Uzbekistan set a goal to change the principle of “state-society-person” to the new “man-society-state” principle and enshrine it in constitutional legislation and constitutional practice, and above all – to put human interests above anything else.
On December 7, 2021, President Sh. Mirziyoev, in his speech dedicated to the 29th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, said: “Nowadays, Uzbekistan is boldly moving towards building a social state and a just society. Therefore, it is time to enshrine the principle “The New Uzbekistan is a social state” as a constitutional provision”.
It should be noted that a social state is a model of a state that is aimed to provide quality education, qualified medical care, comprehensive support for families, children, women, older people, and persons with disabilities, provide housing for people in need, ensure employment, create safe working conditions, and reduce poverty.
Importantly, in the last five to six years, the main requirements of the social welfare state have been put into practice in the country, including:
Firstly, In the Strategy of Action for 2017-2021 and the Development Strategy for 2022-2026, the issues of developing the social sphere, conducting a fair social policy, and developing human capital were identified as priority tasks.
Secondly, the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Employment was established, the activities of “Monocentres” were launched, “Iron Notebook”, “Women’s Notebook” and “Youth Notebook” were established, payment of hundred-per cent pension has been started to working pensioners, the year 2022 was designated as “The Year of Glorification of Human Dignity and Active Mahalla (neighbourhood)”. The population’s social protection strategy has been approved, and the problem of poverty in the country has been acknowledged. The position of assistant governor, responsible for reducing poverty, developing entrepreneurship, creating jobs, and increasing the population’s income, was introduced in each settlement (mahalla). Most importantly, a new system of care for the population has been established.
Thirdly, special attention was paid to education and medicine compatible to the social welfare state. Unprecedented reforms were carried out in the progressive improvement of the continuous education system, quality education and training of qualified personnel under the motto “Investment in Education – investment in the great future”. As a result, the coverage rate of preschool education increased from 27.7% to 67%, the share of qualified teachers with higher education in schools increased from 81.8% to 87.8%, the compulsory 11-year school education was restored, the workload of school teachers was optimized and forced labour was abolished, the level of coverage of youth with higher education was increased from 9% to 38%.
Funds allocated from the budget in the health sector has been increased from 7.3 trillion soums to 24.7 trillion soums, the average monthly salary of doctors ‑ from 1131.2 thousand soums to 3282.7 thousand soums, the salary of nurses from 692.1 thousand soums to 2008.6 thousand soums, the funds allocated from the budget for medicines and medical supplies from 0.4 trillion soums to 1.8 trillion soums, the number of HEIs in the field of medicine increased from 7 to 9, and the number of private medical organizations increased from 4,000 to 7,049. In short, it has created the foundation for establishing a social state in Uzbekistan.
In the updated Constitution, Uzbekistan is declared a social state. Norms regarding the social obligations of the state are increasing almost threefold.
The principle “New Uzbekistan is a social state” is being enshrined as a constitutional norm; the additions, such as preventing child labour, ensuring reliable protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and representatives of the elderly generation, providing housing for socially needy categories of citizens, determining the minimum amount of remuneration for work, the right to receive the guaranteed amount of medical care at the expense of the state, are being incorporated in the draft constitution.
As a result, the socio-economic rights and freedoms of people and citizens guaranteed by the Constitutional norms, in turn, are strengthened by the corresponding obligation of the state.
This, in turn, ensures strong constitutional protection for the results achieved in recent years within the framework of the Strategy of Action and the implementation of the tasks defined within the Development Strategy. They are being enshrined in the Constitution so that our future generations can safely enjoy their rights and freedoms.