In July 2013, Kazakhstan passed a new law establishing a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM).
Throughout 2011 and 2012, PRI’s Central Asia office was intensively engaged in negotiations to establish an NPM for Kazakhstan, which would fulfil its obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). PRI’s advocacy and in particular its engagement in the parliamentary Working Group responsible for drafting the new law, resulted in some significant improvements, including the following.
- Children’s facilities are included within the mandate of the NPM.
- The NPM will now be funded directly from the government budget and the transport costs of NPM members covered.
- Public Monitoring Commissions will continue to operate without restrictions.
- Members of the NPM will include independent experts and civil society.
- The mandate of the NPM was extended to include all types of police detention.
- NPM members have the right to meet detainees in private and to receive complaints. There are no restrictions on the number of visits or on the number of people in the group visiting a particular facility.
After the adoption of the new law, PRI focused on supporting the Ombudsman’s Office, a constituent body of the new NPM, to draft procedural regulations and has provided training for NPM members including Ombudsman staff. Two government decrees governing the work of the NPM have since been adopted and five regulations approved by the Ombudsman. These include a number of key advocacy points for PRI, providing guaranteed confidential meetings with detainees, the independence of local and regional NPM groups, and the freedom of the NPM to choose the facilities they visit.
A translation of this law can be found below.
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