Delegation of the European Union to Georgia

EU project gathers stakeholders in Astana to discuss state-guaranteed legal aid for vulnerable groups

06/11/2018 - 10:33
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ASTANA — On November 2,2018, the EU-funded project “Reforming Legal Aid For the Vulnerable in Kazakhstan” implemented by the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA) held a national conference “Protecting the rights of vulnerable groups in Kazakhstan: in search of a new model of state-guaranteed legal aid” with the financial support of the Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan.

Deputies of the Mazhilis of the Republic of Kazakhstan, representatives of the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other departments, lawyers, as well as representatives of non-governmental and international organizations, human rights experts summed up the main results of the project, and discussed topical issues in the field of state-guaranteed legal aid.

The project, financed by the EU in the amount of 280,072 EUR, was aimed 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.

Among the main results of the project is the research conducted in 7 regions of Kazakhstan to reveal the existing barriers in providing the state-guaranteed legal aid to the vulnerable social groups, following which the experts have developed recommendations for improving legislation.

Thus, during the events, a space for developing a common vision for further steps to improve the system of state-guaranteed legal aid was created with the participation of representatives of the public sector, the legal profession, civil society and international organizations, and participants were informed about the current status of protecting the rights of vulnerable groups in Kazakhstan.

“In addition to the research, the project was able to raise public awareness about the mechanisms to obtain the state-guaranteed legal aid, to study and analyze the international experience of Georgia. We believe that it is necessary to improve the quality and availability of state-guaranteed legal aid to vulnerable groups and make it more focused and tailored to their needs. There is also a need to increase the categories of recipients of such assistance under the state-guaranteed legal aid system by reducing the cost of “legal information”, said Rinad Temirbekov, Executive Director of the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia.

The format of the event consisted of a press conference for the media, a national conference and a briefing session for embassies and international organizations, which allowed to cover a wide range of stakeholders taking into account their activities and interests in protecting the rights of vulnerable groups of the population. Thus, during the event, a platform was created to develop a common vision of further steps to improve  the state-guaranteed legal aid system with the participation of representatives of the public sector, the legal profession, civil society and international organizations.

For more information, please contact Akmaral Karlybayeva, Project manager of the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia, tel.: + (727) 2501810 (int.120), akmaralk@ef-ca.org or Elnara Bainazarova, Press and Information Officer of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, tel.: + (7172) 974567, Elnara.BAINAZAROVA@eeas.europa.eu