NUR-SULTAN – The National Center for Human Rights in Kazakhstan and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions agreed to increase support to Kazakh civil society and various institutions for the implementation of human rights and democratic principles within the OCSE. This was announced during the signing of the memorandum between Commissioner (Ombudsperson) for Human Rights Elvira Azimova and Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Matteo Mecacci as part of his visit to Kazakhstan on June 23.
“We recognize the potential and the efforts of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which can assist us in advancing the reforms outlined by the head of state. In this regard, we agreed to sign this memorandum and express gratitude to Matteo Mecacci for the support,” said Azimova.
Mecacci believes that the memorandum will help promote democratic principles.
“The ODIHR has a mandate to work with independent human rights institutions such as the Ombudsperson [for Human Rights] in Kazakhstan and we are happy to increase our support also in light of the constitutional amendments, which have also increased the status of this office in Kazakhstan, and to its broader involvement in monitoring the human rights in the country,” Mecacci said.
Mecacci noted that the memorandum seeks to support the work of the Ombudsperson for Human Rights in Kazakhstan in the field of prevention of torture, increase cooperation with civil society, raise awareness about human rights in the Kazakh society, and promote the protection of minorities, youth, women, and people with disabilities.
“We will work to strengthen the capacity of the Ombudsperson institution in all these areas, and make sure there is an active platform of dialogue with civil society, who are also representing the aspirations of the people and use these channels with us, with the Ombudsperson institution, to make sure the authorities are implementing their human rights standards and obligations,” he added.
The ODIHR also plans to work with the Supreme Court and the Parliament to make sure that there is further progress to address human rights concerns.
According to Azimova, a key priority area of work is in bolstering respect for human rights. The objective is not only to promote human rights but respect for human life at every level in all the institutions and organizations and also to provide support to vulnerable groups of the population like youth, women, and persons with disabilities.
“We need to ensure people with the knowledge on human rights and value оf human rights and we have to consider and learn positive experience developed by other countries while developing our own mechanism,” she said.
Training and capacity-building measures for both the Ombudsperson’s office and other civil society organizations are expected as part of the agreement.