Bishkek, 17 April 2014
On 21-24 April 2014, the Office of Akyikatchi (Ombudsman) of the Kyrgyz Republic, NGO Youth Human Rights Group’ and Penal Reform International (PRI) in Central Asia, will hold a seminar entitled Strengthening the potential of the Kyrgyz Ombudsman Office Children and Youth Unit staff as part of the project entitled “Progressive abolition of violence against children in detention in Central Asia”.
The seminar will focus on mechanisms enabling children to make complaints including from within closed institutions. An opportunity to place a complaint is an important component of protecting children from violence. It promotes protection of children from inappropriate treatment.
In the Kyrgyz Republic, despite recommendations of the UN treaty and charter based bodies, there are no confidential and child-friendly complaints mechanisms. In this regard, the project implemented in cooperation with the Ombudsman office will allow establishing a helpline for children. Such a helpline established under the national human rights institution will allow the state to identify children-victims of torture and ill-treatment in closed institutions.
This seminar will serve as a first step toward establishing this hotline for children. At this seminar, the staff of the children and youth unit of the Ombudsman (Akyikatchi) Office will have an opportunity to gain skills of operating the helpline and will receive recommendations for improving the mechanism of making complaints addressed to the Ombudsman.
The seminar will involve international experts on protection of children from violence and cruel treatment:
- Allar Joks is a former Ombudsman of Estonia, a senior expert of the UNDPA and an expert on complaints mechanisms. He participated in improving and establishing complaints mechanisms in Estonia, Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, and Ukraine.
- Alex Gray and Atiyah Wazir are experts of the helpline service for children in the United Kingdom (Childline). This 24/7 service for children has been in operation for 27 years. It processes more than one million calls annually. It has personnel of 250 staff and 1500 volunteers.
The project entitled “Progressive abolition of violence against children in detention in Central Asia” is funded by the European Commission EuropeAid instrument. It is implemented in three Central Asian countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. The period of implementation is 2013-2016.
Read the press release in Кыргыз, Русский.
The seminar was reported on the popular Central Asian news site – Voice of Freedom.