[94] The 5th periodic report of Kazakhstan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

July, 2018 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fKAZ%2f5&Lang=ru

[95] "CIS family" CIS Interstate Statistical Committee pocket book. Moscow, 2017 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/pocket_CIS_family.pdf

[96] The 5th periodic report of Kazakhstan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

July, 2018 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fKAZ%2f5&Lang=ru

[97] The 5th periodic report of Kazakhstan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

July, 2018 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fKAZ%2f5&Lang=r

[98] The Common Core Document of Kazakhstan (is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies).

January, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fKAZ%2f2019&Lang=ru

[99] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”.

Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[100] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”.

Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[101] The 2nd periodic report of Kazakhstan to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

September, 2017 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=E%2fC.12%2fKAZ%2f2&Lang=ru

[102] The 5th periodic report of Kazakhstan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

July, 2018 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fKAZ%2f5&Lang=ru

[103] The Common Core Document of Kazakhstan (is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies)

January, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fKAZ%2f2019&Lang=ru

[104] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 г.http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[105] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 г.http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[106] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[107] The 2nd periodic report of Kazakhstan to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

September, 2017 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=E%2fC.12%2fKAZ%2f2&Lang=ru

[108] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”.Moscow, 2019 г.

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[109] The data are specified according to the 2nd periodic report of Kazakhstan to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. September, 2017 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=E%2fC.12%2fKAZ%2f2&Lang=ru

[110] The 2nd periodic report of Kazakhstan to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

September, 2017 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=E%2fC.12%2fKAZ%2f2&Lang=ru

[111] Data are specified according to the state program for the development of education and science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2020-2025

http://prokuror.gov.kz/rus/gosudarstvo/memlekettik-til/ob-utverzhdenii-gosudarstvennoy-programmy-po-realizacii-yazykovoy?language=kk

[112] Data are specified according to the state program for the development of education and science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2020-2025 http://prokuror.gov.kz/rus/gosudarstvo/memlekettik-til/ob-utverzhdenii-gosudarstvennoy-programmy-po-realizacii-yazykovoy?language=kk

[113] More information about the current stage of the transition of secondary education organizations to updated content can be found in the instructive letter of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Academy of Education named after I. Altynsarin “On the peculiarities of the organization of the educational process in secondary educational institutions of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the 2019-2020 academic year.” Https: //nao.kz/loader/fromorg/2/24

[114] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”.

Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[115] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[116] Appendix to the 2nd periodic report of Kazakhstan in the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

September, 2017

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=INT%2fCESCR%2fADR%2fKAZ%2f28331&Lang=ru

[117] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”.Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[118] The data are specified on the Common Core Document of Kazakhstan (it is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies) January, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fKAZ%2f2019&Lang=ru

[119] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[120] "CIS family" CIS Interstate Statistical Committee pocket book. Moscow, 2017. http://www.cisstat.com/rus/pocket_CIS_family.pdf

[121] The 5th periodic report of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

March, 2019

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fKGZ%2f5&Lang=ru

[122] The 5th periodic report of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fKGZ%2f5&Lang=ru

[123] Combined 5th and 6th periodic reports of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

November, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fKGZ%2f5-6&Lang=ru

[124] 5th periodic report of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fKGZ%2f5&Lang=ru

[125] 5th periodic report of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fKGZ%2f5&Lang=ru

[126] Combined 5th and 6th periodic reports of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

November, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fKGZ%2f5-6&Lang=ru

[127] 5th periodic report of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fKGZ%2f5&Lang=ru

[128] Combined 5th and 6th periodic reports of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

November, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fKGZ%2f5-6&Lang=ru

[129] Combined 5th and 6th periodic reports of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

November, 2019

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fKGZ%2f5-6&Lang=ru

[130] Combined 5th and 6th periodic reports of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

November, 2019

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fKGZ%2f5-6&Lang=ru

[131] Statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[132] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[133] Education Development Strategy in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2012 – 2020

http://cbd.minjust.gov.kg/act/view/ru-ru/92984?cl=ru-ru

[134] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[135] Education Development Strategy in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2012 – 2020

http://cbd.minjust.gov.kg/act/view/ru-ru/92984?cl=ru-ru

[136] Combined 5th and 6th periodic reports of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

November, 2019

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fKGZ%2f5-6&Lang=ru

[137] The data are specified according to the combined 5th and 6th periodic reports of Kyrgyzstan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. November, 2019

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fKGZ%2f5-6&Lang=ru

[138] Education Development Strategy in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2012 - 2020

http://cbd.minjust.gov.kg/act/view/ru-ru/92984?cl=ru-ru

[139] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[140] The common core document of Kyrgyzstan (is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies).

December, 2008 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fKGZ%2f2008&Lang=ru

[141] Statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 .http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[142] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”.Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[143] Program of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic for the protection of public health and the development of the health system for 2019 - 2030“A healthy person - a prosperous country”

http://cbd.minjust.gov.kg/act/view/ru-ru/12976?cl=ru-ru

[144] The data are presented in compliance with the matrix of indicators of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic Program for the Protection of Public Health and the Development of the Health Care System for 2019-2030.

“A healthy person - a prosperous country”

http://cbd.minjust.gov.kg/act/view/ru-ru/12975?cl=ru-ru

[145] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[146] Program of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic for the protection of public health and the development of the health system for 2019 – 2030 “Healthy person - prosperous country”

http://cbd.minjust.gov.kg/act/view/ru-ru/12976?cl=ru-ru

[147] Strategy for the Protection and Promotion of the Health of the Population of the Kyrgyz Republic until 2020 ("Health 2020")

http://cbd.minjust.gov.kg/act/view/ru-ru/96555

[148] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”.Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[149] "CIS family" CIS Interstate Statistical Committee pocket book. Moscow, 2017 г.

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/pocket_CIS_family.pdf

[150] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[151] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[152] "CIS family" CIS Interstate Statistical Committee pocket book. Moscow, 2017. http://www.cisstat.com/rus/pocket_CIS_family.pdf

[153] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee "Youth in the Commonwealth of Independent States: a statistical portrait" Moscow,  CIS Statistical Committee, UN Fund for population activities http://www.cisstat.com/rus/2018_youth_sbornik_rus.pdf

[154] The document can be found on the website of the Agency for Statistics under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan

https://www.stat.tj/ru/targets

[155] Information from Tajikistan in connection with the consideration of the 6th periodic report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women June, 2018 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fTJK%2fQ%2f6%2fAdd.1&Lang=ru

[156] The combined third to fifth periodic reports of Tajikistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

September, 2016 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fTJK%2f3-5&Lang=ru

[157] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[158] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[159] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[160] Combined third to fifth periodic reports of Tajikistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

September, 2016 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fTJK%2f3-5&Lang=ru

[161] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[162] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[163] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[164] Data from Tajikistan's common core document (part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies) February, 2004 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/CoreDocuments.aspx

[165] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[166] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019  http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[167] The combined third to fifth periodic reports of Tajikistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

September, 2016 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fTJK%2f3-5&Lang=ru

[168] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[169] Объединенные третий – пятый периодические доклады Таджикистана в Комитет по правам ребенка September, 2016 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fTJK%2f3-5&Lang=ru

[170] The combined third to fifth periodic reports of Tajikistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

September, 2016 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fTJK%2f3-5&Lang=ru

[171] The statistical digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment and living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018” Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/sb_population2018.pdf

[172] Data in accordance with the National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period until 2030

[173] Information from the Republic of Tajikistan in connection with the consideration of the combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

September, 2015 http://docstore.ohchr.org/SelfServices/FilesHandler.ashx?enc=6QkG1d%2FPPRiCAqhKb7yhsqWC9Lj7ub%2FHrJVf1GxZMHGQF5W%2BfPRNcyFIcK%2F8Fn6uq9jijOlrb9IO57BntDouLVZNsF%2BFdWK32%2FkmnXoYDntf%2BHxBze23pmhWOaDefdfmbTRDO6OQrJXl%2BoTelJvLoA%3D%3D

[174] Information from Tajikistan in connection with the consideration of the 6th periodic report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women June, 2018 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fTJK%2fQ%2f6%2fAdd.1&Lang=ru

[175] Statistics are provided on the common core document of Turkmenistan (it is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies) March, 2019

See the document at the link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fTKM%2f2019&Lang=ru

[176] Data on indexation of benefits is specified according to the common core document of Turkmenistan (it is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies). March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fTKM%2f2019&Lang=r

[177] The text is based on the common core document of Turkmenistan (it is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies). March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fTKM%2f2019&Lang=ru

[178] Data from Turkmenistan’s common core document (part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies)

March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fTKM%2f2019&Lang=ru

[179] Data on social facilities are specified according the common core document of Turkmenistan (it is an integral part of reports to human rights treaty bodies) March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fTKM%2f2019&Lang=ru

[180] Data on the amount of funding is specified according to the common core document of Turkmenistan (it is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies). March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fTKM%2f2019&Lang=ru

[181] The data on the centers are specified according to the common core document of Turkmenistan (it is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies). March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fTKM%2f2019&Lang=ru

[182] The data are specified according to the common core document of Turkmenistan (it is an integral part of reports to the human rights treaty bodies) March, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fTKM%2f2019&Lang=ru

[183] Mahalla is a self-governing territorial community in urban neighborhoods and microdistricts.

[184] The 6th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

November 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fUZB%2f6&Lang=ru

[185] The 6th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

November 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fUZB%2f6&Lang=ru

[186] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019 http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[187] 5th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child April 2019.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fUZB%2f5&Lang=ru

[188] 5th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child April 2019.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fUZB%2f5&Lang=ru

[189] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[190] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[191] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[192] 5th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child April 2019.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fUZB%2f5&Lang=ru

[193] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[194] 5th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child April 2019.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fUZB%2f5&Lang=ru

[195] 5th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. April 2019.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fUZB%2f5&Lang=ru

[196] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[197] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[198] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[199] Data are specified on the 5th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

April, 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fUZB%2f5&Lang=ru

[200] 5th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. April 2019.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fUZB%2f5&Lang=ru

[201] Uzbekistan Common Core Document (part of reports to human rights treaty bodies) October, 2017

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=HRI%2fCORE%2fUZB%2f2017&Lang=ru

[202] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

[203] 5th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Rights of the Child April 2019.

https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fUZB%2f5&Lang=ru

[204] The 6th periodic report of Uzbekistan to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

November 2019 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fUZB%2f6&Lang=ru

[205] "CIS family" CIS Interstate Statistical Committee pocket book. Moscow, 2017. http://www.cisstat.com/rus/pocket_CIS_family.pdf

[206] The statistics digest of the CIS Interstate Statistical Committee “Population, employment, living conditions in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2018”. Moscow, 2019

http://www.cisstat.com/rus/Population-Employment_and_Living_Conditions_in_the_CIS-2019.pdf

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