Kazakhstan: Inadequate Domestic Violence Legislation
Monday, December 2, 2019 2:55 PM

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Human Rights Watch, and the UN Human Rights Council have recently criticized Kazakhstan for its domestic violence legislation.  The decriminalization of “infliction of minor injury” and “battery” is a major concern for CEDAW, since these charges are the most common for prosecuting domestic violence. Human Rights Watch found that the decriminalization of these charges have left women without support. Furthermore, authorities either do not respond to domestic violence complaints or pressure women not to file. CEDAW is also concerned about the rights of disabled women, including lack of employment options and access to healthcare.

CEDAW recommends that Kazakhstan criminalize domestic violence, ensure effective investigation, create acceptable shelters for survivors, and hold abusers accountable with appropriate punishment. After a recent review of Kazakhstan’s Human Rights record, the UN Human Rights Council urged Kazakhstan to criminalize domestic violence. Without specific legislation against domestic violence, women in Kazakhstan will continue to be vulnerable to domestic violence.

Compiled From: Kim, Viktoriya, Calling Out Kazakhstan on Domestic Violence, Human Rights Watch (November 18, 2019).