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Kazakhstan - Real Commitment to Human Rights and Rule of Law in
Kazakhstan
Since gaining independence in 1991, Kazakhstan ...
United Nations Elects Kazakhstan to Human Rights Council
We are pleased that Kazakhstan was elected to the UN Human Rights...
Information ZhannaKurmangaliyeva, Member of Mazhilis (the Lower Chamber) of
the Parliament AigulSolovyeva, Secretary of th...
on issues related to the implementation of international human rights agreements,
including the International Covenant on ...
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Kazakhstan - Human Rights and Rule of Law Commitments in Kazakhstan

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Comprehensive measures to improve human rights in Kazakhstan are set out in two current programs: Kazakhstan’s Human Rights Action Plan for 2009-2012 and the Legal Policy Concept for 2010-2020. As these policy documents are being implemented successfully, we are achieving a more efficient, consistent and coordinated policy on human rights, with the involvement of Government, civil society and international organizations. We have already made progress that has brought Kazakhstan closer to EU and OSCE standards, following comprehensive work on the reform of law enforcement and judicial systems and in the area of human rights protection.

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Kazakhstan - Human Rights and Rule of Law Commitments in Kazakhstan

  1. 1. Kazakhstan - Real Commitment to Human Rights and Rule of Law in Kazakhstan Since gaining independence in 1991, Kazakhstan has shaped its course towards a democratic, legal and secular state, in which the state policy is mainly based on human rights and freedoms. The Republic of Kazakhstan is a party to 49 multilateral universal conventions on humanitarian law and human rights, including the major human rights conventions of the United Nations called ‘the international human rights instruments’ Comprehensive measures to improve human rights in Kazakhstan are set out in two current programs: Kazakhstan’s Human Rights Action Plan for 2009-2012 and theLegal Policy Concept for 2010-2020. As these policy documents are being implemented successfully, we are achieving a more efficient, consistent and coordinated policy on human rights, with the involvement of Government, civil society and international organizations. We have already made progress that has brought Kazakhstan closer to EU and OSCE standards, following comprehensive work on the reform of law enforcement and judicial systems and in the area of human rights protection. The National Human Rights Action Plan for 2009-2012 has been developed jointly with Kazakh and foreign NGOs. The Government is developing a National Human Rights Action Plan for 2013-2020, which will be adopted after consultation with civil society organizations. Activity in the field of human rights in Kazakhstan is reinforced by a constructive dialogue with the OSCE (ODIHR) on a number of issues related to enhancing democracy in Kazakhstan. The ODIHR’s recommendations are being taken into account and many are being implemented and incorporated into the texts of legislative regulations. The Government and public organizations in Kazakhstan have also started implementing the guidelines of the Social Modernization in Kazakhstan, initiated by the Head of State, with a focus on revising legislation in the field of social care. In 2011, Kazakhstan chaired a number of authoritative international organzations such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. We were also active within the UN and the OSCE Troika. During our chairmanship of the OIC, at a meeting in Kazakhstan, a Committee on Human Rights was established. This Committee will now enable us to form a platform for dialogue and the exchange of views and experience on the issues of human rights and freedoms in all member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Kazakhstan has successfully joined fundamental international human rights conventions and agreements, which allow the Government to implement human rights protection mechanisms better.
  2. 2. United Nations Elects Kazakhstan to Human Rights Council We are pleased that Kazakhstan was elected to the UN Human Rights Council by a vote of the United Nations General Assembly. We took up our membership on 1st January 2013 and will sit on the Council until 2015. Kazakhstan pledges to lead not only from within the Council, but also at home, to guarantee that universal human rights are protected and observed not just across the globe, but in Kazakhstan too. We do not see our election to the Council as a badge of honour. We see it as an opportunity to contribute to global efforts to make progress in this crucial field. Kazakhstan has been actively supporting the work of the Human Rights Council. Our Minister of Foreign Affairs takes part in an annual high-level meeting of the Human Rights Council. One of the hallmarks of the Kazakh OSCE chairmanship in 2010 was the consistent work of the Government with civil society and international experts. A clear demonstration of this collaboration was the establishment of a Consultative Council on the OSCE Human Dimension in 2010, comprised of officials, civil society representatives and international experts from the United Kingdom, United States, Netherlands, Estonia and Germany. Following the completion of the Council’s work, the international experts and civil society representatives expressed their gratitude for the formation of this essential body and the possibility of having an open dialogue on the current and anticipated issues in the field of human rights. Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry announced the establishment of a Working Group on the Human Dimension, which includes representatives of Government, political parties, and Kazakh civil society. We also invited representatives and experts from international human rights organizations accredited in Kazakhstan to this Group, including the Almaty Helsinki Committee, the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, Freedom House, NDI and others. The first meetingof the Working Group on Human Dimension took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan on January 14, 2013. Importance of human rights issues and affirmative work experience at the OSCE Consultative Council on Human Dimension under Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was functioning in the year of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the Organization, were the reasons to convene the Working Group on Human Dimension. As a platform for dialogue between government agencies and public sector, the working group might also be helpful in Kazakhstan’s UN Human Rights Council membership activity starting from January 1, 2013. The session included representatives from government agencies, Parliament and political parties, domestic and foreign NGOs. Among attendees were Adviser to the President of Kazakhstan YermukhametYertisbayev, Commissioner for Human Rights AskarShakirov, Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and
  3. 3. Information ZhannaKurmangaliyeva, Member of Mazhilis (the Lower Chamber) of the Parliament AigulSolovyeva, Secretary of the Commission on Human Rights under the President of Kazakhstan TastemirAbishev, prominent human rights activists – ZaureshBattalova,YevgenyZhovtis,VitaliyVoronov, Sergey Zlotnikov, Tamara Kaleeva, BakhytTumenova, ZhemysTurmagambetova, NinelFokina and others. The meeting was an open dialogue with representatives of NGOs on human rights issues. Minister of Foreign Affairs ErlanIdrissov opened the meeting by emphasizing the growing importance of human dimension in implementation of Kazakshtan’s national policy. It is no coincidence that the Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev in his Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy address to the nation on December 14, 2012 underlined the importance of focusing all our efforts to increase the quality of human potential in Kazakhstan. Idrissov urged members of the session to conduct a constructive dialogue on key issues of the agenda and asked representatives of the government bodies and non-governmental organizations to learn to «listen and hear each other». Director of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law YevgenyZhovtis expressed solidarity with this call, and mentioned that the increase in the living standards in our country is the common goal for both the state institutions and the civil sector. He emphasized that it is necessary to move from "opposition of individuals" to "competition of the arguments
 " in order to ensure development of a more constructive dialogue between the government bodies and NGOs. Adviser to the President of Kazakhstan YermukhametYertisbayev mentioned recent substantive growth in the number of NGOs registered in Kazakhstan. From his point of view, it indicates continuous strengthening and qualitative development of the civil society in our country. Speaking about the practical support of the civil sector by the government, Yertisbayev marked that during the independence years, funding of non-governmental organizations from the republican and local budgets grew more than twenty times. Commissioner for Human Rights AskarShakirov on his part pointed out the timeliness of the decision to convene this Working Group and expressed his hope for a fruitful work in all aspects of the human dimension, including political, economic, cultural and other issues of the human rights area. Participants were all positive with the initiative to form the Working Group. They also introduced a number of proposals concerning the status and framework of the Group, on allocating the functions among the key directions of its activities, and as a result developing "esprit de corps" in order to achieve tangible results. Over the meeting was a very successful and paved the way for a better constructive dialogue between the Government and foreign and Kazakhstan human rights NGOs
  4. 4. on issues related to the implementation of international human rights agreements, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the promotion of cooperation with OSCE in human rights in Kazakhstan. This step, in our view, is consistent with the spirit of the Astana OSCE Declaration, unanimously adopted by the Heads of 56 participating OSCE States in December 2010. Kazakhstan is committed to continuing efforts to ensure that legislative and law enforcement practices conform to international standards, and to guarantee the domestic tools of human rights protection.

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