Starting from October 2021, two Central Asian countries launched a hotline to provide legal consultations and services in cases of human rights violations, discrimination and domestic violence. The initiative was implemented as part of the C19RM component of the regional #SoS_project and was planned as an additional tool to reach a wider range of clients who can receive the services offered by REAct.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the work of civil society organizations and required alternative solutions to ensure uninterrupted provision of services for key populations. REActors working in the countries of the region reported that due to quarantine restrictions, many clients were not able to come to the offices of CSOs to talk to REActors, report violations of their rights and receive legal advice. Moreover, completely new types of violations were reported that did not exist before the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the detention of people who inject drugs who violated curfew or barriers in accessing antiretroviral or opioid substitution therapy due to checkpoints and movement restrictions during the lockdown.
In order to effectively deal with these challenges and continue working in an emergency situation, it was decided to launch a hotline for remote consultations. REActors, who continued documenting human rights violations within their outreach activities, now did it by phone, without leaving their home or office and not exposing themselves to the risk of coronavirus.
Hotline number in Tajikistan:
Номер горячей линии в Узбекистане:
+998 (55) 503 06 00
Besides, when advertising and promoting the new hotline, a special focus is made on bringing information to women from key populations. After all, women are more vulnerable to domestic violence (which certainly escalates with stress, quarantine and pandemic) and other violations of their basic rights. In addition, due to widespread bias, stigma and discrimination, women are often embarrassed to visit organizations offering services for PLWH and key populations. We hope that the newly established telephone communication channel with REActors will help to build a stronger connection with women from key populations and provide them with quality and timely support in cases when their rights are violated or when they suffer from domestic violence.
Information about the launch of the new hotline is distributed through leaflets and posters in places most often visited by our potential clients.