Human rights defenders of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan will develop a common strategy for responding to and countering risks and disasters in Central Asia.

Июн 15.2022

Human rights defenders of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan will develop a common strategy for responding to and countering risks and disasters in Central Asia.


During three days of the training for trainers (ToT) the CA human rights defenders, women leaders from the two countries improved their skills in managing conflicts that arise when the human rights agenda is being promoted.

Among the covered topics were increasing attacks on freedom of expression, pressure on journalists and activists, laws, impunity, adoption of laws that restrict the political space, growth of religious fundamentalism and the impact of the situation in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus on the region.

The participants worked on finding new communication channels, the issue of the need for independent monitoring and documentation of human rights violations, and the development of action plans specific to Central Asian countries.

The focus was on the rights of women living in border conflict areas, the empowerment of women in religion and climate change in the context of gender issues.

The participants emphasized the need to implement National Action Plans based on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.  They proposed to create a platform for dialogue and joint problem solving in times of risks and disasters.  This approach will allow women to participate in peacekeeping and work to eliminate social, cultural and political barriers.

Anara Ibraeva, Head of the human rights organization Kadir-Kasiyet (Dignity), shared Kazakhstan's experience in promoting the law on human rights defenders and advocacy campaigns to promote the said draft law.

Benny Agus Prima, Head of the Human Rights Defenders Program of FORUM-ASIA, the largest regional network of human rights organizations in the Asia-Pacific region, informed the participants about the situation with the rights of human rights defenders and spoke about current trends. He presented the legislative practice regulating the rights of civil activists and the new law on human rights defenders, which was adopted by the Parliament of Mongolia.

Shivangi Chavda, Regional Coordinator of the Global Network of SCOs for Disaster Reduction, emphasized the importance of the full involvement of local community leaders in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of local action plans for protection against risks and disasters.

Inga Sikorskaya, Director of the School of Peacemaking and Media Technologies in Central Asia, taught human rights defenders strategic communications in peacetime and during conflicts and the creation of key messages to inform the audience.

According to Bermet Stakeeva from the Forum of Women's NGOs, the training was unique since it provided the opportunity to develop the methods of responding to real crisis situations. Development of a strategic communication model allowed the training participants to master the skills of analysis and media planning.

"I'm going to use these tools in my work when conducting seminars in rural women's communities. The training helped me better understand what kind of training modules should be created for my target group."

Jamilya Kaparova, Director of the public association Ensan Diamond, which trains women in the border areas of the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan, stated that she would transfer the knowledge gained at the seminar through the implementation of training seminars on women's equality at the local level.

"I will start adapting my training program and in the near future I will train women activists," she said.

Lira Asylbek, coordinator of WLP-Kyrgyzstan (Human Rights Movement:Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan), mentioned that the ToT program was based on Beyond Equality, WLP's Manual for Human Rights Defenders. The manual offers tools for dialogue about the importance of human rights, advancement of women, promotion of reforms and new global challenges. This requires an inclusive approach to the promotion of rights, freedoms and gender equality for equal access of CA women leaders to politics and resources.


Summing up the results of the training, the participants expressed their solidarity regarding the need to create a joint action strategy for the promotion and protection of human rights, taking into account new risks in region and the adaptation of the law on human rights defenders in the CA region, approved further steps to develop partnership in Central Asia, including an online training plan for activists, and also studied strategic communication tools in the period of crises and conflicts in the CA region.


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Feedback from our focus groups



Experience should be attached to a law degree

Shakhboz Latipov, 24 y.o., young lawyer: “When I came to BDK for an internship, I had no experience in legal and human rights activities. Together with experienced senior colleagues, I began to attend trials, studied documents. Gradually my supervisor Khusanbai Saliev began to trust me the preparation of documents, carefully checked them and gave practical advice. Experience comes with time and cases you work on. Every day dozens of people who need help come to us, many of them are from socially vulnerable groups: the poor, large families, elderly citizens. A lawyer in a human rights organization sometimes acts as a psychologist, it is important for him to be able to maintain professionalism and show empathy. At the end of 2019, I successfully passed the exam to get the right to start working as attorney and now I work on cases as an attorney. I turn to my colleagues for help on complex issues, they always give me their advice. This is one of the strengths of the organization: there is support and understanding here.”



Organization unites regions

Feruza Amadalieva, social worker, leader, teacher: “TOT from BDK is a great opportunity to get acquainted with participants from different regions, we continue to communicate on social media and when we meet at events, as close friends, we have such warm relations! At the events, I improved my knowledge, systematized it, clarified how to apply it in practice. I really like the training modules and the way the system of training and practice is built: role-playing games, theory, discussions. Each person expresses himself/herself. I have become a leader for other vulnerable women, I try to help them and engage them in such events.” Feruza Amadalieva is a regular participant of many BDK events, she invites the BDK lawyers to provide legal advice to vulnerable women.



I became confident

In summer of 2019, Nuriza Talantbek kyzy took an active part in conducting regional screenings of documentaries, helped with organizational issues during the campaign dedicated to the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, participated in trips, and did the TOT on women's leadership. She used to be a migrant, worked for an NGO in Osh, and now works in Bishkek in the service industry. She calls her participation in the TOT “an invaluable experience”: “I first attended such an event, and received exactly the information that I needed, for which I am sincerely grateful to the facilitators. I experienced very difficult issues in my life, and thanks to that knowledge, I was able to overcome them, I persevered! After the TOT, I became more confident, began to better understand the essence of human rights, and learned to defend my interests.”



The defendant has passed away. The work on his rehabilitation continues.

The case of Shukurullo Kochkarov shows that work on complex cases continues for many years. After the torture he was subjected to in 2010, he became disabled. We managed to get acquittal on one of the charges; the work is ongoing on achieving his rehabilitation and recognition as a victim of torture in order for compensation to be paid. Trials continue without Shukurullo Kochkarov - he died on 2 August 2019. His interests are represented by his father, Saidaziz Kochkarov, who also has a visual disability. “For many years, we have been supported by the employees of BDK, they have been handling the case of my son, they brought him to court because he couldn’t walk on his own, they constantly help our family: my wife and I underwent rehabilitation, they have helped my son by providing him with medicines, they provide all kinds of help”.



Comprehensive support for victims of torture

Resident of the Kara-Suu district, Dilyor Jumabaev, has extensive experience in dealing with law enforcement agencies. In 2010, he was accused of possessing firearms, and thanks to the work of lawyers, he was acquitted. Two years later, his house was first searched in order to find materials of an extremist nature, but nothing was found. In 2014, he was accused of possessing extremist materials. In court, the prosecutor requested 15 years in prison; the court sentenced him to 6 years. A few years later he was released on parole. “I am grateful to the lawyers of BDK for their expert legal assistance. I participated in a rehabilitation program for victims of torture. When I encounter violations, I recommend contacting this organization.”


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