Kazakhstan Human Rights Commission Presents Findings

ASTANA – The Kazakhstan presidential Commission on Human Rights presented on Sept. 19 its report on “Human Rights in Kazakhstan in 2012” and on “Migrant Rights in Kazakhstan.”

The human right report gives a general assessment of the state of basic rights in Kazakhstan, such as the right to life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the rights of the child, the rights of repatriates and others. It also assesses the state of migrant workers’ rights from the time of Kazakhstan’s independent to the present, identifying existing problems in the field of migration and the protection of the rights of migrant workers.

According to the commission’s findings, from Jan.1, 2012 through Dec.31, 2012, the commission’s Secretariat received 1,355 written complaints from individuals and legal entities regarding infringements on persons’ and citizens’ rights and freedoms.

Kazakhstan Human Rights Commission Chairman Kuanysh Sultanov in his presentation to the gathering said that “an analysis was made on the received letters to the commission and complaints over the past year. Thirty-five percent of 2,000 correspondences received were complaints against law enforcement and there were a lot of complaints of violations in the field of labour law.”

Analysis of the submitted complaints covered in the human rights report indicated the following trends: complaints of citizens who disagree with court rulings on criminal, civil, administrative and juvenile cases amount to 34.31 percent of the total number of written complaints submitted to the human rights commission, complaints against the actions and omissions of law enforcement totaled 21.57 percent, complaints pertaining to non-execution of judicial rulings were 11.51 percent, complaints pertaining to infringements on citizens’ social rights were 4.94 percent, complaints pertaining to infringements on citizens’ housing rights came to 4.42 percent, complaints pertaining to infringement on citizen’s labour rights equalled 3.17 percent, complaints against the actions and omissions of economic entities’ officials were 2.95 percent, complaints against the actions and omissions of governors, other government officials of executive and representative branches of power were 2.28 percent and complaints against the actions of judicial organs totaled 1.99 percent.

The commission’s report has been praised by Kazakhstan human rights officials as marking the beginning of the practical implementation of the recommendations of the government and parliament.

The presentation of the report was attended by officials, such as Kazakhstan Secretary of State Marat Tazhin, Kazakhstan Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov, Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights Kuanysh Sultanov, United Kingdom Ambassador to Kazakhstan Carolyn Brown, Head of IOM Mission for Central Asia Deyan Keserovich and Head of OSCE Centre in Astana Natalia Zarudna.

Secretary of StateTazhin spoke to the gathering, noting that human rights has been one of the Kazakhstan government’s most important priorities since the country gained independence in 1991.

“Fundamental rights and freedom are reflected in the national legislation of the country, judicial and law enforcement systems are improving and human rights institutions are dynamically evolving,” he said. “Clear evidence of the recognition of the achieved success in this direction was Kazakhstan’s election as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for 2013-2015.”

Tazhin also stressed that the commission plays a significant role in the country’s human rights system, working closely with government agencies, civil society and international organizations to promote and protect human rights.

Foreign Minister Idrissov noted in his speech to the gathering that “Not all of these NGO and foreign governments’ reports fully correspond to the reality. They focus exclusively on the problematic aspects on which the country is still working, and present the existence of these problems as a fact, alluding to the reluctance of Kazakhstan to implement political reforms. Meanwhile, visible results of the country are either overlooked or ignored,” Idrissov noted.

Despite that challenge, continued Idrissov, Kazakhstan will continue to work with international organizations toward a “stable, liberal, democratic future for Kazakhstan.”

The report, which has been praised by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, as well as international and national human rights experts, was published in Kazakh, Russian and English language editions, with technical support from the British Embassy in Kazakhstan, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Centre in Astana and the International Organization on Migration (IOM) in Kazakhstan.

The report was presented by Commission on Human Rights members Tastemir Abishev, Vitaly Voronov, Yenlik Nurgaliyeva, Yerkin Ongarbayev and Gulziya Nabi.