Towards a sustainable access to justice for legal empowerment in the Kyrgyz Republic

Project overview

Overall objective of the project is to promote legal empowerment of the disadvantaged groups and vulnerable population in the Kyrgyz Republic with a focus on women and persons with disabilities and improvement of their access to justice and legal aid in compliance with international human rights standards and recommendations.

 “If the Ministry of Justice is able to effectively implement the Law on State guaranteed legal aid, with particular focus on women and people with disabilities, and if people are informed and educated about the rights in line with the State concept on Legal culture, then the access to justice in the Kyrgyz Republic will be more adequately observed and promoted, leading to an enhanced trust in the rule of law with a positive impact on poverty reduction and addressing inequalities”.

The people of the Kyrgyz Republic and in particular disadvantaged and vulnerable populations such as women and persons with disabilities, continue to have low awareness levels of their legal rights, and often lack legal protection and access to remedies , despite the existence of an improved and advanced legal framework aimed at providing access to justice to its citizens.

Phase II of the project,  builds on the achievements of  and lessons learnt in its phase I (2014-2017), including,  inter alia, the adoption of the new Law on “State Guaranteed Legal Aid” and support  to the country’s efforts in developing a sustainable mechanism allowing citizens to access their rights in an efficient manner. In line with the Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA), it shall address capacity gaps of duty bearers (state bodies and justice sector actors) and rights holders (general population with special focus on the most vulnerable groups, including women, people with disabilities, CSOs and communities).

The project will also contribute to the implementation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy  and judicial reform of  the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as to the nationalization process of 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and in particular the implementation of SDGs 5 and 16.

The project will support the implementation of activities nationally and locally in Chuy and Osh regions, which constitute more than 60% of the country’s population. On the duty bearers’ side, the project will primarily focus on supporting the state’s ability to fully and effectively implement the Law on State Guaranteed Legal Aid addressing the structural, financial and capacity constraints. At the level of rights holders, it shall mostly concentrate on promoting legal empowerment and increasing awareness on human rights through the implementation of the Concept on Raising Legal Culture, with a focus on the most vulnerable groups.

Project’s results for 2018:

1.      Newly established National FLA Coordination Center (FLACC) under the Ministry of Justice operationalized:

  • Developed and adopted by-laws regulating the FLACC’s activities, including regulation on FLACC, standards for the provision of qualified legal assistance in civil and administrative cases, regulation on the tariffs and the procedure for payment for the lawyers providing FLA;
  • Developed and approved strategic plan of the FLACC for 2018-2020. Developed logo book and official website, including the register of lawyers.

2.      Action plan to introduce qualified legal assistance in civil and administrative cases developed and implementation started:

  • Developed and adopted standards for provision of FLA for civil and administrative cases;
  • Developed and adopted tariffs and procedure for payment.

3.      Coordination platform for primary and qualified legal aid established:

  • Agreement between the FLACC and non-profit organizations, legal clinics of universities and other organizations and individuals
  • Agreement on cooperation of the FLA Coordination Center with the Bar of KR
  • Resolution of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic "On approval of the Procedure for interaction between the subjects of the State-guaranteed legal aid system and the list of documents, confirming the right of a person to get qualified legal assistance”

4.      11 FLA centers provided 6951 consultations to 6472 people, including 3321 women, 3151 men and 91 PwDs

5.      3048 inhabitants from 168 localities of the Chui, Issyk-Kul, Osh, Jalal-Abad, Batken provinces, including 1348 women, 1189 men and 511 PwDs were consulted by the MoJ “Bus of Solidarity”

6.      2 trainings for FLA Centers’ lawyers on interviewing and counselling skills and communication and counselling skills required for providing legal aid to vulnerable groups: 102 lawyers trained, including 44 women and 58 men

7.      4 two-days trainings of trainers (ToT) on PwDs and women’s rights: 119 new trainers trained, including 107 women, 12 men and 17 PwDs

8.      Adopted Law on Ratification of UN CRPD

9.      7 draft laws developed to align existing legislation with the UN CRPD norms under the review of the Parliament

10.   International scientific and practical conference conducted: “Creating Institutional Mechanisms for the Social Integration of Persons with Disabilities”

11.   24 educational videos “ABC of Rights” produced with sign language interpretation prepared

12.   5 Codes and 3 Laws related to the vulnerable group’s rights published in Braille

Total project budget: 1.7 million €

Duration:  January 2018 – December 2021 (phase II)

Pilot regions: Chuy oblast (including Bishkek city) and Osh oblast (including Osh city)

Donor: Government of Finland

Implementing agency: UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic