Access to Justice for Socially Disadvantaged Groups in the Kyrgyz Republic
Access to justice is a fundamental right in Kyrgyzstan. The State has to grant all persons equal access to bodies of justice and their services and, therefore, has to provide the required legal and institutional framework necessary for such. However, in this regard, the Kyrgyz State has not yet fulfilled its obligations to the necessary extent. Access to justice is hampered or even barred for various groups of the population.
One third of the Kyrgyz population is living below the national poverty line. The affected persons are more likely to become victims of violence and discrimination. In many cases these persons do not possess the necessary financial means to cover the costs for legal representation and legal fees, or are simply not aware of their rights or how to assert them. For persons living in rural areas, it is particularly difficult to access justice institutions and to enforce their rights.
For other particularly vulnerable groups, it can also be difficult to access justice, e.g. women and children, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities and migrants.
The Max Planck Foundation is implementing a project to strengthen access to justice for socially disadvantaged groups since July 2016. For project purposes, the Foundation is closely cooperating with civil society actors and State institutions such as courts, administration offices, police and public prosecutions offices. The implementation partner of the Foundation, “Kyz Ayim”, is a non-governmental organisation founded in 2001 by Kyrgyz female jurists.
In a series of workshops, staff of the Foundation and their partner organisations will train persons who are either in immediate charge of the application of law or who are responsible for its critical observation. Trainers of the Foundation and local experts will impart the applicable human rights standards and jointly elaborate on possibilities to solve frequently encountered problems. In the course of the trainings, special attention will be given to rights of particularly vulnerable groups. The trainings will take place in all seven oblasts of Kyrgyzstan in order to ensure that institutions in remote areas are also reached.