Training on shadow reporting in Kyrgyzstan
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee, together with the Child Rights Defenders League of Kyrgyzstan, organized a training on writing a United Nations shadow report and undertaking advocacy with the report. The training was held from 25-27 October 2013 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. There were 12 participants from Kyrgyzstan and Tadzhikistan. All participants are from organisations working with the Netherlands Helsinki Committee in the project: “Countering discrimination of women and children and promoting their rights by changing social and economic policies in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan”.
The training topics covered such aspects as: the steps in the United Nations human rights reporting process; steps in developing a shadow report; writing a shadow report; building coalitions to write a shadow report and advocate on it; communication within the writing process; and advocating with a shadow report.
During the project period the organisations from Kyrgyzstan and Tadzhikistan were involved in several shadow reporting processes. The Kyrgyz organisations were involved in writing a shadow report to the Committee of the Rights of the Child. The report has been submitted and the Committee will publish its list of issues. This was the first experience with shadow reporting for many involved in the Kyrgyz organisations. The training provided an opportunity to reflect on the experience and use these to acquire new knowledge and skills for future shadow reporting, as well as providing input for the follow-up steps with the shadow report for the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Tadzhik organisations were involved in a coalition writing and submitting a shadow report to the Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). At the time of the training concluding observations of CEDAW had just been published (Not yet available on internet). The organisations will now prepare follow-up advocacy based on concluding observations which include many of their own recommendations. In addition the coalition of organisations working in the context of the project managed by the Netherlands Helsinki Committee will start work on a shadow report for the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
During the training it became evident that human rights work by independent non-governmental organisations in Tadzhikistan and Kyrgyzstan is under increasing pressure. In Uzbekistan such work has become virtually impossible. In Tadzhikistan pressure is mounting, especially in view of upcoming elections, while in Kyrgyzstan a number of draft laws are in Parliament inspired, amongst others, by the ‘foreign agent’ law in Russia
The project: “Countering discrimination of women and children and promoting their rights by changing social and economic policies in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan”, is a project funded through the Human Rights Fund by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. It started in July 2011 and will finish on 30th of June 2014. The project is managed by the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, together with organisations from Tadzhikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.