Summary of the expert online forum to discuss the key achievements in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Central Asia and the Caucasus

Май 03.2022

On April 27, 2022 the Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino - Kyrgyzstan" initiated a regional expert online forum to discuss "Key achievements in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Central Asia and the Caucasus" as part of the preparation of the Bir Duino report to the Seventh Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 2022, which will take place in Bali, Indonesia on May 23 - 28, 2022.

Tolekan Ismailova, Director of Bir Duino, noted the importance of applying new approaches of civil society in preparing key proposals for the international forum of the UN General Assembly "Stockholm-50". Tolekan Ismailova focused on the problem of inequality as one of the main factors of risks and disasters, including gender inequality, in which the low representation of women and youth in leadership positions in government is a major barrier to the development of society, and democratic principles and values are essential components of creating a level playing field in decision-making processes.  

In the presentation "Promoting Community Voices from Local to Global", Tolekan Ismailova highlighted the role, mission and values of the Global Network for Risk and Disaster Reduction (GNDR) in partnership with community leaders in bridging the gaps between communities and implementing the Sendai Framework 2030. to overcome risks and disasters such as 92 uranium tailings sites, including Maili-Suu, which are among the 10 most radioactive places in the world, low level of awareness and participation of communities in projects of international donors. It is possible to achieve the set goals of sustainable development by finding alternative ways of promoting the voices of communities to decision-makers. A positive example in this regard is the presidential decree on positioning the creative economy as a public policy priority.

In the report "GNDR Call to Action for the 7th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in May 2022" Tolekan Asanalievna presented the analysis and review of the Sendai Framework to the participants. GNDR experts estimate that over 274 million people will face hunger, conflict and displacement in 2022 as a result of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities on the front lines of risk and disaster identify climate change as a heightened risk factor.

GNDR encourages global decision makers and organizations to support and advocate for the following actions by Member States:

- Increase community involvement in the development of National Action Plans to prevent hazards,

- Prioritize issues and recommendations coming from the local level,

- Increase the amount of funding available to support communities,

- Increase coordination and coherence of development activities in response to new risks and disasters,

- Recognize gender inequality as a significant risk factor for society.      

GNDR Regional Coordinator for East and Central Asia Shivangi Chavda emphasized the importance of defining the role of each organization in joint advocacy activities of international donors with local community leaders to effectively promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals from the local to national and then to the global level. This process must be built on a common wave of understanding between communities and decision-makers, taking into account new trends and the broad involvement of civil society organizations. The GNDR Global Network is open to building partnerships

Almabek Aidakeev, Head of the Secretariat of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction under the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic, highlighted the priority milestones in the implementation of Disaster Response Plans, currently 74% implemented under the Sendai Framework with a lag in the "Investments in Disaster Risk Reduction" pillar. In Kyrgyzstan, the factors of disasters are much broader than in many countries of the world and are not only climatic, but also anthropogenic, social, economic, cultural and conflicts. In this regard, integrated approaches and integrated, comprehensive natural resource management are needed to address the factors underlying disaster risks. Mr. Aidakeev informed that one of the effective ways of disaster risk reduction is the mechanism of the Integrated System of Comprehensive Monitoring and Forecasting of Emergency Situations, which includes elements of civil protection from disasters and threats.

Executive Director of "Bir Duino - Kyrgyzstan" Aida Bayzhumanova emphasized the importance of respecting the right of citizens to freedom of association. The implementation of the Sendai Framework Program is impossible without the right to form public associations. Human rights defenders signal the creation of artificial mechanisms by state bodies that limit the work of non-governmental organizations through the requirement of additional reporting. From the local level to the national and global level it is necessary to involve all interested citizens, leaders and activists in the protection of human rights in the context of risks and disasters.

Kristian Larsen, a researcher at the Association of Local Authorities in Norway, noted the need for greater autonomy for LSGs in local budgeting processes and the implementation of national action plans in coordination and partnership with communities to address disaster risks. This method is actively applied in practice in Scandinavian countries and is a possible way of solution for quality counteraction to disasters.

Lira Asylbekova, Head of Family Recovery Center "Alternative" informed about the necessity of activation of joint partnership of universality of human rights and freedoms through promotion of gender equality, creative economy for sustainable development and prevention of new risks, disasters and military conflicts from community to global levels. This was a key objective of the National Training of Trainers on Women's Rights entitled "Women's Leadership in Emerging Risks, Disasters, Crises and Military Conflicts to Advance Gender Equality, Human Rights and Sustainable Development in the Kyrgyz Republic" held from April 28-30, 2022 at the Madison Hotel in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Inga Sikorskaya, director of the "School of Peacebuilding and Media Technologies", recommended to pay attention to the security situation of freedom of expression in potential crises and conflicts. Guarantees to protect the right to freedom of expression should be provided within the framework of the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Restriction of the right of access to information leads to an even greater increase in conflict situations and risks among the population. In this regard, specific strategies of interaction between public authorities, civil society organizations and civil sector activists on the ground are needed for a coordinated coordination of actions to ensure the conditions of respect for the right to freedom of expression and prevent possible risks. Today, it is important to create a unified communication strategy that takes into account the risk factors in the form of threats and hate speech that activists face when defending their rights, which leads to violence, especially against women, who are less protected in times of crisis. The introduction of peacebuilding approaches to train women activists on how to protect themselves when communicating on social media, along with initiatives by civil society organizations, would allow for a timely response if government and non-profit programs included analysis and monitoring assessments of the impact on equality.           

Zhamilya Kaparova, head of the Ensan Diamond Foundation, noted that it is necessary to take a comprehensive approach to the study of risks and disasters, which are not only environmental, but also socio-economic, technical, anthropogenic and work primarily at the local level, localizing projects for communities. A priority is to raise awareness with relevant data of the most vulnerable groups living in risk and disasters. The increasing influence of a distorted Islamized perception of religious customs and traditions has a negative impact on the situation of the rights of women and girls, which should be included at all levels of decision-making, negotiations, commissions on border issues, in post-conflict periods according to UN Security Council Resolution 1325.     

Rachael Stewart, a researcher on the impact of uranium tailings on local communities from the University of Tennessee, USA, stated that significant risks and disasters are caused by the low efficiency of projects implemented by international banks and financial institutions of the World Bank, the European Bank to rehabilitate uranium deposits in Kyrgyzstan, which are among the most radioactive places in the world.

Forum of Women's NGOs expert Bermet Stakeeva stated that the basis of the rule of law is the promotion of the fundamental freedoms of citizens to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. International conventions and agreements, Article 36 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic guarantee the right to freedom of association for socially useful actions and protection of the population from risks and disasters. This also requires qualitative monitoring to prevent any restrictions on the realization of this right due to the narrowing of the conditions for the activities of public organizations.   

Director of the Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan" Tolekan Ismailova noted about the role and participation of young people in the Global Forum 2022, development of new innovative approaches and solutions, the importance of their involvement in risk and disaster prevention to reduce gaps between communities and promote the voices of community leaders from local to global. The process of engaging new GNDR members in the Central Asia and Caucasus region in the Global Network for Disaster Risk Reduction programs and their activism will reduce risks and disasters, said the online forum participants.



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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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