Comprehensive Sexuality Education

1. Context and background

2. Terminology

3. Laws and policies

4. Governance

5. Monitoring and reporting


1. Context and background

Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia, with a large population under the age of 30. Both the maternal mortality rate and the fertility rate have declined in recent years. While progress has been made in sexual health, significant challenges remain. These include regional disparity, the rising incidence of HIV, and the rate of fertility being among the highest in the area. 

While there is a legislative framework in place that enables the provision of sexuality education in formal education, comprehensive sexuality education (CSE)in the school curriculum is not mandatory, and social and cultural taboos hinder its implementation. In 2006, the Ministry of Education and Science authorized the Healthy Lifestyle education programme. It is not a mandatory subject; it has been developed as an optional subject for implementation in schools.


2. Terminology

'Healthy lifestyle education' is the term used at the country level in laws and policies.


3. Laws and policies

3.1. Relevant international/regional agreements to which the Tajikistan is a signatory



Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Accession date: 1993

Acknowledges the need to guarantee sexuality education free from discrimination and stereotypes, conveying gender equality values.

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Accession date: 1993

Commits to the right to access appropriate health-related information.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Not ratified

Commits to the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities.

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Accession date: 1999

Acknowledges that the right to sexual and reproductive health is an integral part of the right to health.

UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

Ratification date: 1992

Reaffirms that education is a human right. It highlights states' obligations to ensure free and compulsory education, bans any form of discrimination and promotes equality of educational opportunity.

The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action


Calls for sexuality education, counselling and support mechanisms for adolescents, and identifies essential topics.

UN General Assembly 2016 Political Declaration

on HIV and AIDS

Includes commitments and calls to scale up and/or attention to scientifically accurate age- and culturally appropriate comprehensive sexuality education.

Commission on the Status of Women 2016 Resolution on Women, the Girl Child and HIV and AIDS

Includes commitments to make universally accessible and available quality comprehensive sexual and reproductive health-care services, commodities, information and education.


3.2. Relevant national laws and policies mandating comprehensive sexuality education

At the national level, a number of laws recognize the right to education and access to sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for young people in Tajikistan. 

The Law on Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights (2002) ensures young people's right to information and reproductive health services. Amended in 2005, the Law mandates that these programmes should be age-appropriate and delivered through the public education system. Societal moral and cultural values should be also considered in their design. 

The Law on Education (2013-2014) requires educational institutions and educators, including schools and teachers, to promote a healthy lifestyle among learners. 

The 2021 Law on Youth includes Healthy life style as one of its main components and aims for the provision of health protection, healthy lifestyle and physical development of young people.

At the policy level, Tajikistan has enacted various programmes and policies. The National Program to Counter the HIV and AIDS Epidemic in the Republic of Tajikistan (2021-2025) states that the Education and Science Ministry of the Republic of Tajikistan provides information on HIV & AIDS prevention at all the country's educational institutions, as part of teaching hours and classes for curators, according to a separately approved programme. In addition, the National Program to Counter the HIV and AIDS Epidemic in the Republic of Tajikistan (2021-2025) states that more effective measures must be taken to reduce the vulnerability of young people and adolescents, particularly young women and girls, as well as to increase access to quality education, and voluntary confidential testing for HIV.  

The National Development Strategy 2030 aims to increase contraceptive prevalence, reduce the maternal mortality ratio by one-third, reduce the number of early and forced marriages, and improve the reproductive and maternal health system by 2030. 

The 2015 Government Resolution on the Provision of Medical Services and Counselling on Reproductive Health to Adolescents recognized that access to sexuality education should be guaranteed to all children, adolescents and their parents. The regulation establishes that sexuality education should be provided to students aged 10-14, with the topics to be taught including general health topics, hygiene and HIV. For students older than 15, issues include STIs, HIV (at a more advanced level), family planning methods and contraceptives.

The National Strategy for Education Development 2012 – 2020 includes skills for a healthy lifestyle as one of the objectives for students. 

The Strategic Plan Concerning Reproductive Health of the Population until 2014 identified the need of adolescents for information and education, reducing STIs and unintended pregnancies, and ensuring access to youth-friendly services. The Law on Education (2013) and the National Healthy Lifestyle Programme 2011-2020 also provide a legal framework for the implementation of sexuality education in the country. 

The National Strategy for the Education Development (NSED) of the Republic of Tajikistan until 2030 ratifies the Republic of Tajikistan's adoption and direction for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and expresses the will to enhance human capital with a comprehensive, intersectoral priority to address issues of education, health, social protection, and gender equity. However, no specific mention is made of sexuality or reproductive health education in schools.


3.3. Curricula

Mandatory or optional

Healthy Lifestyle is not a mandatory subject.

Model of delivery

Sexuality education is delivered through the Healthy Lifestyle course, which is taught during 'classroom hours' for eight hours each year in grades 7–11. No separate hours are allocated for SRH topics. In addition, non-formal education and extra-curricular seminars address SRH issues.

Comprehensiveness of content

Healthy Lifestyle covers topics such as: the prevention of STI and HIV, and social attitudes towards them; protecting the rights of people living with HIV; combating coercion to enter sexual relations; personal hygiene; the anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system; intimate relationships; and safe motherhood.

Learning resources

Curriculum and teacher guides with scripted lessons were developed for grades 5-11 by the Academy of Education of Tajikistan with support from UNICEF, German Development Agency GIZ, and UNFPA, in the period 2006-2012. In 2018-2019 teachers' guides for grades 10-11 were revised to improve SRH-related topics.


3.4. Teachers

According to the National Program to Counter the HIV and AIDS Epidemic in the Republic of Tajikistan (2021-2025), the programme for strengthening teacher education contains questions on healthy lifestyles as well as information on HIV transmission pathways and prevention. Over the years, UNFPA and other development partners have largely supported in-service teacher preparation. Most recently, in April 2022 training on the delivery of the Healthy Lifestyle course was organized for secondary school teachers in Khujand City.


3.5. Schools

Between 2007 and 2010, 21 youth-friendly SRH centres were established in the country. Services provided included HIV, STI and reproductive health services. Young people access some of the services free of charge, although some services have to be partly paid for, such as the treatment of STIs, ultrasound and abortion.


4. Governance

4.1 Responsible ministries

The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for the design, planning, and implementation of healthy living education in preschools, secondary schools, and high schools. The Ministry of Health engages closely with the implementation of initiatives to promote a healthy lifestyle among the population of Tajikistan.

4.2. Level of responsibility/decentralization and autonomy

As it is not a required subject, schools may choose whether or not to include the Healthy Lifestyle course in their curriculum.

4.3. Government budget allocation

No information was found.


5. Monitoring and reporting

No information on the systematic monitoring and reporting of data on indicators linked to reproductive health education was found. However, the National Strategy for Education Development 2012-2020 called for the establishment of inter-sectoral monitoring groups to conduct the annual monitoring of programme implementation, and Tajikistan successfully conducted a population and housing census in 2020. For the first time this included questions about people with disabilities, as well as a demographic and health survey in 2023.

Dernière modification:

mer 01/03/2023 - 21:40