UN Committee supports concerns raised by Kyrgyz civil society
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) has published its Concluding Observations for the Kyrgyz Republic (the unedited version). The Netherlands Helsinki Committee has worked together with, and actively supported, Kyrgyz organizations, and especially our partner Child Rights Defender’s League, in their advocacy at the level of the UN CRC in order to raise a multitude of concerns about respect, protection and promotion of Rights of the Child (also see, for example, news item on shadow report). We are pleased to see many of the concerns raised have been included in the Concluding Observations as a result of this advocacy.
Specific topics addressed in the project NHC manages in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, were also addressed by the UN CRC in their Concluding Observations. Amongst others this is the general issue of implementing international obligations in national legislation. The UN CRC states the Kyrgyz Republic should “continue its efforts to bring its legislation in line with the Convention and ensure that such laws are fully and effectively implemented. It recommends that the State party provide information on the evaluation of implementation of its laws and regulations in the area of children’s rights.”
Among specific issues addressed by the UN CRC is the issue of acquiring birth certificates for Lyuli mothers and mothers without a residence permit. This is widespread in the Kyrgyz Republic, amongst others, due to high internal migration of women and complicated and potentially expensive procedures to get a birth certificate. The Committee notes in CC 25, the Kyrgyz Republic should “ensure that all children born in its territory irrespective of the availability of their parents’ identity documents or residence permits are registered and provided with standard birth certificates immediately without any undue barriers. The Committee also recommends that the State party simplify the procedure for birth registration and ensure that no illegal demands are made in the process of restoration of birth certificates.”
Other specific issues that are also of particular concern for our partners in the project were concerning statelessness, violence against children and child abuse (at home, in foster families and within institutions such as ‘boarding schools’), child labor, the practice of bride kidnapping, children deprived of a family environment, children who are taken care of by their grand parents without sufficient resources (due to migration of their parents), the issue of adoption, access to education, juvenile justice and conditions of detention and access to an adequate standard of health.
In the Concluding Observations the UN CRC itself indicates (7, under d): “Involve NGOs, especially rights-based ones, and other sectors of civil society working with and for children more systematically throughout all stages of the implementation of the Convention.”
We will continue to work together with our Kyrgyz partners in order to translate the results of international advocacy into advocacy on the Kyrgyz level, making sure a dialogue and consultations continue between civil society and the relevant Kyrgyz authorities and monitoring of implementation of UN recommendations in Kyrgyzstan can be undertaken.
For more information about NHC’s work in Kyrgyzstan please click here.