Kazakhstan summed up the results of work in the field of human rights

December 10, 2022
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

On the eve of International Human Rights Day, a meeting of Kazakh commissioners was held in Kazakhstan with the support of UNDP to discuss the prospects and potential for the development of the Ombudsman institution in Kazakhstan and to take stock of the work in the field of human rights protection in the country. 

"Today, the scope of human rights protection is determined not only by the National Human Rights Institution, but also by ombudsmen, who have a special mandate. This year, I have received more than 3,500 requests in various areas, concerning working conditions as well as migration, conditions of detention in closed institutions, medical care, and so on. In this context, combining efforts with colleagues plays an important role. We all do only one thing - to help citizens restore and protect their rights,"
said Elvira Azimova, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan, in her speech.
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

The event was attended by deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, representatives of the presidential administration, state bodies, regional and sectoral ombudsmen, heads of diplomatic missions, and experts from international non-governmental organizations.

"Kazakhstan was elected to the UN Human Rights Council for 2022-2024. This is a unique opportunity for the country to advance the human rights agenda at both the national and international levels. The progress we have seen in Kazakhstan over the past 30 years can be an example for other countries to follow in developing the institution of the Ombudsman, and the legal framework created in the country is a clear example of commitment to this agenda,"
said Michaela Friberg-Story, UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan.
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

This year, International Human Rights Day marks the beginning of a global campaign dedicated to the legacy and relevance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2023.

"Guided by our new 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, UNDP will continue to respond to the UN Secretary-General's call to action on human rights and work with countries and communities to mainstream human rights into all aspects of our government support activities. This means first and foremost reaching out to the most vulnerable groups, including women and girls, rural residents, people in closed institutions, migrants and people with disabilities, and supporting them in shaping their own development paths,"
said Sukhrob Khojimatov, UNDP resident Representative a.i. in Kazakhstan.
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

It should be noted that the Kazakhstan National Human Rights Institution celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. On November 18, 2022, the Constitutional Law of November 5, 2022 "On the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan" came into force, according to which the rights and powers of the Commissioner are expanded. Representatives of the Commissioner for Human Rights have started working today in 17 out of 20 regions. Representations in the remaining three regions are expected to be established in 2023.


Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

The event also discussed the possibility of expanding the representation of the ombudsman institution in the sectoral context.  

"The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection is making every effort to ensure the realization of citizens' rights to social security and rights in the exercise of labour activity. Our Ministry is currently working on a draft Social Code, in which we try to consider citizens’ rights to pensions, social security and employment. In addition, as part of the implementation of the President's address, we have begun work on the creation of an institution to protect the rights of various groups of population, in particular, people with disabilities,"
said Nazgul Sagindykova, Vice-Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

The Commissioner for Children's Rights, Aruzhan Sain, also called for a joint effort to protect children's rights and to open representative offices of this public institution in each region, following the example of the opening of regional representative offices of the Commissioner for Human Rights.

Anara Ibrayeva, head of the Kadyr Kasiyet Public Foundation, pointed out that the National Human Rights Institute should be more involved in the issue of protecting children from bullying and monitoring closed penitentiary institutions to prevent torture.

Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan, the United Nations Development Programme provides expert assistance to support the work of the Commissioner for Human Rights, the National Center for Human Rights, and the members of the National Preventive Mechanism against Torture. In particular, work is underway to strengthen the capacity of the Ombudsman's representatives in the regions to align the Institute's work with the standards of the Paris Principles of NHRIs and to increase its accreditation status in the Global Alliance of Human Rights Institutions. This work reflects the objectives of the UNDP Country Program and the implementation of the main directions of the UNDP Strategic Plan, aimed at achieving the SDGs and implementing the UN 2030 agenda.