Kazakhstan

kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, population 15 million, is located in Central Asia.

The Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan provides for equality before the law and courts and prohibits discrimination based on several grounds, including sex (Article 14). The U.S. Department of State noted that while the Criminal and Labor Codes prohibit some forms of sexual harassment, many gender experts find the laws to be insufficient for addressing the problem. In fact, prosecutors, law enforcement and victims were generally unaware of sexual harassment problems, and there were no reported prosecutions.

In its 2003 Country Human Rights Report, the U.S. Department of State cited a Ministry of Interior study that found fifty-two percent of women had reported domestic abuse, but only thirty percent of these cases were prosecuted. This reflects the general reluctance of police to intervene in domestic violence cases, unless they find the situation to be life threatening. There are no laws specifically criminalizing domestic violence, and it must be prosecuted under assault and battery provisions of the criminal code. When domestic violence cases do proceed to trial, the perpetrators are often charged with light beating and either fined or imprisoned for three months. The maximum punishment, however, is ten years in prison. The U.N. Development Programme noted that Kazakhstan had begun drafting a law on domestic violence, which outlines means of protection and prevention of domestic abuse.

To see the full StopVAW section on Kazakhstan, please click here.