Tian Shan Policy Center
CENTRAL ASIA POLICY REVIEW
Volume 1 Issue 3 September 2015 1
CENTRAL ASIA POLICY REVIEW
EDITOR Franco Galdini
EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Ainura Asimidinova, Seth Fearey, Daniele Rumolo, Kanat Sultanaliev
CONTRIBUTORS Lillian Langford, Daniele Rumolo, Boryana Miteva, Mirgul Karimova, Caleb Cumberland
MISSION The Central Asia Policy Review is an English-language on-line publication of the Tian Shan Policy Center of the American University of Central Asia dedicated to promoting dialogue and raising awareness on relevant issues in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia on human rights, good governance, sustainable development, migration and social protection. Contributions to the Central Asia Policy Review are encouraged from local, regional and international experts, professors, students, as well as alumni of the American University of Central Asia and other Universities of or with a focus on Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. Representatives of local institutions, civil society organisations, regional and international organisations are also encouraged to contribute. The Central Asia Policy Review aims at addressing issues of public interest with the aim of furthering support for the democratic development of Kyrgyzstan and neighbouring countries, as well as for enhanced compliance with human rights obligations and principles in an inclusive manner.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES Contributors shall submit articles to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. An articleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideal length will be between 1,000 and 2,500 words, including a 100 word abstract. The articles should include a brief introduction to the subject at hand, an analytical section, and policy recommendations to foster dialogue and discussion. The Editor and the Editorial Committee reserve the right to decide whether to publish or edit the article in accordance with the internal publication guidelines of the Tian Shan Policy Center. By submitting the article, the author agrees to its publication and to relinquish his/her copyrights to the Tian Shan Policy Center. Unless otherwise stated in written form by the Editorial Committee, no honorarium will be paid for the contributions.
CONTENT OF THE ISSUE Page #4 Human Rights and foreign policy with focus on Kyrgyzstan By the Editorial Committee Page #5 “There was a case”: gender-based violence, property rights, and the data dilemma in Kyrgyzstan By Lillian Langford Page #11 Strengthening the fight against torture in Kyrgyzstan By Daniele Rumolo Page #15 What’s the potential of Japan’s foreign policy in Central Asia? By Boryana Miteva Page #19 Kyrgyz multi-vectoriality: why the trouble? By Mirgul Karimova Page #22 Minority language rights and Implementation challenges in Kyrgyzstan By Caleb Cumberland
HUMAN RIGTHS AND FOREIGN POLICY WITH FOCUS ON KYRGYZSTAN By The Editorial Committee
Dear Reader, Welcome to Issue number 3 of the Central Asia Policy Review (Review), a publication of the Tian Shan Policy Center (TSPC) of the American University of Central Asia (AUCA). This issue of the Review focuses on human rights and foreign policy. In the first of a two-part series, Lillian Langford presents the findings of her one-year research on gender-based violence and property rights in Kyrgyzstan, shedding light on the lack of reliable quantitative data to develop effective policies and remedial actions. Daniele Rumolo introduces readers to achievements and challenges in the implementation of an EU-funded project on prevention of torture in Kyrgyzstan. The article suggests ways to further support the local authorities in successfully addressing the issue of torture. Caleb Cumberland builds upon the recommendations of UN human rights mechanisms to Kyrgyzstan to assess minority language rights and community reconciliation in the country. Foreign policy features in an article by Boryana Miteva, who broaches Japan’s increasing involvement in Central Asia from the perspective of political, security, economic, technological and cultural relations. Additionally, Mirgul Karimova uses the theoretical framework of small states to analyze the shift in Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy from multi-vectoriality to over reliance on Russialed integration processes. The Review has been intended as a Kyrgyzstan-based forum for students, teachers, practitioners, activists, civil society organizations, journalists, experts and anyone with a keen interest in Central Asia to express their views, highlight pressing issues and, if applicable, provide tailored recommendations to influence policies and change legislation on the issues at the heart of the TSPC, namely human rights, good governance, sustainable development, migration, and social protection. For the fourth issue, the Editorial Committee awaits your submissions to the Review by 1 December 2015. The Editorial Committee remains available for further discussions and clarifications at the email address email@example.com or at the new campus of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek.
“THERE WAS A CASE”: GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE, PROPERTY RIGHTS, AND THE DATA DILEMMA IN KYRGYZSTAN By Lillian Langford
Part I: Introduction
which increased penalties for this crime. In fact, it is one of the few cases that have been criminally investigated at all.
“There was a case. There was a woman who was bride-kidnapped. She was from the village just next to ours. Then her family called the police and they came and arrested the man. Now all the other men in the area have heard about this and they have stopped bride kidnapping. So you see, the law is working.”
Yet these quotes highlight the emergence of emotionally-charged narratives, delivered by anecdote, in the absence of factual and methodically-gathered data on sensitive or divisive topics. As will be discussed in this two-part series, this reversion to storytelling, although perhaps appropriate for garnering grassroots support for a cause, represents a wholly inadequate – and even dangerous – foundation for sound government policymaking to prevent violence against women, including bride kidnapping, in Kyrgyzstan.
“There was a case from near here. A woman was kidnapped by a stranger. Her family did nothing and she was so upset that she killed herself. Only after this did the police come and arrest him, and now he is in jail. This law does not work; it only works when there is a ‘noisy case’ like this one.” “There was a case…a young man from the village down the road. He ‘kidnapped’ his wife, but he is like all the young men, it is only symbolic. She wanted to go with him. But then, because of this law, the police came and arrested him and sent him to jail. His wife was so sad that she killed herself. This is a terrible law.”
Part One will set forth the primary policy issues that are commonly discussed in connection to violence against women and its effect on women’s economic and social independence in Kyrgyzstan. It first describes the methodology behind these observations, sets forth the existing legal framework related to this topic and goes on to describe the four significant areas in which implementation fails to match the law’s guarantees. Part Two of the series, which will be published on the fourth issue of the Central Asia policy Review in December, will discuss the problematic lack of data available to policymakers and offer some solutions for closing the implementation gaps.
These three quotes were drawn from interviews with actors around the IssykKul area, including a government official, a civil society representative, and a focus group of women, respectively. They all apparently refer to one very wellpublicized 2012 case of a man who was arrested and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in connection with a bride kidnapping following which the bridevictim, Yrys Kasymbay kyzy, committed suicide. In addition to being memorable in its tragedy, this case is remarkable because it is one of the very few in which a person has been prosecuted for bride kidnapping under the amended Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan),
The Foundation The following analysis stems from qualitative research conducted over a 10month period in 2014 in Kyrgyzstan. The central question of the research was how gender-based violence hinders women’s access to property and financial independence. The more technical 5
question was how a failure to enforce existing legislation on domestic violence and bride kidnapping might lead to a corresponding failure in implementation of laws guaranteeing women access to a portion of marital property after divorce or death of a husband.
possible given the circumstances, do not in any way comprise reliable data that could serve as the foundation for any credible, practicable policy. The Law The legal framework in place in Kyrgyzstan takes a progressive stance towards gender equality and in many ways provides safeguards against genderbased violence. The 2010 Constitution provides broad protections against discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, and numerous other grounds. Legal equality is also guaranteed, inter alia, by the Civil Procedure Code and in the Law on State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Men and Women.
This research comprised 124 formal interviews, including 10 focus groups, with a total of 154 individuals in all seven provinces of the country as well as the two major urban centers of Bishkek and Osh. The interviewees included representatives of the national, oblast (regional), and village-level governments; leadership and staff of NGOs and IGOs; the police; judges; lawyers providing legal aid; private lawyers involved in family law matters; academics; and focus groups of women living in rural areas. The views set forth below were also informed by many more informal interviews and conversations with actors in the governmental, non-governmental, and private sectors from Kyrgyzstan and beyond. The research also included a broad-ranging review of literature and what little quantitative data is available on this topic.
Under law women enjoy the same claims to property, including upon divorce, and the same right to inheritance as men. The Family Code provides that marital property (that obtained during the marriage) is joint property, unless otherwise provided for by a marital contract (art. 34), and it explicitly mandates that this right shall extend to spouses who do not have an income on their own due to their occupation taking care of children, tending to the home, or other reasons (art. 35).
Generally speaking, the interviews and desk research described above suggested that 1) in practical terms and to a significant extent, women are not enjoying the property rights guaranteed to them by national law and by international law, notably the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); and 2) the presence of gender-based violence, including kidnapping for forcible marriage, appears to play an exacerbating role in this problem.
Kyrgyz law also offers specific protections for domestic violence victims. The 2003 Law on “Social and Legal Protection from Domestic Violence” (“Domestic Violence Law”) establishes a regime of temporary restraining orders and longer-term protection orders that aim to restrain perpetrators of domestic violence from initiating harmful contact with the victim for a prescribed period of time following the initial incident. Violators can be punished with administrative fines or administrative detention. In cases where a victim of domestic violence suffers serious injury, a perpetrator can be subject to criminal
Ye t f a r f r o m a l l o w i n g f o r t h e comprehensive collection and analysis of available information, this research served to highlight how little data truly exists to support these two conclusions. A handful of interviews, although conducted in the most systematic manner 6
prosecution for assault depending on the severity of the damages (arts. 104 and 105). At the time of writing, an amended draft law to extend greater protections to domestic violence victims was under development and expert review.
exercise their rights. This issue is multitiered. First, in school and in their communities, children of both genders seem to receive little in the way of education on their basic rights and duties, as well as their options if they encounter violence in their family or are forcibly kidnapped for marriage. Reaching young adulthood, many are unaware of even the most basic laws that apply to them. Some young women interviewed during the course of the research believed that their parents, and not they, possessed legal rights over their personhood. This belief leads in some cases to girls consenting to marry a man who kidnapped them because their parents have successfully negotiated a payment (so-called kalym, or ‘dowry’) from his family in return for their agreement to the marriage.
The Criminal Code specifically proscribes violence against women in the form of forcible abduction for marriage – socalled “bride kidnapping.” In 2013, following extensive lobbying efforts by non-governmental and international organizations, the Kyrgyz government amended the Criminal Code to toughen the penalty. Once punishable with a maximum three-year prison sentence, the criminal act of abducting a person for the purpose of marriage now carries a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment (arts. 154 – 155).* As seen in this web of interlocked legal provisions, and acknowledged by several authors, the problem with addressing gender-based violence in Kyrgyzstan does not lie primarily with gaps in the law. For the most part, the legislation offers broad guarantees for women to exercise the rights to life, security, and property that are enshrined in CEDAW. The primary problem dwells rather in the implementation of those laws.
Second, the constraints created by traditional gender roles for married women further restrict already limited information on rights, including the right to own and manage property, through marriage or inheritance, and the right to be free from violence, including domestic violence. NGO representatives and women themselves reported that rural women are often confined to their home most of the day to take care of domestic responsibilities, limiting their access to information. The problem is particularly acute in abusive or exploitative relationships, when access to the outside world is often tightly controlled by the abuser or his family. This lack of information prevents many women from understanding the vital nature of entering into a legal marriage (rather than a “common law” marriage, i.e. cohabitation), in order to exercise legal rights upon divorce or separation, an issue that was highlighted in a recent United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report on access to justice in Kyrgyzstan. Women who are kidnapped for marriage are particularly vulnerable,
The implementation gaps To echo a common theme encountered in the research, the laws are only paper. Without effective enforcement, they are useful only in their moral content, and perhaps actually harmful in the expectations they create that ultimately remain unfulfilled. Those gaps are reflected in four major areas. 1. Knowledge, education, and attitudes In every oblast of the country, much cited was the lack of information and knowledge available to women seeking to 7
as they possess very little bargaining power over their kidnapper and his family.
examination in order to prove damages that would trigger a criminal case for “grievous” or “less serious” physical injury (arts. 104 and 105). This can require prohibitively expensive travel to distant urban areas where a medical examination is available.
Third, traditional attitudes about the role of women as mothers and homemakers, and not as decision-makers or property managers, although not reflected in national legislation, are borne out in provincial and village-level policies. The research revealed several notable instances in which local officials demonstrated a poor understanding of the root causes of domestic violence, with many of them blaming the victims for having provoked or encouraged an attack, and many citing women’s desire to undertake new, non-traditional professions that included working outside of the house as the catalysts for the violence.
Civil mechanisms to escape abuse are also elusive. Although a few scattered NGOs attempt to provide assistance on an ad-hoc basis in different regions, including a few shelters for victims of violence, they depend on irregular private funding and many only have a handful of beds. Three shelters examined in the course of the research were operating without money to pay for utilities and food for their clients. Legal aid for securing a divorce or access to property following escape from an abusive relationship remains a significant gap in the complaint category. At the time of the research, a fledgling government program was practically nonfunctional, with many government employees in the social protection sphere unaware of the existence of such a scheme. NGOs and international organization-funded programs provide some support in this area and will be discussed in Part Two. However, these programs are not sufficient to provide systematic solutions to the lack of complaint mechanisms.
2. Poor access to complaint mechanisms Inadequate access to responsive and fully capacitated complaint mechanisms for domestic violence victims is a global phenomenon, and Kyrgyzstan is no exception; women seeking to separate themselves from a dangerous intimate partnership or a kidnapper routinely run up against poorly trained, unresponsive, or even hostile law enforcement officers when they try to report. In Kyrgyzstan the extreme physical isolation of many victims across the country further hinders access to criminal justice mechanisms. In many cases where a woman seeks a basic protection order, there is simply no police station or even an uchastkoviy (district police patrolman) within a reachable distance to the scene of the violence. In other cases, women are ashamed to expose themselves to public scrutiny for domestic violence, which many in rural areas consider a family affair. In cases of serious physical injury, where a victim is able and willing to reach the police and file a complaint, she must submit to a physical
3. Inadequate processing of complaints Those victims who successfully report violence against them are often disappointed by the response of the responsible authorities. Many victims of violence and advocates interviewed in this research indicated that three responses to reporting were commonly experienced: a) they tried to report the violence to the police but were turned away, in some cases because the abuser was actually a local police officer or other significant community member; b) 8
they reported to the police but that report was never filed or insufficient evidence was cited;** or c) they successfully reported and the report was filed but they were referred to a local (aksakal) court or another mediation mechanism instead of the criminal justice system, as also recently noted with concern by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
acknowledged having seen such cases but referred to them dismissively as “family scandals,” implying that they were not a matter for intervention by the courts. 4. Ineffective enforcement of remedies In the small percentage of cases where victims manage to report violence or seek to escape from an abusive situation and where that complaint is effectively processed, enforcement of police or court orders is exceptionally rare.
These non-state mechanisms focus on a “family-centric” approach, striving above all to keep families together rather than paying attention to the best interests, health, and safety of the children and the abused spouse. One senior provincial government official interviewed for the research indicated that she was developing a “seminar” for women who reported domestic violence (whose contact information she had illegally obtained from the police) that would teach them how to be “better wives and mothers” and to understand their proper roles within the family, which in her view would inevitably reduce the physical violence such women experienced. Such approaches ignore the root causes of violence, the power dynamics in violent intimate relationships, and the danger to a victim’s health when instructed that the violence is due to his or her own actions or omissions.
T h e “ Pr o t e c t i o n O r d e r ” r e g i m e , established by the 2003 law “On Social and Legal Protection from Domestic Violence,” offers little more than a piece of paper ordering an abuser not to abuse for a distinct period of time. In effect, this serves only as a warning: although violation of a temporary restraining order (issued by the police and effective for a period of up to 15 days according to art. 23) or protective order (issued by a court and effective for a period of 1 to 6 months according to art. 24) constitutes an administrative offense (arts. 66.3 and 66.5), rarely are violations sanctioned and when they are, they often have the effect of aggravating the violence as an abuser who has been detained for three days comes home more aggressive than before. In the few civil cases where domestic violence victims have managed to obtain a legal divorce (assuming they had a legal marriage to begin with, which many do not) and a court order for separation of property per the Family Code, courts struggle to enforce such judgments. Court bailiffs have limited power under the law to force an abusive partner or his family to vacate premises that have been awarded to a victim, particularly, as is often the case, when the property is located in the abuser’s home village and the victim lacks any social support network. Under such circumstances, victims are often forced under threat or
In those cases where a domestic violence complaint reaches the court system, whether as a criminal charge or in civil proceedings aimed at separating the victim from her abuser, judges often exhibit a poor understanding of what constitutes domestic violence and even how to apply existing legal remedies. One civil law judge interviewed for the research had never heard of the 2003 law “On Social and Legal Protection from Domestic Violence.” Another civil law judge stated that he had never had a case of “domestic violence”, although when prompted with specific scenarios constituting domestic violence, he 9
ongoing violence to abandon property that is legally theirs or else consent to remain in an abusive situation.
End notes * For a comprehensive analysis of the draft legislation, see OSCE/ODHIR “Opinion on the draft law of the Kyrgyz Republic on safeguarding and protection from domestic violence”.
** As noted above, in cases where a victim seeks to have criminal charges brought against an abuser, she must prove physical injury (either “grievous” or “less serious”, which carry different penalties per arts. 104-105 of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic). In order to obtain the requisite physical evidence she must undergo an invasive physical exam in a medical facility. In two cases, recounted by two different NGO lawyers, victims were reportedly asked for money or sexual favors by the medical examiner in order to write a report accurately documenting her physical injuries.
Understanding the challenges to addressing gender-based violence in Kyrgyzstan through policy requires contemplation of the four areas of lagging implementation described above. However, as already emphasized, the foregoing themes are based largely on anecdotal evidence obtained through interviews supplemented with a very limited amount of outside data. Part Two of this series will discuss the daunting data gap at the policymaking level in Kyrgyzstan and offer tentative solutions to the challenges identified.
Special thanks to Sabina Akhmetzhanova, Zhibek Akimbaeva, Aigerim Baiazbekova, N a z g u l I r i s o v a , a n d S a l t a n a t Mambetisaeva for their exceptional research assistance.
Lillian Langford is a Legal Officer with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Previously she worked as a Fulbright researcher and lecturer-in-law at the American University of Central Asia
STRENGTHENING THE FIGHT AGAINST TORTURE IN KYRGYZSTAN By Daniele Rumolo Introduction
One of the main outcomes of the project has been the publication of the ‘Final report on model practices’ in which global best practices of independent investigative mechanisms, including from Canada, Northern Ireland and Jamaica were analyzed to support informed dialogue on policies Kyrgyzstan should adopt to fight torture.
On 30 September, the Tian Shan Policy Center (TSPC) and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) finalized the implementation of an 18-month EUfunded project entitled ‘Strengthening the fight against torture and impunity in Kyrgyzstan: Prevention, Accountability, Remedy, and Reparation.’ The final event featured the presentation of the “Handbook on monitoring places of deprivation of liberty”, offered in both English and Russian. The Handbook analyzes all the key principles of effective monitoring and is intended as a guide for all stakeholders working on prevention of torture and ill-treatment, as well as a didactical tool for a new generation of monitors. In addition, it consolidates all relevant international legal instruments on torture as enshrined in International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, and soft laws, to equip National Human Rights Institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a compendium on the legal foundations of their work.
This latest project built on those achievements and further expanded the scope of its support by focusing its attention on enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of the National Center on the Prevention of Torture (NPM). The creation of the NPM, which was established by law in 2012 and began its operations at the beginning of 2014, was the result of the ratification by the Kyrgyz Parliament of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading treatment and punishment (OPCAT). With the creation of NPM, along with the approval of a national action plan on torture, the Kyrgyz institutions have shown their commitment toward the fight against torture. This was further confirmed by the ability of the NPM to carry out its monitoring mandate almost without hindrance.
The National Center on the Prevention of Torture (NPM) TSPC first engaged with the fight against torture in 2012 with the financial support of the EU. The Center started providing support to local authorities and civil society in order to contribute to the elimination of torture and enhance the respect and compliance of Kyrgyz authorities with their human rights obligations. The ‘Program to enhance the capacity of NGOs and institutions to advocate for implementation of human rights decisions and standards to prevent torture’ was successfully implemented, shedding light on the necessity to review relevant national legislation and establish independent monitoring mechanisms in places of deprivation of liberty.
In June and November 2014, the TSPC and BIM organized trainings for the NPM staff on monitoring principles and procedures for places of deprivation of liberty, including the do-no-harm principle, independence, impartiality, confidentiality of the information received, interview techniques, report writing, and effective advocacy through the proposal of evidence-based recommendations. A joint visit to a prison in the southern part of the country was also organized, during which the NPM staff received technical mentoring on several aspects of the monitoring process, such as establishing and 11
maintaining constructive relationships with authorities in charge of the facility; adequately managing the information sharing process with them; selecting interviewees; analyzing the premises where to conduct interviews; and inspecting the inmatesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; living conditions.
together international experts, the Ombudsman as well as representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, NPM and civil society to seek consensus on an effective investigative mechanism on torture. This goal was reached in September 2014, when the participants unanimously developed and adopted a policy document for the establishment of a special unit within the Office of the General Prosecutor. This document was subsequently submitted to the competent Ministries for action and discussions on its implementation are currently ongoing.
A workshop to improve and consolidate monitoring tools was organized in coordination with civil society organizations, along with a high-level roundtable with the participation of the Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and a member of the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT), to promote the effective implementation of the NPM recommendations. Likewise, NPM members joined their European counterparts in Austria for an international conference on enhancing the impact of NPM recommendations at the national level. At the event, which was part of a BIM research project, the Kyrgyz NPM was briefed on best practices from other experiences and compared its work methodology with the Austrian NPM. The information sharing process included monitoring visits to a social care home and a hospital, in order for the Kyrgyz delegation to observe the work of its Austrian counterpart.
Prosecutors and judges, including from the Supreme Court, also benefitted from the project. In cooperation with the United Nations Regional Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia (OHCHR ROCA), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Centre in Bishkek, the NPM, and local experts and organizations, two sessions of trainingfor-trainers on investigation of allegations of torture and prosecution of the perpetrators were organized in May 2015. The expectation is that the trainees will share the knowledge acquired with their respective colleagues during internal training on prevention of torture. The fact that, for the first time, the NPM figured among the trainers is further evidence of the progress that the staff of this National Human Rights Institution achieved during the implementation of this project.
The outcome of the NPMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work is documented in the first annual report, which was presented to the Kyrgyz Parliament in June 2015 and is the result of 530 visits to places of deprivation of liberty. The quantitative and qualitative information collected shows that the use of torture is still widespread in Kyrgyzstan.
Finally, the project focused on local organizations in order to strengthen the capacity of civil society to carry out independent monitoring. The TSPC and BIM provided training on security in managing information and communication technology with the scope of ensuring that sensitive data, including names of victims, witnesses, and their families, allegations of torture, and identified perpetrators, are adequately protected
Other achievements Within the framework of this project, the TSPC and BIM capitalized on the conclusions of the report on model investigative practices and brought 12
from disclosure. Moreover, two grants were awarded to local NGOs, namely Ventus in Karakol and the Southern Regional Center for Medical and Social Rights in Osh, to support their torture prevention activities. Medical personnel in rural areas were trained in documenting torture in accordance with the principles enshrined in the Istanbul Protocol, as well as in supporting victims of torture with regard to the submission of complaints and access to legal aid services.
Kyrgyz institutions have to carefully consider and implement all the recommendations provided by the NPM in its annual report. Particular attention should be paid to those requesting the end of impunity for perpetrators of torture by effectively and independently investigating allegations of torture and prosecuting those officials found responsible for such violations.
Support to victims, especially with reference to their right to remedy and reparation, was featured in a roundtable organized in May 2015. The TSPC and BIM facilitated discussions on international and national mechanisms available to victims of tortures and their families to have their rights recognized, the submission of complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee, and possible advocacy strategies with the Kyrgyz Government to fully implement the views of this UN mechanism.
This can be achieved through the adoption and implementation of the proposal developed by representatives of relevant institutions and civil society organizations on the establishment of a special investigative unit within the Office of the General Prosecutor.
3. Special investigative unit within the Office of the General Prosecutor
4. National action plan on torture Kyrgyz authorities should dedicate adequate human and financial resources to the full implementation of the national action plan on torture. Institutions responsible for the implementation of the activities indicated in the national plan should be held accountable. Regular reports on the initiatives undertaken should be produced and made available to the public.
What still needs to be done to eliminate torture and ill-treatment? 1. Functional and financial independence of National Human Rights Institutions Despite the progress in the field of torture prevention, the Kyrgyz authorities need to take several steps to fully comply with their international and national legal obligations. To promote continuous progress, Kyrgyz institutions have to provide adequate funding to the National Human Rights Institutions, namely the NPM and the Ombudsman, to ensure their functional and financial independence. This element was strongly emphasized by a number of UN Human Rights Mechanisms in the recommendations issued during the reviews that Kyrgyzstan underwent over the past five years. 2. Practical implementation of the NPM recommendations
5. Training and educational campaigns for law-enforcement agencies Capitalizing on the knowledge acquired during the training-for-trainers, Kyrgyz institutions should continue to organize educational activities for lawenforcement agencies and the judiciary on national and international obligations on prevention of torture. 6. Legislative amendments in compliance with international and national obligations
Based on the findings of the monitoring visits by NPM and NGOs, it appears that legislative amendments to criminal and procedural laws are necessary to increase compliance with international and national obligations. Specifically, as recommended in the TSPC report on model best practices, there is a need to clarify the definition of the moment of arrest to ensure that judicial guarantees are timely provided to persons deprived of liberty; to develop procedures for the immediate registration of persons under arrest; and to provide access to thorough and impartial medical examinations in all detention centers and other facilities. 7. Implementation of the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee Kyrgyz institutions have to take into account the views of the UN Human Rights Committee and comply with their recommendations, including by providing victims and members of their families with adequate redress.
Daniele Rumolo is the Human Rights Program Manager of the Tian Shan Policy Center of the American University of Central Asia. In this role, he managed the overall implementation of the EU-funded project â&#x20AC;&#x153;Strengthening the fight against torture: Prevention, Accountability, Remedy, and Reparationâ&#x20AC;?.
WHAT’S THE POTENTIAL OF JAPAN’S FOREIGN POLICY IN CENTRAL ASIA? By Boryana Miteva
Political and security relations
Japan’s relations with the countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan) have developed progressively from the 1 9 9 0 s u n t i l t o d a y. B i l a t e r a l a n d multilateral contacts have been carried out in various fields at the highest level. While on the one hand Japan’s financial and technological assistance has been extremely beneficial to Central Asia, on the other hand Central Asia – as part of Eurasia – is particularly important for Japan’s security and development. Although Japan and the countries in Central Asia have laid solid foundations for mutual partnership, huge untapped potential remains for joint cooperation on political, security, and economic issues, as well as cultural, technological, and tourist exchange.
Located between Asia and Europe, Central Asia is a strategic region where the interests of many international players are intertwined. One of the main t e n e t s o f J a p a n ’s d i p l o m a c y i s guaranteeing a peaceful and stable geopolitical environment surrounding the c o u n t r y, a p r e - r e q u i s i t e f o r i t s development. Given its geographic location, Japan deems Eurasia as a key region for its security and diplomacy. This includes Central Asia as the region’s peace and stability directly affects Eurasia’s. Because of this, Japan has been involved in bilateral and multilateral cooperation in Central Asia to ensure security for the region. Mainly, the country uses financial, humanitarian, and technological assistance to support the security sector in the region, as demonstrated by its policy to encourage stabilization, democratization, as well as political and economic development in Afghanistan.
Many researchers have asked whether Japan has a strategy of engagement and interests in the region, as well as whether the former has been successful and the latter are only in the economic sphere. My current research shows that contacts between Japan and Central Asia occurred long before the end of the Cold War, but notably intensified during the 1990s until the present day. Japan’s strategy for Central Asia went through several stages: from the “Eurasian diplomacy” of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to the “Arc of freedom and prosperity”, on to the “corridor of peace and stability” and the joint dialogue Central Asia+Japan.
Japan contributes to the security sector mainly by organising conferences where Central Asia’s security is discussed; by providing technical equipment and knowledge for the improvement of border control and coordination between Central Asian states; by training security agencies in measures to combat terrorism, immigration control, aviation security, customs’ cooperation, border and export control. It also provides financial, technological and humanitarian aid for the stabilization, democratization and economic development of Afghanistan (1,79 billions USD between 2001 and 2009, with the presence of 130 Japanese volunteers in the country until 2009) as well as special aid to Afghanistan neighbours Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Japan uses primarily economic, humanitarian, and cultural means to implement its strategy in Central Asia. Alt h ou gh it s in flu e n ce ca n n ot be compared to that of Russia and China, I contend that relations between Japan and the Central Asian ‘stans’ have serious potential for future development and this is a mutually beneficial relationship. 15
In the future, however, more efforts are needed to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism, religious extremism, drugtrafficking and other potential threats. As these issues have global resonance – terrorism, for instance, directly affects Japan considering Japanese citizens have also been victims of terrorist acts – there is potential for cooperation in this sphere.
and implement common policies in various fields. The support of Central Asian countries for Japan’s bid for permanent membership at the UN Security Council is very valuable for the Japanese government, which views his renewed engagement in the region as an opportunity to raise its prestige internationally. Furthermore, political dialogue with Central Asia holds the potential to improve Japan’s relations with Russia and China, if the latter are included via the SCO On the other hand, Central Asia countries welcome Japan’s engagement as a balancing factor to Russian and Chinese interests.
Researchers agree that Japan has no political or military ambitions in Central Asia. Current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, pursues a more proactive f o r e i g n p o l i c y, i n c l u d i n g t o w a r d s liberalizing military restrictions on Japan. The specifics of Japan’s foreign policy make military cooperation between Japan and Central Asia unlikely, as it would evoke a firm negative response from Russia and China, two key partners for the country’s national security and economic development. Still, there is potential for cooperation in maintaining security and stability and reducing possible threats for the region. This would be far more effective if it were coordinated with Russia, China via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), especially in view of potential regional threats, such as terrorism, religious extremism, separatism, drug and weapon trafficking.
Economic and Technological relations Since the 1990s, Japan’s bilateral economic ties with Central Asia have streghtened, along with the expansion in trade. l Until 2014, Japan has provided 3,26 billion USD in financial support for Central Asia via the Official Development Assistance (ODA), an arm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has sent 1100 volunteers to the region and organized trainings for 2,600 trainees from Central Asian countries. Japan and Central Asian countries have signed various economic and investment agreements, including agreements with Kazakhstan for uranium export to Japan and cooperation in nuclear fuel production (2007), for development of trade and investment (2008), and for exploiting rare metals in East Kazakhstan (2010); In 2013 Japan and Kyrgyz republic signed Memorandum for cooperation between Ministry of economy of Kyrgyz Republic and Ministry of economy, trade and industry of Japan. In 2008 Japan and Uzbekistan signed investment agreement. In 2010 Uzbekistan, Asian bank of development and JICA signed several documents for financing various sectors of Uzbekistan’s economy (over 1 billion dollars). A joint economic forum in the framework of Central Asia+Japan Dialogue to discuss economic cooperation has also
Relations in the security field have tight connection with political relations, as evidenced by the establishment of the Central Asia+Japan dialogue, based on the principles of respect for diversity, competition, and open cooperation. As its basic aims, the dialogue put forward boosting cooperation between Japan and Central Asia, coordinating efforts for peace and stability in Central Asia, economic and social progress, interregional cooperation, improvement o f t h e r e g i o n ’s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h neighbouring countries and the international community. Such political dialogue at the highest levels of government is a key factor to coordinate 16
been established. Still, the scope for development is wide. Like JapaneseRussian economic relations, JapaneseCentral Asia economic relations could be characterized as ‘economic complementarity:’ Japan has advanced technologies and finished products for export, but it lacks raw materials, while Central Asia has raw materials for export and can become a future stable market for Japanese goods.
positive image of each other. Cultural diplomacy is one of Japan’s main pillars in the region, as found in its promotion of knowledge of Japanese culture and language in Central Asia and its support to cultural and educational exchange programmes. Japan established centers for human resources development in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, providing Japanese language courses, seminars and lectures in Japanese culture and economic, business and management practices. To this, one may add the cultural and educational programs of the Japan foundation
Japanese know-how, technology and loans could be extremely useful for the exploitation of raw materials, as well as for environmental preservation during the process of exploitation. Likewise, Japan’s experience with economic reforms, business and finance, management, industry development would be beneficial for the development of Central Asia. In addition, Japan makes it a priority to build a wide modern infrastructure network in the region, which will connect the Central Asian countries between themselves and Central Asia with the surrounding regions. This would be crucial to improve security and economic growth, too.
Tourism is another possible sphere of cooperation. Japan is already internationally well known tourist destination, but Central Asia has enormous potential for development due to its beautiful nature and long history. Cooperation in reducing VISA restrictions, opening direct flights and tourist destinations’ advertisements in the public space would be a first step in the right direction. The Ministries of foreign affairs, the embassies of Japan and the Central Asian countries, as well as the Japan foundation, the Japanese centres and offices of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the region should closely coordinate their activities in the process of promoting scientific, cultural, educational, tourist exchange, mutual acquaintance, and creating stable friendship between Japan and the Central Asian countries.
Japan supported the modernization of the airport in Astana, Kazakhstan (221,22 million USD in1998); road-construction in Western Kazakhstan (165,39 million USD in2000); building the Bishkek-Osh road in the Kyrgyz Republic (52,50 million USD in 1998); the Kurgan-Tube-Dusty road in Tajikistan; and the construction of the railway network in Turkmenistan (45,05 million USD in1997). Deepening economic integration in the framework of Eurasian Union and intensifying Russia’s and China’s economic involvement in the region, however, will require more activities meant to realize the great potential for cooperation in the field of trade and scientific-technological exchange.
Conclusions and recommendations Foreign Relations between Japan and Central Asia have been progressively developing from the 1990s until today. Japan’s diplomacy should take into account the changed international environment and changes in the region in order to avoid isolation and to implement effectively its strategy in Central Asia.
Cultural and tourist relations Both Japan and Central Asia have a long history and old cultures and they share a 17
After almost 25 years of direct interaction, Japan and the Central Asian countries have laid the foundation for their mutual cooperation at the bilateral and multilateral level. Still, there remains great potential to develop this partnership in various fields like political dialogue, security sector, economic, technological, cultural, and tourist exchange.
results for the development and the prosperity of Central Asia.
Japan should maintain an independent policy in Central Asia, while at the same time take into account Russia’s historic role and China’s growing influence in the region, the deepening economic integration in the frame of the EEU and regional cooperation in the SCO framework. Japan and the Central Asian countries should intensify and deepen their joint cooperation in various fields of mutual interest and promote actively partnership, mutual acquaintance, and mutually-beneficial friendly ties. Military cooperation between Japan and Central Asia is hard to predict in the near future., The parties should instead continue efforts to realize their significant potential in the economic and cultural spheres. Political dialogue should be implemented not only in the framework of the Central Asia+Japan forum, but also with other regional organizations, which would be beneficial for regional cooperation in Central Asia as well as for Japan’s relations with Central Asia, Russia and China. If mutual dialogue and cooperation between all parties concerned is possible, it would lead to faster and more effective
Boryana Miteva is an assistant in contemporary world history at the Department of Early Modern and Modern World History of Sofia University, Bulgaria. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the same department entitled “Japan’s foreign policy in East Asia in the Cold War era”.
KYRGYZ MULTI-VECTORIALITY: WHY THE TROUBLE? By Mirgul Karimova
environment for doing business, and commercializing organic tourism. A pioneer among the other Central Asian states in the size and quality of its civil society, Kyrgyzstan, assumedly, found its own 'niche diplomacy' or, as former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans put it, the country was able to "concentrate its resources in specific areas best able to generate returns worth having, rather than trying to cover the field."
Kyrgyzstan has not got its unique position in Central Asia right. Nicknamed an 'island of democracy' and a 'second Switzerland' in the 1990s, this small state attempted to gain recognition in the international arena for its ability to withstand competing big powers interests in the region. That goal demanded coordination and harmonization of foreign policy, creating a unique brand of Kyrgyz multivectoriality. However, inconsistency and indecisiveness in designing an independent diplomatic approach towards building and sustaining strong friendships have undermined Kyrgyzstan's possible role in the politically and economically significant region of Central Asia.
Since the beginning of the new millennium, however, Kyrgyzstan has failed to capitalize on the readiness of world powers to closely cooperate with it, thus squandering the trust it had taken years to gain. Domestic uncertainty led to complications in maintaining balance in its foreign policy, while the competing interests of its various alliances hurt the image of Kyrgyzstan as ‘the Switzerland of Central Asia.’ It has been unsuccessful in cooperating simultaneously with the United States and Russia, which would have accrued significant economic benefits. Instead, Kyrgyzstan has turned into a zone of political and social instability where corruption is rife and which tourists tend to avoid.
Destiny of a small state During the Cold War, small states appeared to take on more reactive and somewhat passive roles in global diplomacy. The world has changed since then. Common concerns over threats to peace, security, development, human rights, and the environment serve as platforms for states to unite and cooperate, rather than compete. Today, smaller actors, just like their bigger colleagues, strive to be heard while following their own national interests and questioning traditional power. Some states such as Estonia, Iceland, and Singapore, to mention a few, exercise multilateralism, and implement unconventional economic policy. Others still struggle to use their advantage as a small power, appearing instead vulnerable in a rapidly globalizing world.
Kyrgyz foreign policy Designing one’s own niche diplomacy and national brand is vital for states of the size of Kyrgyzstan, and even more so is the ability to promote both, in spite of adversity. When setting up Kyrgyzstan's priorities in foreign policy, in the beginning the multi-vector approach was a great success. A landlocked, mountainous state located in the geopolitical corridor where three big powers – China, Russia, and the U.S. – pursue their national interests, Kyrgyzstan established friendly relations with all three rivals in Central Asia, a region that provides economically-viable
In 1990s, Kyrgyzstan made attempts to brand itself as an 'island of democracy' in Central Asia or even as a 'second Switzerland', promoting human rights, opening its market to international investors, creating a favorable 19
land routes connecting China with Russia and the West.
played a role in these achievements and in turn was nurtured by them, promising the birth of a young democracy in a region that watchdog Freedom House defines as 'not free' to this day.
The official text of the foreign policy agenda currently implemented by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs stipulates the main directions of the state's participation in international fora. Today, Kyrgyzstan sees its destiny in alignment with its regional partners and, to some extent, with states with which it has historical and cultural ties. It aims to "deeply reset relations" with bordering Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and China; "create favorable conditions for free movement of goods, services, and labor" within Central Asia and between Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Turkey. The Russian Federation – with its Customs Union, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), and the Collective Security Treaty Organization – is viewed as the "main actor in the increasing integration processes within the Commonwealth of Independent States."
In July 2015, Kyrgyzstan further aligned its foreign policy with Russia’s by denouncing the 1993 Treaty with the U.S. which expired on August 21. President Atambayev prioritized his official visits to China and Iran over his planned participation at the United Nation's 70th General Assembly in New York. China and Iran will be invited to invest into the EEU’s 170-million-people market through infrastructure and trade-related joint projects. While the small state is chasing fast, short-term benefits from signing agreements with a number of regional actors, leaving its initial niche diplomacy behind (also in view of the upcoming October Parliamentary elections), the U n i t e d S t a t e s a n d o t h e r We s t e r n governments have started seeking new possibilities for partnerships in Central Asia outside of Kyrgyzstan.
The foreign policy agenda had only a line about the United States, demanding a search for "new forms of economic and political cooperation" with it, as well as the European Union, South East Asia, and the Arab region. At the same time, the state expressed the desire to continue "the policy of simplified entry and visafree travel between Kyrgyzstan and the developed countries of the world," though these regions were given little space in the text.
Even if the U.S. decides to continue implementing the planned 2015 development programs in Kyrgyzstan, the latter will likely keep railing against the U.S., whilst preferring dialogue with Russia and China. As a big power, the United States chooses to continue playing despite the temporary change in the rules, as this costs less than nonengagement in political and economic developments in the region. Kyrgyzstan, instead, risks overshadowing its national brand of being the ‘island of democracy’ in Central Asia, on the assumption that it could suddenly become the most developed country in the region after signing multiple trade agreements with neighboring states known for their lack of political freedoms.
Long-term implications One should not forget that the highlighted accomplishments of Kyrgyzstan during the 1990s were assisted by the U.S. and other Western partners who heavily supported the ideas of democratic development. Billions of USD went into strengthening government institutions, enforcing the rule of law, providing 4.7-million people with equal access to quality education and medicine, revitalizing farms and helping new businesses build an independent Kyrgyzstan. Civil society
Knowledge edge Every state undertakes similar calculations to balance its foreign policy. Often, as the costs become higher, the 20
decisions tend to become more complicated, with the calculation of outputs creating more ripple effects (i.e. old friendship between the U.S. and Kyrgyzstan being replaced by a denunciation of the relationship overnight) in the overall regional and global system. Thinking long-term and beyond the pre-election phase could be more beneficial, as, similarly to the loss in quality of business products, a national brand is hard to re-establish once lost.
Court with the aim of restraining the illegal trans-boundary drug trade. Guyana – the lead promoter of the LowCarbon Development Strategy – is recognized for its contribution to sustainable economic development and to the fight against climate change. Such examples highlight how small states – beset by unique development challenges and often with limited resources – may use their knowledge edge on specific issues to put forward workable solutions. Kyrgyzstan would better take notice before it is too late.
Kyrgyzstan might think it is exercising its small state advantage of knowing how to focus on the key goals of promoting economic development and better security, building dialogue with lessdemanding powers. It should be wary, however, of the fact that its formerly strong friendship with democratic and developed powers such as the United States is deteriorating. There is an argument to be made that, hadn’t it hesitated in implementing its original multi-vector foreign policy agenda, Kyrgyzstan could have become an education hub, a year-round virgin tourism destination, and possibly a diplomatic powerhouse in Central Asia. Difficulties in protecting one’s own interests in international fora are unavoidable; small states such as Malta, however, have introduced the Law of the Sea to world affairs, calling on the United Nation to solve the issue of competing claims over territorial waters. Today, the tiny island-state governs international maritime activities. Trinidad and Tobago, on its part, put forward the idea of establishing the International Criminal
Mirgul Karimova is a former Fulbright Scholar. She graduated from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce with an MA in International Security and Diplomacy in Dec. 2014. Prior to this, she provided technical assistance to Kyrgyz law enforcement agencies and advocated community policing in cross-border regions of Kyrgyzstan with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
MINORITY LANGUAGE RIGHTS AND IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES IN KYRGYZSTAN By Caleb Cumberland
Language policy and reconciliation in Kyrgyzstan
June 2015 marked the fifth anniversary of the June events that saw violent clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan between the majority Kyrgyz population and the large Uzbek minority. Over the past five years, the United Nations human rights mechanisms have put forward numerous recommendations to enhance compliance with human rights obligations and avoid a repeat of the violence.
Language policies are often politicized: for a young democracy undergoing state and institution building, granting legal status or promoting languages other than Kyrgyz may be viewed by many as running counter the national interest. This is because most are in favor of supporting and promoting Kyrgyz above all languages, while reducing the dominance of Russian, whose presence in the region is a legacy of the Soviet era. While legal and government documents as well as state and general business are increasingly conducted in Kyrgyz, Russian is still used to a significant extent.
Several of these recommendations related to education and minority language rights, focusing on the protection and promotion of the right to use minority languages. They specifically encouraged increasing access to information in Uzbek and supporting Uzbek language media including television. Some recommendations highlighted how access to quality education can be hampered when it is not provided in one’s mother tongue, and/or there are few possibilities to learn Kyrgyz as a second language.
In this context, many Uzbeks will find it increasingly difficult to understand government documents, which will hamper their access to services. Since the events of 2010, many Uzbek language schools or educational institutions have been closed or reduced in capacity. This trend is expected to only grow in the future given the increasing nationalist rhetoric in the political arena.
A wide linguistic gap still exists in Kyrgyzstan between citizens of Uzbek background, mostly living in the south, and their ability to communicate with the northern part of the country. This divide, and the idea that nationalism works to create a strong state for the majority ‘titular nation,’ resulted in tensions with the significant Uzbek minority in Kyrgyzstan’s south.
As a young state, the question of State building is at the forefront in Kyrgyzstan. Nick Megoran, a reader in Political Geography at the University of Newcastle in the UK, suggests that “Kyrgyz society should energetically pursue the goal of making Kyrgyz the primary language of public life and inter-ethnic communication”. Educating the Uzbek minority in the country in the Kyrgyz language seems reasonable, as it would allow for their integration and improved interaction with the Kyrgyz-speaking society.
This article broaches some of the challenges of implementing these selected recommendations. To this end, I will shed some light on issues of interethnic tensions that arise from language policies and the challenges of increasing educational access to languages and promoting minority language rights in Kyrgyzstan.
However, the limited implementation of transitional justice or community reconciliation programs following the 2010 events has prevented the adequate 22
address of grievances from both sides. One of the consequences is that some Kyrgyz resent those who are studying and learning a minority language as a primary language, while some Uzbek appear unwilling to study Kyrgyz. The shambolic state of the public education system is a further hindrance to the teaching of Kyrgyz as a second language.
due to its practicality as a lingua franca, and considering the strong influence that Russia holds over the region to this day. This is even more the case now that Kyrgyzstan has joined the Russia-led Eurasian Economic and Custom Union and the economic and political ties with the two countries continue to expand. The Kyrgyz Constitution does call for guarantees to the right to use one’s native language and also to support conditions to learn it. The UN Human rights mechanisms’ recommendations help to further guide policy towards achieving the goals set by the constitution. This means that the country should reverse current trends whereby the right to teach and learn Uzbek is hardly protected, let alone promoted.
Reconciliation between the Kyrgyz and the Uzbek communities is needed at many levels before successful minority language rights can be implemented and guaranteed. The UN human rights mechanisms’ numerous recommendations on minority communities could be a starting point for this process, but they are unlikely to be successful in isolation. For example, a few recommendations to support the inclusion of ethnic minorities into the state civil service will be harder to implement if these people are not able to work in a Kyrgyz-speaking environment. The most likely outcome would be that both parties will continue to rely on Russian for communication.
Quality education is a key to ensuring access to minority languages. Emphasis should be placed on promoting Kyrgyz language learning for all interested parties, alongside minority language education. This requires well-trained staff and adequate funding. Kyrgyzstan’s students were among the worstperforming in the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, run by the organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which tested knowledge in reading, science and math. This highlights the significant p r o b l e m s p l a g u i n g t h e c o u n t r y ’s education system and the challenges ahead.
United in diversity It is important that the Uzbek community in Kyrgyzstan be able to enjoy the same rights to use their native language as the Kyrgyz, including education in Uzbek and the opportunity to speak their language in daily life. Nick Megoran rightly advocates for Kyrgyz language instruction in order for reintegration and reconciliation among the main communities in the country to be successful. This is especially true if one considers that the Russian language may still be viewed by many through the lenses of historical hegemony due to the country’s Soviet past.
The recent UN human rights recommendations on education should be a wake-up call to address the issues connected to minority language rights. Learning the Kyrgyz language may be the quickest route for the Uzbek minority to build trust with the Kyrgyz majority, but for this to happen major reforms of the education system are in order. A further step towards reconciliation, however, should come with the recognition that minority languages aren’t an obstacle to shared citizenship. The objective here
Russian, however, occupies a special place in Kyrgyzstan since the Constitution under Article 10 defines Kyrgyz as a state language and Russian as an official language. Besides, knowledge of Russian will continue to be useful in Central Asia 23
would be to balance the systematizing of Kyrgyz language learning for everyone with the enhancement of Uzbek language learning. As language can become a tool for nationalist mobilization, it is hoped that the authorities will make the implementation of these recommendations a matter of priority.
Caleb Cumberland studies History and Political Studies at Bard College. In summer 2015, he was a student at AUCA and an intern at the TSPC, where he contributed to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Compendium on Recommendations for the Kyrgyz Republic from United Nations Human Rights Mechanismsâ&#x20AC;?.
Tian Shan Policy Center
The Tian Shan Policy Center (TSPC) is an innovative nonprofit, public interest organization focused on research, analysis, and implementation of appropriate and effective public policy in the nations and communities of Central Asia. The TSPC specializes in the critical fields of strategic development policy, human rights, and sustainable environment programs, and through its efforts strives to strengthen good governance as the bedrock for efforts to better the lives of the peoples of our emerging countries.
Contact details: Tian Shan Policy Center American University of Central Asia 7/6 Aaly Tokombaeva St. Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic Tel: +996 312 915 000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.auca.kg/en/tspc