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Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia
in Kazakhstan

Support for Vulnerable Groups

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Empowering South Kazakhstan CSOs to Promote Human Rights Reforms

Date of Beginning: 3/1/15 Date of End: 5/1/17

Project Information


Justification:

The action builds upon the Human Rights CSO Network created within the scope of the Equal Before the Law: Access to Justice in Central Asia (EBL) program funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2011-2014. The regional program was designed to improve access to justice for vulnerable groups in Central Asia by strengthening the links between international norms and national law and by analyzing and improving the way national laws are experienced by vulnerable citizens.

The Strengthening CSO Networking for Human Rights Advocacy program, supported by the European Union in Kazakhstan, 2012-2014, further developed the institutional capacity of network members, resulting in CSO-led research studies and community awareness-raising campaigns, as well as the formalization of the CSO network through collaborative strategy development. The proposed action will continue the work of both programs through the CSO network, capitalizing on the commitment of 23 network members to develop non-lawyer community advocate skills as well as ‘watch-dog’ activities, characterized by systematic recording, analysis, and publication of data regarding the needs and barriers experienced by vulnerable groups. Tools, resources, and expert partnerships developed during these previous programs will be utilized for maximum program impact – building on previous lessons learned and continuing long-term advocacy for the recognition and fulfillment of the rights guaranteed to all citizens by law, including the provision of free legal consultations by the state.  


Overall objective:

To empower the network of South Kazakhstan human rights organizations to promote recognition of human rights freedoms and improved access to services for vulnerable groups.


Specific objectives:

  1. To improve the capacity of human rights organizations in South Kazakhstan to advocate for improved access to services on behalf of members of vulnerable groups.
  2. To increase the presence and credibility of the network of provincial human rights organizations among local communities and government authorities. 
  3. To involve the network of human rights organizations in promotion of improved recognition of human rights at the regional level.

 

 


Expected results:

1.    Human rights CSO members improve their skills and knowledge on legal issues related to vulnerable populations, improve their skills in consulting, data collection and analysis of legislation; and  local government officials improve their knowledge and skills in supporting vulnerable people

2.    Human rights CSOs are equipped with valuable experience and expertise, and credible data regarding barriers for vulnerable people to fulfill their rights and access free legal services.

3.    Improved presence and reputation of human rights organizations’ network among local communities, and issues raised at parliamentary level to increase access to legal services for vulnerable people.


Activities:

  1. Thematic human rights trainings for CSOs and government officials
  2. Community advocate workshops for CSO Network members
  3. Mentorship program
  4. Community advocate assistance to vulnerable people
  5. Advocacy meetings
  6. Press-conference
  7. Project evaluation

Location of the action:

Kyzylorda, South Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, and Almaty Oblasts


Donor of the action:

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development over the 60+ years of enlargement.

The EU-Kazakhstan diplomatic relations started in 1993. Today, the EU is one of Kazakhstan's biggest foreign investor and trading partner. The EU-Kazakhstan relations are currently build on the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) which covers 29 key policy areas, including economic and financial cooperation, energy, transport, environment and climate change, employment and social affairs, culture, education and research.

In 1991-2014, the EU funded over 350 projects in Kazakhstan amounting to € 180 million, notably focusing on: (a) strengthening the capacity of central and local government; (b) supporting reform of the justice sector; and (c) improving the capacity of the public sector to introduce social and economic reforms. Bilateral interventions through the EU Development and Cooperation Instrument (DCI) during 2007-2013 amounted to € 74 million.

The country economic upgrade to Upper Middle Income Country still allows Kazakhstan to benefit from EU regional cooperation under The Regional Multiannual Indicative Program for Central Asia. This is focusing on two sectors: Sustainable Development (energy, environment, water and socio-economic development) and Regional Security (border management, fight against drugs and crime, Rule of law and judiciary reforms). The EU allocates € 360 million for regional cooperation projects in Central Asia for the 2014-2020 funding period (including € 115 million for Erasmus+ programme).

The EU also funds a variety of projects in Kazakhstan to encourage a pluralistic political system while strengthening the role of civil society through such thematic programmes as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the Non-State Actors and Local Authorities (NSA-LA).

For more information, please contact:

Project manager: Akmaral Karlybayeva, Project specialist of the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia, tel: + (727) 2501810 (int.130), akmaralk@ef-ca.org



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