EU, UNODC and Kyrgyz government launch €8 million project to support justice sector reform

BISHKEK — The European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in partnership with the government of the Kyrgyz Republic, organized on 22 June a launch event of the reform support program of the justice sector in the Kyrgyz Republic project, or – “Justice for all”. The program will be implemented for four years, from January 2022 to December 2025, the European Union Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic said.

The EU-UNODC Joint Program “Justice for All” will work to improve access to justice and the rule of law in Kyrgyzstan by strengthening the management of probation and criminal justice information in line with international standards as well as to best European practices.

The launch event brought together representatives from government institutions, the justice sector and law enforcement, international communities and donors, civil society organizations and the media.

Ambassador Eduard Auer, Head of the European Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic, Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, Mr. Ayaz Baetov, Minister of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic and Mr. Turusbek Ishenaliev, Prosecutor General Deputy of the Kyrgyz Republic addressed the participants of the event with their opening remarks.

“I am delighted to be here today and witness the signing of the project work plan between UNODC, the EU implementing partner for this programme, and state institutions . I must say that I am personally very satisfied that this project focuses on what is the last element of the penal chain: the execution of a criminal judgment by means of detention and its alternatives. By focusing on this aspect, this program perfectly complements the support that the EU has provided in the area of ​​the rule of law over the years. I am also particularly pleased with the design of all these programs, which are internally consistent and consider the justice sector in an integrated way. Just4All is no exception in this sense,” said Ambassador Auer, Head of the European Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic.

According to Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, “As the guardian of United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice, which promote and protect human rights in the administration of justice, UNODC is committed to partnering with the government and the European Union to help the Kyrgyz Republic to reform its criminal justice system so that it is efficient, fair and humane for the entire population. This new project contributes to these efforts by promoting the humanization of the criminal justice system in Kyrgyzstan and enabling the country to strengthen its capacity to implement its criminal justice reforms in accordance with international standards”.

The project will address two critical areas of criminal justice reform: probation and criminal justice information management. Thus, the project will create a fully functional probation service that can rehabilitate its clients and strengthen gender-sensitive and human rights-based approaches in the administration of justice in the context of automation and increased digitization of the justice sector.

In addition, the project will strengthen the institutional capacity of the Probation Department through a consolidated legal framework, the further development and implementation of a new information management system and the piloting new tools and measures that will allow probation officers to develop and implement individual rehabilitation plans. Thus, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of probation services.

By improving access to justice and the rule of law in the Kyrgyz Republic through better management of probation and criminal justice information, the project contributes to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda. 2030. In particular, “Justice for All” advances the progressive realization of Sustainable Development Goals 5 “gender equality”, 10 “reduced inequalities” and 16 “peace, justice and strong institutions”.

Elna M. Lemons