More than 160 officials from Turkmen governmental institutions and public associations at the local level enhanced their knowledge about the UN human rights system in a series of workshops in all five regions of Turkmenistan from 17 to 28 August 2010. The workshops were held in Mary, Turkmenabad, Dashoguz, Balkanabad and Ak Bugday within the framework of the EU/UNDP/OHCHR project "Strengthening the National Capacity of Turkmenistan to Promote and Protect Human Rights."
"The workshops provided participants with an opportunity to learn about international human rights standards and to reflect on their application at the national and local level," says Peter Hosking, a human rights lawyer and trainer from New Zealand who facilitated the workshops together with experts from the Turkmen National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights.
The workshops looked at the functioning of the UN treaty body system and reviewed the rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of Turkmenistan, as well as international human rights treaties ratified by Turkmenistan, the preparation of reports by Turkmenistan to UN human rights mechanisms and follow-up to recommendations from these mechanisms.
According to a press release issued by UNDP, in 2010 the project conducted human rights workshops for over 300 duty bearers in all regions of Turkmenistan as well as members of the working group of the Interdepartmental Commission on ensuring Turkmenistan's compliance with its international human rights obligations. These focused on international standards related to the status and functioning of national human rights institutions. In addition, the project organized a study visit to Geneva for members of the Interdepartmental Commission to observe the functioning of the UN human rights system.