Worldwide, people in prison belong to the most disadvantaged population groups. DVV International has been committed to improving the educational opportunities of prisoners in various countries for over 15 years. In Tajikistan, the institute is implementing the project Social-Economic and Cultural Rights of Prisoners and Ex-prisoners in Tajikistan (SECRET).
On October 9, 2015, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Tajikistan, Holger Green, was made aware of the work which has been completed and the achievements of the SECRET project during a visit to the women’s prison in Nurek. It is the only penal institution for females in Tajikistan. Ambassador Green was welcomed by Ilhom Makhmudov, Deputy Head of the Penal Administration Department, Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan, and Abdujabbor Khalishov, Head of the Women’s Prison in Nurek town. Both appreciated the contribution made by the German government in providing access to education for female prisoners and underlined the timeliness of the project’s actions and their relevance to the current needs of the country and the target group.
The visit programme also included inspection of the refurbished training facilities and informal discussions with the female prisoners/graduates of the vocational courses offered at the women’s prison. Ambassador Green greatly approved the progress made under the SECRET project and emphasized the necessity of expanding the project activities since this was the first educational pilot project implemented in a penal institution in Tajikistan.
SECRET is a two-year project which aims at the realisation of social, economic and cultural rights for female prisoners through their greater involvement in learning and production activities within the prison, and for ex-prisoners of both genders through providing legal and psychological consultations, personal development trainings and professional orientation consultations for the social re-integration groups. It contributes to the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and fundamental freedoms in Tajikistan by increasing access to education and personal development for female prisoners and ex-prisoners of both genders. The project is co-financed by the Delegation of the European Union to Tajikistan and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
More information on the work of DVV International in prisons worldwide can be found in the publication Youth and Adult Education in Prisons.