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January 29, 2018
Steering Committee meeting of the EU-funded project "Reforming Legal Aid for the Vulnerable" held in Almaty
АLMATY— On 26 January, 2018themeeting ofSteering Committee of the EU-funded project“Reforming Legal Aid For the Vulnerable in Kazakhstan” was held in Almaty. The project is implemented by the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia in partnership with Taldykorgan Human Rights Center and aims to enhance the protection of individual rights of vulnerable people, in particular in the wider criminal and civil justice systems, through improving access to government funded legal aid.
The experts on human rights, representatives of public sector and representatives of projects financed by the EU (EUCJ, PRI and the Union of the Crisis Centers), representatives of the international organizations and the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan have discussed intermediate results of the project, the working plan for the following project implementation period and also have defined mechanisms of further cooperation between the partner organizations for ensuring stability of project's results.
"During the first year of project implementation through rigorous field research of a situation, monitoring and the analysis of the legislation we identified major challenges and barriers preventing vulnerable people from accessing government funded legal aid if they face criminal, civil or administrative affairs", - said Akmaral Karlybayeva, EFCA project manager. Also, additional categories of vulnerable groups of the population who are not covered by the current Law and need free legal aid, as well as types of affairs on which qualified assistance of a lawyer is necessary have been identified.
The detailed analysis on the basis of a research and the current legislation is prepared in four directions: (1) women in a difficult life situation (victims of domestic violence); (2) the minor offenders placed in special facilities for children with deviant behavior; (3) convicted at the stage of cassation and on issues arising in the civil legal relationship; (3) graduates of orphanages. Also the analysis and recommendations developed to the draft Law of Kazakhstan "On Advocacy and Legal Aid" and aimed at solving problems of state-guaranteed legal aid were sent to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan and deputies of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
"We start a new chapter of the project – development of advocacy campaign and study tour to Georgia (Tbilisi). During the study tour, the Action Team will cooperate with country’s Bar Association, the Legal Aid Office and the Ministry of Justice in order to study in detail issues and processed of access to legal aid for the vulnerable. We hope for participation in this tour representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Mazhilis of the Republic of Kazakhstan", - said Victor Ten, Director of the Taldykorgan Human Rights Center.