Kyrgyzstan faces a range of challenges, including a fragile democracy and ongoing divides within the country – between north and south, Kyrgyz and Uzbek, young and old, religious and secular. In 2019–20, we continued to work closely with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, local authorities, civil society and communities to further institutionalise community policing and security in the southern provinces. We also worked with people who are often excluded from decision-making processes, in particular young people and women, to improve their safety and security.
Together with our partners – Foundation for Tolerance International, Civic Union, the International Debate Education Association Central Asia and Interbillim – and with the Government of Kyrgyzstan, we successfully advocated to the mayors’ offices in Kotormo, Tokmok and Osh to develop a separate budget to address the needs of young people. We also conducted advocacy training for more than 60 young women and men who contributed to the development of our report on Sustainable Development Goal 16+ (SDG16+). This was a significant milestone as it was the first time young people in the country had participated in analysis and report writing around SDG16+. Within the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, SDG16+ is a group of targets that focus on peace, justice and inclusive institutions.
We trained 27 youth and women leaders and 44 police officers on conflict and gender sensitivity, and challenged harmful gender norms through a talk show on the state-owned ELTR TV channel. In August, we worked with a TV host and producer to develop a programme on the importance of gender equality. Guests included the Chairwoman of Tepe Korgon Women’s Council and a psychologist, and the recording was posted to a popular YouTube channel with over 72,000 subscribers. We supported local crime prevention centres’ action plans, including one where imams from three mosques in Sulaiman-Too, Osh, held meetings with men during Friday prayers to discuss the problem of domestic violence against women and children. This was the first time imams have held meetings about the role of women in the family and preventing domestic violence, and marks a different understanding among influential community leaders about the negative consequences of domestic violence.
Nationally, we worked with a range of parliamentary committees and departments to advocate for improvements to laws and practice around policing and security provision. Together with our partner Civic Union, we submitted recommendations on improving the work and legal status of Crime Prevention Commissions in local administrations. We are monitoring the extent to which amendments to the legal framework on crime prevention are ratified and will advocate for their implementation.