Samarkand Resolution







The Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the National Human Rights Center and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan in partnership and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Country Office in Uzbekistan, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan, the F. Ebert Foundation held the Samarkand Human Rights Web-Forum on the subject of ‘YOUTH 2020: GLOBAL SOLIDARITY, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND HUMA RIGHTS’ on 12-13 August 2020.

The Samarkand Forum was attended by leading experts from the UN and its Agencies (UNESCO, ILO, IOM, WHO, OHCHR, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, UNODC, UNRССА), Inter-Parliamentary Union, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, including the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Commonwealth of Independent States, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Council of Europe, Asian Parliamentary Assembly, African Union. A large number of representatives from national parliaments and youth parliaments, National Human Rights Institutions, Youth organizations, relevant state bodies, civil society institutions and academia also participated in the Forum.


We, participants of the Samarkand Human Rights Forum,  

Noting that, 2020 is the year of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, the 45th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the 30th anniversary of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, as well as the 55th anniversary the Declaration on the Promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding between People, and the 20th anniversary of International Youth Day, which gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement as well as ensuring the gender mainstreaming of youth,

Recognizing that ‘Youth’ is a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence and awareness of interdependence as members of a community[1]. In practical terms, ‘youth’, instead of a strictly defined age-group, is considered as a cultural concept based on political, economic and socio-cultural contexts and perceptions of different communities and the transition from dependence to independence occurs at different stages in relation to different rights. It is because of the fluidity of the concept that UN, when it comes to implementation of youth policies and strategies at the national level, conforms to the age-group and definition of ‘youth’ more flexibly as used by any State,

Identifying that youth rights refer to the full enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms by young people. These rights have generally fallen into three categories:

(a) Provision: Protect young people’s access to amenities and services like food, clothes, shelter, education, etc.;

(b) Protection: safety from abuses, including physical, mental, and psychological abuse and gender based violence; 

(c) Participation: opportunity to engage and participate as equal partners in decision making that affects them throughout their life cycle,

Highlighting that youth rights are the rights that everyone should enjoy but are denied to some because of their young age. It impacts young people, sometimes overtly, through legal age restrictions, but, more importantly, and invisibly, through negative attitudes, beliefs, biases and stereotypes about youth, thus denying them opportunities to enjoy their due rights. Given these barriers, there is a need for specific protection to tackle discrimination against young people, especially young girls and women,

Recalling the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, in which it is stated that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing, and that all human rights must be treated in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis,

Encouraging States to effectively implement  the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and reaffirming the need to develop and implement strategies that give young people everywhere real opportunities to enable their full, effective and meaningful participation in society,

Acknowledging the contribution of the international and regional efforts in protection and promotion of youth rights, which inter alia include the United Nations Youth 2030 Strategy of the Secretary-General, World Programme of Action for Youth; UN Security Council resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020) on youth, peace and security recognizing the role of youth in peace building; General Assembly resolution entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”; Human Rights Council resolution 41/13 (2019) on youth and human rights which call for mainstreaming of youth rights; the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, the subsequent 2014, 2015 and 2018 OSCE Ministerial Council Declarations on Youth and Security on the role that youth can play in supporting States in the implementation of commitments in all three dimensions of human security; the 2018 OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Berlin Declaration with a Resolution “A Shared Priority: Fostering Peace and Security Through Enabling Young People To Reach Their Full Potential”; the African Youth Charter; the Ibero-American Convention on the Rights of Youth; OIC-2025 Plan of Action which emphasized the need for youth capacity building and youth exchange programs; and Lisboa+21 Declaration on Youth Policies and Programs,

Noting the inputs from recent relevant conferences, forums and global initiatives relating to youth at the international, regional and subregional levels, inter alia, the first and the second World Youth Forum, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2017 and November 2018, and the 6th International seminar of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission, held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in October 2019,

Encouraging contributions by the UN High Commissioner, the special procedures of the Human Rights Council and the treaty bodies, and other relevant international and regional human rights mechanisms, as well as the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, in identifying and addressing obstacles to the enjoyment of all human rights by youth,

Underlining the important role that youth can play in the promotion of peace and security, sustainable development, human rights and the importance of the active, meaningful and inclusive participation of youth in decision-making,

Conscious that today’s generation of youth is the largest that the world has ever witnessed, and therefore encouraging States to make further efforts to ensure the respect, protection and fulfilment of all human rights for young people, including all civil, political economic, social and cultural rights, given that lack of participation and opportunity has adverse consequences for communities and societies,

Recognizing that young people experience difficulties in the exercise of their rights by virtue of being young, and that there are gaps in the protection and fulfilment of the human rights of youth,

Reiterating its deep concern  over the loss of lives and livelihoods and the disruption of economies  and  societies  due to  the  COVID-19  pandemic,  and  its  negative  impact  on  the enjoyment  of  human  rights  around  the world,  especially  its  disproportionate  impact  on young persons in vulnerable groups,

Noting the UN Secretary-General’s “A Call to Action for Human Rights” as well as the initiative “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”,

Welcoming the proposal by the Republic of Uzbekistan for the adoption of an International Convention on the Rights of Youth to meet the needs of the youth,


Recommended at international level to:


  1. intensify cooperation among key protagonists, especially the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development and the United Nations Development Programme, for enhanced policy coherence, sharing of best practices, broadening stakeholder pool, and developing interlinkages for cooperation on mutual policy priorities;
  2. work together to address the specific challenges young people face by articulating and promoting their rights through an international legal convention on youth rights;
  3. use the existing human rights instruments and mechanisms to mainstream youth rights such as addressing them through the Universal Periodic Review as well as Treaty Body reviews by involving youth organizations, national mechanisms for reporting and follow-up (NMRFs) and national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in national consultations;
  4. compile data on the Youth Development Index and use it as a yardstick to measure future progress;
  5. strengthen and align the World Programme of Action for Youth with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to promote environmental policies and initiatives aimed at building the capacity of youth as driving force in eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, climate change and inequalities for sustainable development, in particular for developing countries;
  6. recognize that the majority of migrants, refugees, and those affected by armed conflicts are young men and women, hence the need to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of young people regardless of their status by involving them in relevant decision making;
  7. stress the fundamental importance of equal opportunities, education, including human rights education, and technical and vocational training, and that lifelong learning opportunities and guidance for youth are necessary for the realization of all human rights and achieve SDG’ for young people;
  8. recognize that the protection of all youth, particularly young girls and women, migrants, refugees and internally displaced youth in armed conflict and post-conflict and their participation in peace processes can significantly contribute to the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security, and should be an important component of any comprehensive strategy to resolve conflict and build peace;
  9. recognize that young people’s meaningful engagement in decision making processes including but not limited to humanitarian planning and response is essential to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance and that young people play a unique role in strengthening the national, local and community-based capacities in conflict and post-conflict situations to prepare for and respond to increasingly frequent and severe weather events and natural disasters, as well as to public health challenges that affect young people’s life and their future, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and in this regard, encourages member states to support and integrate youth into decision-making processes in these regards;


Called upon the Member States to:


  1. promote democratic culture, integrate young people to public affairs, provide them access to justice and empower them through meaningful youth representation, participation and engagement at decision-making platforms at the local, national and international levels. To this end, legislative measures to lower the age of candidacy for public offices as well as voting age are recommended;
  2. promote equal opportunities for all, to eliminate all forms of discrimination against young people, including that based on age, race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property or other status;
  3. recognize the urgency to address the fact that the participation and  representation of youth in  institutional political processes and policymaking are low compared with those of other age groups, and that young people are not proportionately represented in political institutions, such as parliaments, political parties and public administrations, thus hindering their right to participation;
  4. establish a forum of young parliamentarians, which takes a leading role in conflict resolution and diplomacy and, in so doing, strengthens democracies and fosters peace, security and mutual trust between the Member States;
  5. in consultation with youth-led and youth-focused organizations, promote new initiatives for the full, effective, structured and sustainable participation of young people in relevant decision-making processes and monitoring in political, economic, social and cultural spheres,  including  in  designing  and  implementing policies, programmes and initiatives, in particular while implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  6. create conducive environment for the youth to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression, right to information and freedom of association and assembly;
  7. enact evidence based youth centered legislations, policies and programs for youth development and comprehensive cross-sectoral cooperation ensuring a human rights-based approach, in cooperation with youth-led organizations at all stages;
  8. ensure all necessary measures, including reviewing and, where appropriate, revising, amending or abolishing laws, regulations, policies, practices and customs that discriminate against young people, in particular girls and young women;
  9. consider  addressing,  through  the Universal periodic review and the UN treaty bodies, issues pertaining to the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights of youth, and to share the best practices that they have developed in dealing with the realization of the human rights of young people as well as install effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms such NMRFs and NHRIs, which could be in the form of disaggregated data and human rights indicators in the State reports to UN Charter-based and Treaty bodies;
  10. address legal, administrative, social, economic, digital and cultural barriers that limit young people’s participation and promote, supporting the establishment of independent youth-led councils, movements and networks for promoting cross-border youth exchange programmes for intercultural and interfaith dialogue and harmony;
  11. foster social integration of vulnerable or marginalized youth, especially young girls and women and such as those with disabilities, belonging to minorities, migrants or any other vulnerable group on an equal basis with others;
  12. Promote safeguarding the rights of labour migrants, in particular, their labour rights, safe working environment, compliance of professional duties with the age and health condition of a young person, as well as getting social guarantees generally established for this field of labour market;
  13. ensure young people’s access to reliable, safe and youth-friendly information communications technologies addressing the digital divide and promote cooperation towards developing innovative and sustainable solutions in the fields of science, technology and public policy;
  14. encourage entrepreneurship through improved access to finance and capacity building programs for youth entrepreneurs;
  15. develop policies and programmes to reinforce evidence-based, scientifically accurate, age appropriate, comprehensive health and mental wellbeing awareness and sexual health education, consistent with their evolving capacities, to help them make informed decisions in and health-care providers;
  16. protect educational institutions as spaces free from all forms of violence, and to ensure that they are accessible to all youth, including marginalized youth, and take steps to address young women’s equal enjoyment of their right to education;
  17. focus on the character building of the youth and provide human rights education raising awareness about their rights and responsibilities thus ensuring respect for diversity to counter extremism and deviant ideologies as well as to train them for their future roles at different levels;
  18. take note of the initiative of the Republic of Uzbekistan for adoption of a new Convention on the Rights of Youth by the UN General Assembly.


We, the participants of the Samarkand Human Rights Forum, emphasize the important role of international and regional intergovernmental organizations, as well as states in promotion and protection of  rights, freedoms and legal interests of young people, and address the Samarkand Resolution to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the UN Secretary-General and other international organizations.



Issued at Samarkand (via videoconference)

12-13 August 2020