TARAZ, Kazakhstan, 19 November 2015 – A two-part OSCE-supported training seminar on protecting human rights began today in Taraz, Zhambyl Region, targeting regional administration officials, law-enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, academics and representatives of civil society.
The event was organized by the Human Rights Commission under the President with the support of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana as a platform for dialogue and co-operation between the local authorities and civil society.
Participants will gain a better insight into the standards and mechanisms for protecting human rights in accordance with commitments under various international legal documents ratified by Kazakhstan. There will be particular attention on mainstreaming human rights in the daily work of the authorities, courts and law-enforcement agencies as well as on human rights-related guarantees under the new criminal justice legislation.
“Radicals of all stripes and terrorists under the guise of disingenuous slogans of social justice and a return to traditional values are, in fact, fighting against the rule of law, democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, trying to force us to abandon the common values, principles and freedoms,” said Ambassador Natalia Zarudna, Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana. “But in response, we must make more effort to strengthen the foundations of a modern civilized society with an emphasis on human rights and freedoms. Any step back from democratic values will ultimately mean a victory of terrorists and extremists, with dramatic consequences.”
Deputy Akim of the Zahmbyl Region, Yerkanat Manzhuov said: “The country’s Constitution proclaims that the state’s highest values are an individual, his life, rights and freedoms. One of the key reforms aims to strengthen the rule of law, fully protect rights and freedoms, fight corruption and ensure the right to a fair trial.”
During the seminar, participants will debate, among other things, the role of national and international institutions in protecting and promoting human rights, conflict-resolution mechanisms and ways of addressing complaints to relevant institutions, including UN Committees. National experts will focus on implementing recommendations from the Commission’s latest Report on the human rights situation at the local level.
The second part of the seminar will be held in the village of Asa on 20 November in one of the region’s rural districts. In total, some 120 participants are expected to attend both parts of the seminar.
These events follow the OSCE-supported presentation of the Commission’s Report in Astana and Shymkent as well as a similar seminar held in the South Kazakhstan Region in October. They are part of the Office’s continuing efforts to support national human rights institutions and promote fundamental freedoms in the host country.