|Optional protocol||on the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography|
|Violence||Corporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings and day care.|
|Overview of the child rights situation|
Kazakhstan’s report shows that much has been done in recent years to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, for example regarding free education. Many areas of the report are also covered with valid information, so that a good overview of the implementation is given. Points that need to be worked on in the near future include the fact that many children still live in poverty and that vulnerable groups have less access to education and health care.
|Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights|
The Committee is concerned about the continuing practice of “bride kidnapping” in rural areas, which can involve the ill-treatment and the marriage of young girls against their consent. Therefore, the Committee recommends to fully eradicate the harmful practice of “bride kidnapping”.
The Committee is also concerned about the persistently high number of teenage pregnancies, which remains a problem in the State party, as well as about the high rate of abortions among teenage girls. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of access to sexual and reproductive health information and facilities, in particular in rural areas.
Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents and ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum and targeted at adolescent girls and boys, with special attention given to preventing early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. It furthermore recommends that the State party establish centres and clinics in rural areas where children could seek confidential counselling on sexual and reproductive health.
|Situation of children with disabilities|
The Committee notes the efforts of the State party to create a “barrier-free” environment for children with disabilities. However, the Committee is concerned that there remain challenges with regard to pedagogical and psychological assistance provided in schools to implement inclusive education and that large numbers of children with disabilities are still not enrolled in mainstream schools or kindergartens. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned about the lack of rehabilitation programmes for children with psychosocial disabilities.
|Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children||The Committee recommends that the State party provide education in mainstream schools to all children on its territory irrespective of their parents’ legal status or whether they possess registration or other documents.The Committee also recommends that the State party take all measures necessary to ensure that refugee status determination is conducted in a child- sensitive manner with regard to both procedural and substantive aspects and that the best interests of the child are taken into account as a primary consideration in all its decisions. Also, Kazakhstan should introduce a special protection status (the non-refoulement principle) for children who are not formally recognized as refugees, but are nonetheless unable to return to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe that there is a real risk of irreparable harm to the child. It should also amend its legislation to allow all children irrespective of the status of their parents to have access to free education and medical services, among other services.|
|Free primary and secondary school||Yes|
|Digital possibilities||The Committee is concerned about the reports that large numbers of children have been exposed to cyberbullying. It recommends that the State party take measures to educate children on Internet safety and prevent and tackle cyberbullying among and against children.|
The Committee welcomes the positive developments in health, including the significant reduction of maternal, infant and child mortality rates. It is, however, concerned about unequal access to quality health services throughout the country, with the majority of the rural and marginalized population having limited access to specialized care. Also, the Committee is concerned about undernourishment of children seeming to persist in some regions of the country as well as regional disparities in distribution of hospital beds, doctors and nurses. The Committee is further concerned about reports of the mass infection of children with hepatitis C in the children’s hospitals in the cities of Astana and Almaty.
|Relation to other countries|
The Committee notes the considerable efforts of the State party in combating suicide, which have led to a decrease in the number of suicides. However, it remains concerned that suicide is still the leading cause of adolescent mortality in the country.
|Impacts of climate change|
The Committee is concerned about the negative impact of the pollution of the Aral Sea and the environmental pollution of the former nuclear test site of Semipalatinsk on the health of children living in neighbouring areas. While noting the State party’s efforts to dispose of waste, the Committee remains concerned about air pollution and the accumulation of waste, as well as the contamination of soil and water by industrial waste, agricultural pollutants and chemicals.
The Committee notes the State party’s explanation that business enterprises are legally accountable for violations of children’s rights under civil, administrative and criminal procedures and that the State party is preparing to ratify relevant international treaties. Nevertheless, the Committee is concerned that the State party lacks regulations for business activities, including regulations on corporate social responsibility and codes of conduct on respecting human rights and environmental standards, in particular in their extracting activities. The Committee recommends that the State party establish and implement regulations to ensure that the business sector complies with international and national human rights, labour, environment and other standards. Kazakhstan should also require companies to carry out assessments, consultations and full public disclosure of the environmental, health-related and human rights impact of their business activities and their plans to address such impact.
|Situation of juvenile justice|
The Committee is concerned about the reports that incidents of torture and ill- treatment of children in police custody and care institutions still occur.
The Committee also urges the State party to adopt a comprehensive law that will regulate all aspects of the juvenile justice system and ensure that all cases involving children in conflict with the law are dealt with by the juvenile justice system. Further, Kazakhstan should ensure that all children in the justice system are provided with psychological counselling and social assistance, where necessary, as well as provide regular training on children’s rights to all professionals dealing with children in the justice system, in particular judges, prosecutors and police officers. In addition, the Committee urges the State party to ensure the provision of qualified and independent legal aid to children in conflict with the law at an early stage of the procedure and throughout the legal proceedings and, in cases where detention is unavoidable, ensure that the children are able to have a frequent contact with their families, and that detention conditions are compliant with international standards.
The Committee is still concerned that, despite some improvements, significant numbers of children in the State party continue to live in poverty, in particular children who live in rural areas, large households, young families, single-parent families, families with persons with disabilities and migrant families. The Committee recommends that the State party take additional measures to combat poverty, in particular by identifying and addressing root causes and increasing its social welfare and child support allocations to families with children in need.
Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report released on 30 October 2015. More information about education in Kazakhstan: https://www.gov.kz
|Last Updated (date)||2nd of March, 2022|