OSCE Centre in Astana, Kazakhstan, Supports Meeting to Promote Effective Laws to Combat Domestic Violence
Friday, February 27, 2009 1:05 PM

ALMATY, 26 February 2009 - Parliamentarians, members of the National Commission on Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the President, police officers and civil society representatives discussed how Kazakhstan can best combat domestic violence at a conference supported by the OSCE Centre in Astana that started today.

Participants in the two-day conference discussed a draft law on combating domestic violence, and the ways to make legislation and their work on the ground more effective. Experts from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights presented a legal opinion on the draft law, which is under discussion in Parliament, and outlined other OSCE participating States' legal norms and practices.

"Violence against women is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and has direct costs on the democratic and economic development of a country," said Jeannette Kloetzer, Deputy Head of the OSCE Centre in Astana. "We welcome the political will of Kazakhstan to tackle this problem and we hope that laws on combating domestic violence and promoting gender equality will soon be adopted."

Participants called for more co-operation among the police and other state bodies and non-governmental organizations to better detect cases of domestic violence and provide protection for the victims, including through shelters.

Zhakip Asanov, a Member of Parliament who is part of the Working Group that is preparing the law, said: "We hope that the draft law on domestic violence which is now being discussed in Parliament will be progressive and contribute to the protection of human rights."

The conference is co-organized by the OSCE Centre in Astana, the United Nations Fund for the Development of Women, the Interior Ministry's Department on Protecting Women from Violence and the Almaty-based non-governmental organization Union of Crisis Centres.

The meeting forms part of a multi-year programme on promoting equal gender rights implemented by the OSCE Centre.

Published in:  http://www.osce.org/item/36466.html