Ainura Alymbekova: “The Law on SGLA changes the style of the government entities’ work for the better”

A range of the organizations that can and should provide free legal aid to those, who are entitled to it has expanded. This has happened due to the Law on State guaranteed legal aid (SGLA). But the consequences of its effect are not only in this: the character and the style of the government entities’ work are changing, Ainura Alymbekova believes, a coordinator of the UNDP and MFA of Finland project “Towards a sustainable access to justice for legal empowerment in the KR”:

– Owing to the Law on SGLA effective since 2016, the list of organizations, government and non-government bodies and public officers providing free legal aid has expanded.  Both local bodies and legal clinics and non-profit organizations must provide legal consultations.

In addition, all government bodies must consult within the area of their responsibilities. For example, the State Registration Service – in the area of documentation, the Ministry of Health and Social Development – in the issues of pension and social benefit payment, MIA and others – in their respective areas. However, the main achievement of the current Law on the State guaranteed legal assistance is not even in this. A government body has appeared in the country that coordinates the activity of all these government entities – the FLA Coordination Center.

– But previously this work has been carried out without coordination from the single center.  Is it really required?

– It is all about the law of nature “The change in the quantity produces another quality”. Previously, there were a few organizations obliged to provide free legal services to the citizens. Now – hundreds of them. To make them work smoothly, somebody has to coordinate their actions. And this means to provide timely the information. Since the non-governmental organizations are involved, we need to train the activists. To raise their capacity explaining the aspects of the altering today legislation in the area of human rights.

– If I am right, the current entity – FLA Coordination Center is involved in it?

– Absolutely right! As they say, it is impossible “to swallow a whole elephant”. The large work to coordinate the activity of all participants in the FLA system in the country has been divided into parts. As a first step, separate “platforms” have been created to coordinate the activity of governmental and non-governmental FLA organizations. And they have made an unexpected discovery: in many government entities, the employees and even the managers are not aware of the existence of the Law on FLA or do not know well, what they must do in accordance with this Law. For example, many have a hostile attitude towards their duty to submit reports on provided legal consultations to FLA CC.

– They, probably, complain that they already have much work.

– Right. To avoid misunderstanding we try to hold regular meetings with the employees of such government entities.

– You conduct more trainings. What can you tell about their participants?

– I have noticed one feature: as a rule, new participants take part in every training. On the one hand, it is good since a growing number of officers from the government entities become aware of FLA. But it also means staff turnover.  Unfortunately, a backbone of the activists has not yet formed to support FLA CC in the implementation of the Law on SGLA in the government bodies. However, in general, we may acknowledge that since 2017 the nature and the style of the cooperating government bodies’ work have changed for the better. I believe that the efficiency of the government entities’ work will improve also owing to their acquaintances with the civil society activists made at our workshops. It will be easier for the latter to address the public officers by name calling them by cell phone but not through reception and a secretary.  

An interviewer is Andrei Tokombaev

Кыргызчасы: Айнура Алымбекова: «МКЮЖ жөнүндө мыйзам мамлекеттик түзүмдөрдүн иштөө стилин жакшы жагына өзгөртөт»

На русском: Айнура Алымбекова: «Закон о ГГЮП меняет стиль работы госструктур, к лучшему»

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