UN hails new law on criminalization of domestic violence in Kazakhstan

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The UN commends Kazakhstan for adopting a law protecting victims of domestic violence. “This is a step forward towards eradicating gender-based violence,” says Michaela Friberg-Storey, the UN Resident Coordinator for Kazakhstan, Kazinform News Agency learnt from the UN News Center.

On April 15 the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On amendments to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on ensuring women’s rights and safety of children,” and “On amendments to the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan on administrative offenses on ensuring women’s rights and safety of children”.

The law imposes administrative liability for bullying and cyberbullying of minors and for forced alighting from the bus of persons under 16 and other amendments. It prohibits the imposition of lighter penalties than those outlined in the Criminal Code’s special section for persons who committed crimes related to violence against minors. Reconciliation between parties in such crimes is excluded. Restriction of freedom is replaced with imprisonment for acts aimed at intentionally causing grievous harm to health, moderate harm to health.

Photo credit: UN in Kazakhstan

Michaela Friberg-Storey said the new law “marks a significant step towards ending all forms of gender-based violence. This legislative decision underscores Kazakhstan's commitment to human rights, especially the protection of women, children and vulnerable groups from domestic violence.”

Criminalizing domestic abuse, Kazakhstan makes it clear that such behavior is unacceptable, and those responsible will be held accountable according to the law, the UN Resident Coordinator said.

She said this critical step only contributes to gender equity but also guarantees that survivors of domestic violence have access to justice and support services to rebuild their lives.

The UN, through its representative in Kazakhstan, encourages the country to continue efforts to effectively implement and enforce this law, including raising awareness of domestic violence, training law enforcement and judicial officials, and establishing support mechanisms for survivors of violence.

Michaela Friberg-Storey said the UN is ready to support Kazakhstan in its efforts to eradicate gender violence and promote culture of respect, equity and dignity for all its citizens.

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