Constitutional reforms: A reliable guarantee of the right to work

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July 4, 2022

Constitutional reforms: A reliable guarantee of the right to work

The fundamental law of every independent state determines the social, economic and political life of that country in the global arena.

It is in the Constitution that the obligations of the state to the people and their guarantees are fixed. Especially today, in the era of rapid transformations and the globalization process, the path chosen by the people, society and the state, the goals set and the ideas put forward require appropriate reforms. In particular, the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan is also no exception.

Along with the recognition of the amendments and additions made to the Constitution of the country in connection with the adoption of new laws and ongoing reforms, it should be noted that the time has come to reform the Basic Law. The chapter of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, dedicated to economic and social rights, stipulates that everyone shall have the right to work, free choice of work, fair conditions of labour and protection against unemployment in the procedure specified by law. Any forced labour shall be prohibited except for punishment under the sentence of a court or some other instances stipulated by law. (Article 37), citizens, working on hire, shall be entitled to a paid rest. The number of working hours and paid labour leave shall be specified by law (Article 38), and the Labor Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan establishes state guarantees for the realization of the right to work (Article 58).

However, even though the protection of the labor rights of citizens is guaranteed at the level of the Constitution and laws, it is known that until recently even responsible persons of state bodies violated the requirements of laws on the above issues. Due to the strict measures, the level of forced labor and other such phenomena has been reduced. Despite this, the number of applications to the courts and authorities is not decreasing, which indicates the need for more effective legal mechanisms and measures.

At the meeting of the Head of the state with members of the Constitutional Court, it was noted that an important goal of constitutional reforms is to ensure reliable protection of human rights to work and decent living conditions, protection from unemployment, and poverty reduction.

If using the example of the draft Constitutional Law “On introducing amendments and addenda to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, put forward for public discussion, we turn specifically to the issues of citizens’ rights to work, then we can be sure that representatives of the country’s intelligentsia and others are not indifferent to this process. In particular, according to the additions, Article 37 of the Constitution establishes that everyone has the right to decent work, to free choice of work, favorable working conditions that meet the requirements of safety and hygiene, to fair remuneration for work without any discrimination and not below the established minimum wage, as well as the right to protection from unemployment in the manner prescribed by law. These are revolutionary changes, and it is important to keep this edition of the article.

The fact that, according to the draft law, it is forbidden to refuse (it is advisable to replace it with “unreasonably refuse”) women in hiring, dismiss from work (… “and force them to dismiss from work”, would be even more precise) and reduce the payment of their wages will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the solution of many social problems (family divorce, suicide, etc.).

Constitutional reforms serve the interests of the people, increase the responsibility of the state to citizens. Therefore, we all must take an active part in the ongoing transformations in the country, with our opinions and proposals to become active participants in this historical process.

Khayriddin Fayziyev,

Acting Head of Department,

Center for Advanced Training of Lawyers.