Askar Shakirov, Deputy Chairman of the Senate, discussed the prospects for cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) with Ryszard Komenda, OHCHR Regional Representative for Central Asia.
In the course of the talks, the Deputy Speaker briefed the Regional Representative on the major political changes being implemented in our country at the initiative of the Head of State, in particular, on the known changes to the election legislation. He also drew attention to the initiation of legislative formalization of online petitions for the submission of proposals by nationals, as well as improvement of legislation to combat torture, human trafficking, and protection of children from cyberbullying.
Askar Shakirov informed his interlocutor about the development of the bill “On the Human Rights Commissioner in the Republic of Kazakhstan”, provided for by the third presidential package of political reforms.
“This document places a special emphasis on the status of the Human Rights Commissioner, the procedure of his/her election, and the principles of his/her activity. The authorities of the Commissioner are being significantly expanded to enable him/her to take a proper place in the political and legal system of the state in line with internationally recognized standards, primarily with the Paris Principles.
The establishment of representatives of the Commissioner in all regions of the country is envisaged. The bill was presented at the panel session of the Expert Council under the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Republic of Kazakhstan, attended by human rights NGOs and international organizations. The document is available on the website of the Senate for public discussion,” the Deputy Speaker of the Senate noted.
The accession of Kazakhstan to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child concerning the communications procedure and the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities were among the human rights priorities for 2021-2022. The appropriate roadmaps for accession to these international instruments have been drafted.
The OHCHR Representative rated highly the transformations underway in Kazakhstan and expressed his readiness for the necessary assistance to the national human rights institution to carry out its work.
As a result of the meeting, the parties indicated their intention towards enhancing interaction within the framework of human rights projects.
(Press Office of the Senate, 74-72-27. Photo by E. Ukibayev)