The project on widening access to justice is shifting to full-fledged implementation mode

04 Jul 2014

On July 3 steering board of the project "Widening Access to Justice for Legal Empowerment in the Kyrgyz Republic" met in the UN House in Bishkek to discuss preliminary findings of the access to justice assessment and results achieved during the inception phase of the project. The project has taken a good start during the inception phase with analysis of access to justice and broad consultations with all relevant partners. There were important initiatives supported as part of the project: revision of the State Guaranteed Free Legal Aid Law and the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence, and it is now shifting to the full-fledged implementation mode.

According to the assessment on access to justice, rights of vulnerable populations in Kyrgyzstan to access justice are being undermined for a number of reasons, including the lack of enabling legal framework, low level of awareness of the rights and mechanisms available to resolve justice needs, lack of identity registration documents as a prerequisite for the fulfillment of their rights, and limited access to free legal aid.

Several members of the board, representatives of Ministry of Justice, Ministry for Social Development, State Registry Service and Ministry of Youth, recognized the need to improve access to justice for vulnerable groups. They expressed commitment of their relevant ministries to undertake efforts to ensure that with the assistance of the project.

Moreover, the participants agreed that the project will also serve as a platform for coordination of efforts in the area of access to justice by state ministries and agencies and in close sync with the civil society representatives, expressing the views of the most vulnerable populations and donors. Representatives of UN Woman and Soros Foundation noted that they will closely coordinate their work with the project to maximize its benefit to the Kyrgyz population.

The project pilot localities might go beyond Osh and Chui oblasts to cover remote areas of Naryn and Issyk Kul.

"Widening Access to Justice for Legal Empowerment in the Kyrgyz Republic" is a joint project of UNDP and Finnish Government. The project’s steering board is comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Youth, State Registrar Service, Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, UN Women, UNDP, Soros Foundation, Adilet Legal Clinic and civil society representatives.