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Turkmenistan CEDAW - January 2024

By Rosalyn Park
January 8, 2024

The Advocates for Human Rights and Progress Foundation recently submitted a shadow report on domestic violence in Turkmenistan to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) for Turkmenistan's upcoming review. In addition, The Advocates analyzed Turkmenistan's penal legislation, i.e. the Criminal CodeCriminal Procedure Code, and Administrative Code (unofficial translations), and made recommendations to strengthen the laws to better protect victims of domestic violence and hold perpetrators accountable. In countries where domestic violence laws have been in place for decades, effective domestic violence laws have evolved to include four primary components:

  1. Administrative or civil law provisions that allow the government to protect domestic violence victims (orders for protection, hotlines, shelters, and other victims' services)
  2. Criminal law provisions that allow the government to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence (assault, terroristic threats, criminal sexual conduct, interference with an emergency call and other criminal laws), and
  3. An infrastructure to promote prevention of domestic violence (government offices to coordinate and award funding to the private sector)
  4. Partnerships to ensure an inter-agency, coordinated community response that reduces the burden on the victim and ensures the system works faster and better for victims, victims are protected and receive the services they need, and perpetrators are held accountable and cease their abusive behavior.

Each of the components- Protection, Prosecution, Prevention, and Partnerships- is important for a government to undertake when addressing domestic violence. However, governments must sometimes prioritize one component over another when resources are scarce. In that case, resources must be directed at protecting domestic violence victims. In addition, any prevention efforts must address the immediate need for the safety and security of domestic violence victims. In addition, monitoring, consistent funding, and trainings for systems actors led by providers who best understand victims' needs is essential to promoting effectiveness of the law. The Advocates analyzed various provisions with these pillars in mind and also recommended the Government of Turkmenistan adopt a separate crime of domestic violence as well as provide for an effective order for protection.

Click here to read The Advocates' legal analysis of the laws. If your government is seeking to pass or amend a law on violence against women, and you would like to partner with The Advocates to produce a legal commentary, please contact: Rosalyn Park,