Speech by UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Louise Chamberlain Round table «Discussion of the Bill of the Kyrgyz Republic On Amendments of Certain Legislative Acts of the Kyrgyz Republic in the Field of Security and Protection against Domestic Violence
June 3, 2022
Excellency, Madame Dzhamilya Isaeva, Vice Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic,
Excellency, Mr. Arzybek Kojoshev, Deputy Chair of Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic,
Distinguished representatives of the Government, Judiciary, and civil society organizations;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the United Nations Development Program, today I have the honor to welcome you to this public discussion on the draft law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Amendments of Certain Legislative Acts of the Kyrgyz Republic in the Field of Security and Protection against Domestic Violence” which is a regulatory framework of great importance to curb violence against women and girls, a pervasive issue requiring urgent changes in the country’s legislation.
The adoption and enforcement of national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls, in line with international human rights standards, is one of the five key areas of progress actions that the campaign of the Secretary General "UNiTE to End Violence against Women" aims to reach in all countries, all over the world, by 2030.
We have all come together today to act on our shared commitment to end the fear and insecurity that threaten the health, dignity and life of Kyrgyz women and girls who suffer from violence. We are here to continue efforts of protecting everyone's right to be safe in their home and everywhere, through legislative action, and advocacy to ensure this challenge is addressed fairly and holistically.
This round table follows the productive meeting we held in November 2021 to review legislation in order to strengthen solutions to effectively prevent and respond to cases of domestic violence. Since then, the draft law has been extensively discussed among civil society organizations, experts from international organizations, employees of state bodies. It has already been presented at the Forum of Women MPs and Public Council members of the Ministry of Justice and other relevant national platforms.
The key question that now remains is, how do we make sure it gets implemented? How will the justice system ensure that the offenders are held to account, and that women are treated with respect and have access to redress?
Today, we will present important recommendations for reviewing and eliminating reconciliation and probation procedures for serious gender and sexual crimes to avoid impunity for sex offenders. The recommendations, developed with UNDP technical support to a comprehensive analysis of the new criminal legislation adopted in November 2021, have already informed the current bill with a view to strengthen the protection and safety of survivors. The analysis also produced recommendations aimed at harmonizing the new codes with the legislation in matters in the field of protection and defense against domestic violence.
In this regard, I commend the efforts of the current parliamentary convocation which has pledged to continue this important legislative initiative under the leadership of the Honorable MP Ashimova Dinara Ashimovna and all other honorable deputies who are present today. We trust that the Jogorku Kenesh will prioritize this bill and take all necessary measures to approve it as soon as possible, in line with the vital recommendations made by civil society.
We also recognize the vital role played by the Cabinet of Ministers in initiating today's discussion and creating space for meaningful dialogue on this important subject with all interested parties. It is a privilege for UNDP to work with you in this endeavor and we greatly appreciate your trust and leadership.
Of course, the work of the Cabinet in implementing this law, once adopted, may be even more important, because it will require changing mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors, of those who interact with victims of domestic violence, in police stations, in the courts, and in society at large. Every victim deserves to be treated with support, compassion, and respect, and the system must reorient itself to – in every instance – support the weakest and most vulnerable.
Last but not least, our sincere appreciation goes to the European Union for its vital collaboration under the Spotlight Initiative to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls in Kyrgyzstan.
Once again, welcome to this round table! I wish you all a fruitful discussion!