The capital of Uzbekistan has a growing population of almost 2 million inhabitants. However, Uzbekistan’s “propiska” system, ties individuals to a particular location, hindering official internal migration from rural areas to cities in search of work.
As a result, many workers are forced to “illegally” move to the cities in search of employment. This lack of official registration makes them vulnerable to exploitation and violence.
Since 2000, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Tashkent.
HIV/AIDS is a growing concern in Uzbekistan. As a transit country for drug-trafficking, drug use has increased, especially in urban areas. In Uzbekistan, around 10% of HIV-related deaths are of children under 18 years. In the Tashkent region, almost 15% of children under 18 years are living with HIV.
Children from families living with HIV/AIDS face psychosocial stress, limited parenting capacities, financial deprivation, and the inability to pay school fees. However, when children themselves are living with HIV/AIDS, they face additional limited educational opportunities because they are often ill.
The Tashkent region has the lowest rate of early childhood education in Uzbekistan, with only 39% of children having access to pre-schools. As a result, the Tashkent region has one of the highest rates of out-of-school children.
Early childhood education can be particularly beneficial for disadvantaged children, setting them up for success in the further stages of education, enabling them to score higher marks and reducing the likelihood of repeating a grade. Children in pre-school are also less likely to be victims of abuse or neglect, thereby reducing the need for child welfare services.