The law should be equal for everybody – this is the SGLA mission

The citizens sometimes cannot receive the aid of a qualified lawyer and actually remain outside the justice. And many of them note that the main reason for this is expensive lawyer’s services. 

On December 16, 2016, the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On State Guaranteed Legal Aid” (SGLA) was adopted. In accordance with this Law, a government entity – the Free Legal Aid Coordination Center (FLA CC) – is operating, which provides the disadvantaged with an opportunity to stand upon their rights in law enforcement and judicial authorities. FLA CC not only operates in this area, but also actively cooperates and interacts with the civil society in the issues of the citizens’ access to the legal aid.

On June 18-23 a workshop was organized for employees of FLA CC, public officers and activists from some non-governmental organizations in Chok-Tal village in order to strengthen interaction between the state and the civil society. The representatives from 25 non-commercial organizations in human rights protection and 19 state agencies such as the State Service for Execution of Punishment, the Ministry of Defense, the State Committee for National Security, the Bishkek Mayor’s Office, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Regions Development and others were among the participants of the workshop.

– We extremely need this type of the training – one of the participants, a militia colonel Azamat Duishenaliev, the head of the Investigation Service Department, MIA KR is confident – since a new Criminal Code and the process of our work reforming aimed at humanization of the law enforcement authorities system require from us, the representatives of the law enforcement agencies to change some stereotypes and to develop the skills of mutually beneficial cooperation with the representatives of the civil society.

– It can be said that owing to the civil society activists – a participant Gulshad Toktobaeva, a senior officer of the Judicial Support Department, the Ministry of Defense of the KR, notes – the moral and psychological environment has significantly improved in the subdivisions of the Armed Forces. The close cooperation within the frameworks of SGLA helps us solve the issue of non-manual relations in the army and ensure more transparent and objective investigations by the Military Prosecutor’s Office.

The participants of the workshop have received an opportunity to understand better the role and the goals of FLA CC cooperation, the Coordination Council for SGLA development, stage agencies and NGOs, learnt much about the practice for providing free legal aid, gained knowledge and experience of interaction for vulnerable groups rights protection.

– Over the last few years, private real estate developers have become more active in the capital – one of the workshop participants Ruslan Kudaibergenov, a leading specialist from the Bishkek Mayor’s Office said – they often violate the rights of ordinary citizens by usurping the territory of playgrounds and garden squares for construction. The litigations with such entrepreneurs are conducted on unequal conditions, since a manager of a company can usually hire a good lawyer and his opponent sometimes does not have such an opportunity. In this situation, SLGA is required and it is great that the workshops are carried out enabling us, the employees of the self-government bodies, to gain experience and to establish business relations with our colleagues and activists from the non-governmental sector working in this area.

The classes on compiling analytical reports, getting acquainted with the methods of social media propaganda, communicating with the target audience in the Internet, writing texts and using visual tools for social advertising promotion, aspects of communication with the representatives of different age, gender and social groups were held for six days.

– Unfortunately, the level of the population’s legal literacy is now still low enough – a trainee, Altynai Kulatova, a leading specialist of the Judicial Support Department, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Regions Development of the KR, noted – which is often a reason for various legal incidents and misunderstandings. In order to be able to stand upon their rights, the citizens should know, how to do it correctly. This knowledge should be promoted. Therefore, it is important for both us, the public officers, and our partners in SGLA to teach the skills of communication with a wide audience.

The workshop participants have also discussed and developed further cooperation plans, have established a personal contact required for joint work.

– The goal of such activities – a participant, Asel Nasirova, the head of the Legal Support Department, the Social Fund of the KR, said – is to improve general understanding of the role of the state agencies and other entities in the SGLA system, to receive first-hand quality information on the practices of the free legal aid provision by the SGLA entities and share the experience by the participants.

The workshop was organized by FLA CC under the support of the UNDP and MFA of Finland project “Towards a sustainable access to justice for legal empowerment in the KR” 

Andrei Tokombaev

Кыргызчасы: Мыйзам баары үчүн бирдей болушу керек – МКЮЖ миссиясы мына ушунда 

На русском: Закон должен быть для всех одинаков – в этом миссия ГГЮП

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