Uzbekistan

Since 2016, Uzbekistan has evolved significantly, taking determined steps to root out corruption, improve government services and promote a more inclusive, participatory political process with particular emphasis on mobilizing young people. With advancements in judicial reform and rule of law, education and accountable governance, Uzbekistan has emerged as a democratic upstart in Central Asia. Despite recent forward-leaning reforms, deep-rooted, endemic issues remain, such as Uzbekistan’s human rights record, closed media space and limited political competition.

The Oliy Majlis elections upcoming in 2024 present a window of opportunity to further recent strides and reform in Uzbekistan. IFES supports the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Uzbekistan, local civil society organizations (CSOs) and media through technical assistance, training and capacity-building activities to strengthen election management bodies (EMBs); support marginalized populations as voters and civic leaders; and increase civic knowledge.

IFES first implemented activities in Uzbekistan in conducting voter education for the 1994 presidential election. In 1999, IFES conducted its first student Democracy Summer Camp in Syr-Darya for students from four Central Asian countries, launching IFES’ expansive youth civic education portfolio across the region. More than 22 years later, IFES re-launched in-country activities in Uzbekistan in 2021 with a focus on supporting the country’s newfound democratic reforms to further develop and promote integrity of electoral processes, as well as strengthening knowledge of political rights, civic duties and public accountability among Uzbekistani voters to build democratic political culture.

Uzbekistan’s new 2022-26 Development Strategy aims to ensure the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of every citizen, to build a free and open society and democratic state. To further these efforts and goals, IFES is working with election officials, civil society organizations, media representatives, women’s groups, youth, persons with disabilities and local community leaders to increase knowledge of electoral processes, foster democratic and inclusive political culture and encourage civic participation and advocacy.

IFES’ current activities are funded by the United States Agency for International Development and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor under the United States Department of State.

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