In April of this year, the deputies of the Tajik Parliament at the regular session reviewed and approved the draft Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On Amendments and Additions to the Family Code”. According to the new amendments, henceforth in Tajikistan it is prohibited to adopt orphans by citizens of foreign countries. Member of the upper chamber of Parliament (Majlisi Milli) and deputy head of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Tajikistan Mahkam Mahmmudov, commenting on the law, told reporters that this measure was taken to protect Tajik orphans, and this step does not contradict the UN International Convention on the Rights of the Child. He also added that so far in Tajikistan there have been about 20 cases of adoption of orphans by foreigners. Another amendment, which was approved by parliamentarians and introduced into the Family Code, is aimed at specifying the rights of the child.
Education Minister Abdujabbor Rakhmonov, commenting on the adoption of such an amendment, said at a press conference that “the issue of amending the Family Code ... we studied very seriously. Unfortunately, I have to admit that there are facts when our children who have been adopted by foreigners are not brought up at the proper level, and often they are exploited. Therefore, it was necessary to pass this law, which will protect our orphans from violence against them. ” He also said that in Tajikistan there are all possibilities for raising orphans. For these purposes, according to him, there are 72 boarding schools in the republic, in which there are all possibilities for their upbringing.
The chairman of the country's Supreme Court, Izbullokh Khadzhiev, commented on the issue to the Russian news agency REGNUM on this issue: “Previously, the Tajik legislation in this area did not comply with the international Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to the Convention, foreign citizens have the right to adopt orphans if they do not have the opportunity to be adopted by citizens of this country in their homeland or the government does not have the financial capacity to maintain them at the proper level. Now the Family Code has been brought into line with international standards. In addition, the economic situation in Tajikistan is improving, and the state has more opportunities for the normal upbringing and maintenance of orphans. ”
Responding to a question about incidents of violence against Tajik children adopted by foreigners, Khadzhiev said that “no such facts have been officially registered, and there have been no cases in the Tajik courts. But, according to unconfirmed reports, such cases were noted abroad. ”
According to Sergey Romanov, an employee of the Republican Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (RHRM and SZ), the decision of the legislator to ban adoption by foreign citizens was a rather drastic step. “It is worth noting that until recently, the legislation of the republic did not provide for an institution such as international adoption. Now, according to the amendments and additions made to the Family Code, foreign citizens in general do not have the right to adopt Tajik orphans, ”said Romanov.
He also noted that HRHR and SZ, conducting a study on the issue under discussion in 2004, in one of the recommendations offered, suggested “establishing a special department for international adoption at the Ministry of Education” that could significantly help in the implementation and work of the institution of international adoption ( adoption) in the Republic of Tajikistan.
According to Sabohat Alimova, director of the NGO Aurora, international adoption has its advantages. For example, foreigners in most cases adopt children with disabilities, which the Tajiks themselves are reluctant to go to.
Alimova, believes that it is necessary to simplify the procedure of adoption. This procedure, according to her, is complicated even within the state itself. “In my opinion, individual trustees of Tajikistan should inform the public about the number of adopted children, who their parents are and what families they fall into. I think that this problem should be raised to a higher level so that the number of orphans in these orphanages is reduced, ”she also said.
Kanoat Khamidova, head of the Public Association “League of Women Lawyers” of Tajikistan, said that “such a change of legislation contradicts the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but on the other hand, the Convention clearly states that countries need to take measures to monitor the future fate of orphans adopted by foreigners. Unfortunately, in Tajikistan there are no mechanisms for tracking the life of orphans abroad. Therefore, I am confident that the adopted measure to prohibit the adoption of Tajik orphan children by foreigners is temporary. Therefore, public opinion on this issue in Tajikistan is divided: some speak about the violation of the rights of orphans to a decent family life, while others, on the contrary, support this Law as protecting children from violence.
But I believe that as long as we are unable to track the future of our orphans abroad, this measure is forced. I know that some CIS countries are now going the same way, and this is done only in order to protect their orphans from possible violence in the families of foreigners. I can be blamed for the fact that, as a human rights activist, I don’t think about the future fate of more than 150,000 orphans in Tajikistan. In fairness it should be said that yes, our boarding schools do not shine with their conditions. But it should also be noted that compared with 10 years ago, the situation in them has improved a lot, ”says Khamidova.
Speaking about ways to solve this problem, Khamidova said: “Our organization offered the government of the republic to conclude bilateral agreements with those countries whose citizens adopt orphans, so that the guardianship and wards of foreign countries track the future fate of our orphans in their countries. This will reduce the burden of responsibility of the Tajik side for the future of adopted orphans ”.
Khamidova, answering a question about the reasons for the increase in the number of orphans in Tajikistan, said that “of course, this factor is related to the consequences of the 5-year civil war in Tajikistan. In addition, 64% of the population lives below the poverty line. There are other factors, such as labor migration and polygamy, which also put typos on the fate of orphans. ”
According to the director of the Kuhiston Foundation, Svetlana Blagoveshchenskaya, children should be brought up and grow up in their home state.
To date, according to the Ministry of Education in Tajikistan, 8,608 orphans have been registered. Of these, orphans, who have no relatives - 581 people; children without fathers - 2 thousand 643 people; children who do not have only a mother - 1 thousand 49 people; children from low-income families - 4 thousand 375 people. According to other data, today in Tajikistan there are more than 150 thousand orphans.