UNDP and Finland to Strengthen Access to Justice in Kyrgyzstan

November 30, 2022

30 November, Bishkek – Today UNDP launched the third phase of the “Strengthening Human Rights Protection and Equal Access to Justice in the Kyrgyz Republic”. In this third phase UNDP with its national partners and civil society stakeholders aims to support the current legal aid and justice reform agenda of the Kyrgyz Republic to improve the access to justice for people with disabilities, women and rural communities.  

In her opening remarks, Monica Rijal, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative noted that access to justice is crucial to support inclusion and combat discriminatory practices as well as to increase the peaceful resolution of disputes and overall, promote social cohesion between state, communities and people. “Today's demands for justice require urgent and unconventional responses: we clearly need to rethink justice and embrace new ways of understanding and addressing injustice in a way that can enable transformative change for people,” said Monica Rijal.

UNDP will partner with the Ministry of Justice, Institute of Ombudsman, Supreme Court, Office of the General Prosecutor; Parliament and Cabinet; Ministry of Economy and Commerce; civil society organizations; the bar, Aarhus Centers; organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), academia and legal clinics and media.

First, the project will focus on sustaining access to justice and quality legal aid services in particular for women, people living in remote areas and people with disabilities to move from being overly state-centric and institutions-focused to be more people-centred in line with the Law on “State Guaranteed Legal Aid” and international standards.

Efforts to advance the implementation of the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities with their more active and engaged participation will be taken under this phase.

Also, UNDP will be strengthening inclusive public access to legal information and oversight mechanisms for promoting and monitoring legal empowerment and the effective implementation of justice and human rights standards at national level.

In 2021, the Concluding Observations of Kyrgyzstan Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urged strengthening awareness-raising among women and girls, including in rural areas, about the legal remedies available to claim violations of their rights. It prioritized ensuring that all women and girls have effective access to affordable and when necessary free legal assistance, adequately funding and subsidizing the premises and utility costs of legal aid centers and increasing their numbers in rural areas.

Atyr Abdrakhmatova, Akykatchy (Ombudsperson) of the Kyrgyz Republic: “I urge all participating parties to build people-centered, human rights-based free legal aid system in Kyrgyzstan. This is even more pertinent in light of Kyrgyzstan's recent election to the Human Rights Council for 2023-2025.”

The project “Strengthening Human Rights Protection and Equal Access to Justice in the Kyrgyz Republic” (phase III) is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. 

To learn about previous phases of the project please follow this and this links.

Photos from the event: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAhh4m


Contacts for media: Nurzhan Alymkanova, UNDP Communications Specialist, nurzhan.alymkanova@undp.org