Kazakhstan Advances Gender Equality, Combats Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking

ASTANA – The Human Dimension Dialogue Platform consultative and advisory body convened on June 3 for a regular meeting to discuss the implementation of the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, countering domestic violence, and measures to combat human trafficking in Kazakhstan, reported the Foreign Ministry’s press service.

Photo credit: Kazakh Foreign Ministry

The meeting was chaired by Ambassador-at-Large Alua Nadirkulova, who informed about Kazakhstan’s priorities for promoting gender equality and countering domestic violence at the UN Human Rights Council sessions this year. Kazakhstan was elected as a UN Human Rights Council member for 2022-2024.

Nadirkulova emphasized the collaborative efforts of civil society, lawyers, members of Parliament, human rights institutions, and government agencies in developing the law on protecting women’s rights and child safety. This regulatory act is part of the action plan in the field of human rights and the rule of law, dated Dec. 8, 2023.

Naila Mukhtarova, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Youth and Family Affairs of the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Information, noted the focus on supporting women’s economic and political societal positions. She emphasized increasing the number of women in leadership roles in government and the quasi-public sector to 30%, preventing violence against women and children, promoting gender education, and supporting motherhood and childhood. Legislative measures include introducing 30% quotas for women, youth, and persons with disabilities in electoral party lists and parliamentary mandates.

Marat Bashimov, a member of the Mazhilis, the lower house of the Kazakh Parliament, informed attendees about the human rights law on combating human trafficking. This law covers all vulnerable categories, aligns with international principles, and has been passed from the Mazhilis to the Senate and the upper house. The law includes over a hundred amendments based on recommendations from civil society, international and Kazakh human rights organizations, and expert circles.

Kazakh Vice Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Nazgul Sagindykova reported on the provision of a wide range of special social services to victims of human trafficking funded by the state budget. Since the beginning of the year, local executive bodies have assisted 192 victims of human trafficking, 74 of whom are foreign citizens.

Shynar Kocherbayeva, Head of the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the Kazakh Interior Ministry, highlighted the development of the first special draft law on combating human trafficking. This law aligns some definitions with international standards, establishes authorized bodies and their responsibilities, and secures the rights of human trafficking victims, including minors and foreigners.

Renat Zulkhairov, Deputy Chairman of the Administrative Police Committee of the Kazakh Interior Ministry, noted that a law signed on April 15 criminalizes minor harm to health and beatings within administrative legislation. The law grants courts the authority to evict aggressors from homes temporarily and requires them to attend mandatory psycho-correction courses in healthcare organizations.

Established in 2013 by the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, the Human Dimension Dialogue Platform consultative and advisory body serves as an effective tool for facilitating dialogue between the government and the civil sector, discussing various human rights protection issues with participation from international organizations such as UNDP, OHCHR, and OSCE as observers.

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