Widening access to justice for legal empowerment in the Kyrgyz Republic

Project summary

The overall objective of project is to promote legal empowerment of the disadvantaged groups and vulnerable population in the Kyrgyz Republic with a focus on rural women, children and youth at risk, persons with disabilities and improvement of their access to justice and legal aid in compliance with international human rights standards and recommendations.

The project will pursues its objective in line with Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA), designed to get involved at the level of duty bearers (state bodies and justice sector actors) and rights holders (general population with special focus on the most vulnerable groups, including rural women, children and youth at risk and people with disabilities, CSOs and communities). It will also contribute to the implementation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy for the Kyrgyz Republic (2013-2017) which highlights the importance of better access to justice for everyone.

The project will focus on supporting the development of state funded legal aid system, promoting legal awareness to provide rights holders with enhanced access to justice. Such efforts will require both “top down” and “bottom up” approaches combining efforts of multitude of duty bearers (actors) in the justice sectors. A strong legal empowerment initiative will include building the capacity of NGOs and existing network of certified lawyers to bring justice to traditionally neglected regions and social groups; improving the legal and operational framework and rule of law institutions to make the law work for the poor; and increasing public awareness to empower the poor to be better able to demand their rights and entitlement to basic services of the state.

Expected results

  • State bodies and justice sector are able to better provide access to justice in compliance with international commitments and standards and to promote and protect the rights of the disadvantaged groups and vulnerable population;
  • Justice institutions (formal and informal) and relevant state bodies provide accessible, affordable, efficient and quality services to resolve justice problems of project target  groups in the selected provinces of the Kyrgyz Republic;
  • Vulnerable groups targeted by the project, including rural women, children and youth at risk and people with disabilities know and exercise increasingly their rights to justice especially in the selected provinces of the Kyrgyz Republic.

What we have accomplished so far



  • Revision of the free legal aid (FLA) law, which is now in Parliament for consideration: support in organization of public hearings; expert support in developing the new draft law; cross-sectoral meetings with the groups on judicial reform were conducted; The draft law was given to the Jogorku Kenesh for consideration.
  • The project also helped to develop and discuss the new Law on domestic violence, which is now submitted to the Government for consideration. UNDP also helped to develop the new National Action Plan on gender equality for 2015-2017 as part of this project.
  • National strategy of social development 2015-2017: expertise of the sections on persons with disabilities (PwD) and inclusion of a section on widening access for PwDs to justice. UNDP assisted in organizing public discussions of the strategy in Bishkek and Osh cities.
  • Implementation of the law on rights and guarantees of PwDs: monitoring of the court buildings in Chui and Osh regions; recommendations based on this monitoring; training of staff of relevant institutions on minimal standards of socio-legal services; monitoring of implementation of the socio-legal standards in provision of services in all 15 SRIs of the republic. Monitoring results were reviewed and relevant measures to address the issues revealed were adopted.
  • Easier to issue identity documents: In cooperation with Soros-Kyrgyzstan Foundation UNDP helped to organize a platform on free legal aid issues for HGO and optimize business-processes on identity registration in accordance with the State Registration Service’s new standards; information web-portal of SRS is improved; UNDP also organized a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of identity documents as a prerequisite for realization of human rights is held.
  • Raising awareness of the society about rights and problems of persons with disabilities: more than 1000 persons participated in a campaign «I exist. I know my rights. From heart to heart» in Chui and Osh regions; discussions of stories of PwD; UNDP helped to launch the process of developing a strategy on raising legal culture of the population 2015-2018 and it’s action plan; the project helped to improve content management system of Central Database of legal acts and raise awareness of people about the database; dialogue among NGOs on ratification of UN CRPD is supported.

Who finances it?

Donor Amount (USD)
Government of Finland  2,000,000