PRESIDENT TOKAYEV SIGNS HUMAN RIGHTS DECREE

H.E. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan has signed on 9 June
2021 a Decree “On further measures of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the
field of human rights”.

The Decree instructs the Government to approve the Plan of Priority
Measures in the Field of Human Rights (Action Plan), which envisages the
implementation of following key tasks:
• Improving the mechanisms of interaction with the UN treaty bodies and
special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council;
• Ensuring the rights of victims of human trafficking;
• Human rights of citizens with disabilities;
• The elimination of discrimination against women;
• The right to freedom of association;
• The right to freedom of expression;
• The human right to life and public order;
• Increasing the efficiency of interaction with non-governmental
organisations;
• Human rights in criminal justice and enforcement, and prevention of
torture and ill-treatment.

According to the Decree, the Office of the President of Kazakhstan will
be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Action Plan. The
Government will submit to the presidential administration a report on
the work carried out to implement the Plan on an annual basis.

The issue of the protection of human rights has been a priority for
President Tokayev since his election as Head of State in June 2019. He
highlighted specific plans for governmental actions aimed at addressing
human rights issues through legislation during a second meeting of the
National Council of Public Trust (December 2019). The President also
spoke about human rights issues during his annual State-of-the-Nation
Address in September 2020. In particular, he instructed the Government
to take comprehensive measures to protect citizens, especially children,
from cyberbullying, combat human trafficking and torture. In February
2021, at the fifth meeting of the National Council of Public Trust, the
President proposed a new package of measures aimed at enhancing human
rights protection for convicted persons, as well as strengthening legal
mechanisms for the protection of women’s rights.

The adoption of this Decree further formalises human rights as one of
the basic priorities of state policy. The implementation of its
provisions will further promote the protection of human rights in
Kazakhstan and contribute towards building a just and progressive state.

DECREE ON FURTHER MEASURES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN IN THE FIELD OF
HUMAN RIGHTS

No. 597 9 June 2021

IN ORDER TO TAKE FURTHER ACTION IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN RIGHTS, I DECREE:

1. To the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
1) to approve the Plan of Priority Measures in the Field of Human Rights
(hereinafter referred to as the Action Plan), which envisages the
following areas of work:
improving the mechanisms of interaction with the UN treaty bodies and
special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council;
ensuring the rights of victims of human trafficking;
human rights of citizens with disabilities;
the elimination of discrimination against women;
the right to freedom of association;
the right to freedom of expression;
the human right to life and public order;
increasing the efficiency of interaction with non-governmental
organisations;
human rights in criminal justice, enforcement and prevention of torture
and ill-treatment;
2) to ensure the implementation of the Action Plan;
3) annually, by January 25, based on the results of the year, to submit
to the Office of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan information
on the implementation of the Action Plan;
4) to take other measures to implement this Decree.

2. Control over the implementation of this Decree shall be entrusted to
the Office of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

3. This Decree comes into effect from the date of its signing.

Voluntary Pledges and Commitments of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the
Human Rights Council for the Period 2022-2024

On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of its Independence, Kazakhstan
has the honour to present its candidacy to serve on the UN Human Rights
Council for the period 2022-2024, in view of the forthcoming elections
scheduled for October 2021 in New York.

Overall, Kazakhstan considers human rights as the foundation for
peaceful, inclusive and prosperous society. It, therefore, accords high
priority for advancing the mutually reinforcing objectives of
development, human rights and democracy.

In its candidature to the Human Rights Council, Kazakhstan emphasizes
various human rights voluntary pledges and commitments.

This arises from the fact that upholding universal human rights has been
a priority commitment of Kazakhstan since the inception of its
statehood, soon after which, the country joined the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights and other relevant UN human rights conventions.
Comprehensive national legislation was adopted in keeping with the
highest international standards and has seen their realization by
working very closely with the entire UN system.

If Kazakhstan is granted the privilege to serve on the UN Human Rights
Council, it will strive to fulfil all the expectations of the
international community and make a noteworthy contribution to the
mandate of the Council in areas, including:
• Gender equality and women’s empowerment;
• the universal abolition of the death penalty;
• the fight against all forms of discrimination (including racism,
sexism, xenophobia and hate speech);
• freedom of religion and belief;
• human rights in the context of climate change;
• the fight against digital inequality, ensuring maximum access to the
Internet and high-quality communication for all, as well as
• inclusive and universal education.

Also published in Pretoria News on 18 June 2021

The Diplomatic Informer
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