Family is the most important thing in the life of every person. Young people entering into marriage, particularly those living in remote border regions, should pay special attention to the issue of documenting the fact of the birth of a child. According to the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, state registration of a child’s birth is carried out by the registry office at the place of birth or the place of residence of the parents based on the submitted documents no later than 1 month from the date of birth. Not knowing the rights also entails certain consequences for the child, such as difficulties to receive pre-school education and medical services.
Twenty-eight-year-old Ranokhan [name changed] lives with her spouse for more than 9 years. Her marriage was not officially registered with the registry office. She has two minor children: a son of eight years old and a three-year-old daughter. When her son reached the age to go to school, their family first encountered the problem of no having documents for their children.
“I lost the certificate issued to me in the maternity hospital after the birth of the children. To recover them, I was told that I need to go to the archive of the regional registry office in Osh city to get a duplicate of the certificate, but I didn’t do it, because I don’t know the city and I never went somewhere alone.”- syas Ranokhan.
The child, of course, was accepted to school even without documents under Article 45 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, the school’s requests to apply and provide the child’s document remained unanswered until the school’s social teacher intervened. It was she who led Ranokhan to the service center for the population, located in the city administration of Kara-Suu, where she found out about the possibility of obtaining free legal advice. This is how Ranokhan met Bakirova Ykibylkhan, the lawyer of the Center in Kara-Suu.
Using the methods of interviewing, Ykibalkhan carried out all the necessary explanatory work with Ranokhan and her husband, accompanied them to the social protection authorities to obtain the necessary information, and helped to file the relevant applications for issuing documents for their children.
“When Ranokhan's husband was asked why the children still do not have a birth certificate, the first thing he answered was why do the children need this document, if they do not go anywhere and are always at home. This is a very typical answer lawyers hear when faced with similar cases. In the communities where we work, the level of education and legal literacy of the population is very low. For us it is not only about providing legal assistance, but also to educate the population we work with for some extent about the need of documenting children, that this responsibility lies with the parents. And in general, I believe that if young people know how documenting can protect them and their children from possible future problems, then children in every family will be much more protected in the legal sense, ” - says Ykibalkhan.
By common efforts already at the end of the same month of appeal, children received their official birth certificates and became de jure full citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The service center for the population in Kara-Suu city was created as part of the project “Promoting Kyrgyzstan's Youth Cohesion and Interaction towards Uzbekistan”, with the support of the UN Peacebuilding Fund. This initiative allowed expanding access to primary legal assistance for women and youth in 9 pilot border municipalities of Osh, Batken and Jalal-Abad provinces.
Takeaways from practice:
Women in rural areas prefer to receive legal assistance from women, especially for certain types of applications. So, for example, if you need trips to regional centers accompanied by a lawyer, they feel more secure when they are accompanied by lawyers of the same gender.
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