Kazakhstan Presents Ongoing Reforms to Protect Children’s Rights at Int’l Conference

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights Dinara Zakiyeva addressed the ongoing reforms in the country to protect children’s rights at the international conference on children’s rights in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on Feb. 22, reported the conference’s press service.

Dinara Zakiyeva addresses the conference. Photo credit Zakiyeva’s Facebook account.jpg

Addressing her colleagues at an online conference, Zakiyeva outlined several measures, including the start of the National Fund for Children program, the Comfortable Schools project aimed at addressing the shortage of places in schools, and the establishment of rehabilitation centers across the country.

“Work is underway to develop children’s infrastructure. For example, 382 schools will be opened as part of the Comfortable Schools project,” Zakiyeva said.

She also spoke about the introduction of a 111 helpline to help victims of domestic violence and bullying round the clock and the introduction of the Finnish KiVa Antibullying Program  in the country’s schools. 

She emphasized Kazakhstan’s commitment to protecting orphaned children and combating violence and bullying, citing legislative measures such as the bill aimed at strengthening efforts to protect the rights of women and children, which was endorsed by the country’s lower house of the Parliament on Feb. 22. The bill underscores the imperative of punishment for violence and adopts a comprehensive approach to prevention, backed by 111 helpline.

“Kazakhstan upholds the rights of children at both constitutional and legislative levels,” Zakiyeva said.

She highlighted the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2023, underscoring the country’s commitment to upholding global standards.

One of the significant developments is the introduction of the Child Well-Being Index, which entails continuous monitoring of the situation of children in the country.

The adoption of a Social Code in 2023 extended benefits and social support for childcare, Zakiyeva added, including prolonging childcare benefits to 1.5 years. 

Qazaqstan Halqyna charitable fund plays a major role in supporting children. The fund supported the implementation of 67 healthcare, education, and social protection projects. These initiatives include the treatment of rare diseases, the establishment of rehabilitation centers in remote areas, and the provision of autism services nationwide.

Zakiyeva noted that the measures to protect the rights of children and women are implemented in partnerships with human rights commissioners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and advisory bodies.

She noted the establishment of a social laboratory aimed at unifying NGOs across the country.

The conference was attended by representatives of seven CIS countries who presented national instruments for protecting children’s rights and introduced innovations and reforms to exchange experience.

“Colleagues unanimously emphasized the importance of the changes being implemented in countries, as well as the common directions in their work. Following the meeting, a resolution was adopted, and joint plans were discussed. The main value of each country is children, their well-being, health, and safety. And it is precisely this that unites us all in a common goal and aspirations,” wrote Zakiyeva in a post on Facebook.

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