The consultations between Switzerland and Tajikistan are held once a year. The aim is to take stock of the progress that each side has made in the protection and promotion of human rights. They are the culmination of regular and systematic consultations that were established in 2010.
The topics of the consultations in Bern and in Zurich this year were as follows: preparation and follow-up of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in the Human Rights Council, women's rights and domestic violence, the situation of migrants, the death penalty and detention / torture.
The Swiss delegation was headed by ambassador Paul Koller, special envoy for human rights issues, Human Security Division (DSH) of the FDFA. The Tajik delegation consisted of two government representatives and two members of parliament. This was the first time that members of parliament have taken part in the official consultations.
The presence of the MPs is due to the key role they played in the drafting of the law on domestic violence, a project that was blocked for almost 10 years. The FDFA supported and coordinated an initiative by a working group, including MPs and government members, to present solutions and to overcome the obstacles. This approach has now borne fruit. A notable feature of this law is that it defines the parties and organisations that are competent to denounce and to prevent domestic violence and its consequences. The law was signed by the president of Tajikistan in March. These recent developments come on top of several other positive results that have been achieved in the consultations. Since 2010, Switzerland has supported or participated in several projects and initiatives that have led to very tangible human rights advances in Tajikistan.
The Tajik delegation was also received in the Swiss parliament by state councillor Hans Altherr, who as president of the Council of States last year paid an official visit to Tajikistan. This meeting gave the Tajik delegation an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the Swiss political system.
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