II. GENERAL MEASURES OF IMPLEMENTATION
(arts. 4 and 42 and art. 44, para. 6)
18. Kazakhstan shares the purposes and principles set forth by the international community in the outcome document of the twenty-seventh special session of the General Assembly, entitled “A world fit for children”, and, pursuant to article 4 of the Convention, is taking legislative, administrative and other measures for the application of the norms stipulated in the Convention.
19. Information on national legislation adopted for the implementation of the Convention up to 2003 is contained in paragraphs 21-24, 29, 30, 55-57, 70-72 and 84 of the initial report and in the annex to the report.
20. Kazakhstan’s efforts to implement international standards for safeguarding the rights and interests of children are reflected in the development and enhancement of its national legislation.
21. The Convention’s general principles and norms (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12) are incorporated in the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Execution of Criminal Penalties Code. Kazakhstan has adopted a whole range of laws dealing primarily with the rights and interests of children (the Children’s Rights Act, the Marriage and the Family Act, the Family-type Children’s Villages and Young People’s Homes Act, and others).
22. The ratification by Kazakhstan of the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, is contributing to the realization of the rights of children.
23. With the participation of the International Organization for Migration, Kazakhstan is continuing to implement an initiative to combat trafficking in persons from, to, through and within the country. The initiative provides for the training of officials of law enforcement agencies and the Procurator’s Office in trafficking prevention methods, taking account of international experience; the development of proposals for the enhancement of national legislation on trafficking; and the provision of assistance to victims of trafficking.
24. Efforts are under way to implement Government decision No. 219 on the Action Plan of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Suppress, Avert and Prevent Human Trafficking Crime for 2004 and 2005, of 24 February 2004.
25. The initial report of Kazakhstan on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography was prepared and submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in January 2006.
26. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, which Kazakhstan has ratified, prohibits the direct participation of children in hostilities and the compulsory recruitment into the armed forces of persons who have not attained the age of 18 years. The provisions of the Optional Protocol have been incorporated in article 41 of the Children’s Rights Act, which prohibits the participation of children in military actions or armed conflicts and the creation of children’s military units, and in article 23 of the Military Obligations and Military Service Act, which provides for the conscription for a term of military service of citizens aged between 18 and 27 years.
27. The report on the measures taken by Kazakhstan to implement the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict was approved by Government decision No. 1033 of 15 October 2005.
28. In the period 2003 2006, the laws safeguarding the rights and interests of children were further refined with a view to bringing them more fully into line with the principles and provisions of the Convention and creating the legal conditions for children’s social well being. These efforts were furthered by the adoption of Act No. 430 on the Health Care System, of 4 June 2003; Act No. 565 on Human Reproductive Rights and Guarantees for Their Realization, of 16 June 2004; Act No. 591 on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency, Child Neglect
and Homelessness, of 9 July 2004; Act No. 489 on Preventing Iodine Deficiency Disorders, of 14 October 2003; Act No. 74 on Military Obligations and Military Service, of 8 July 2004; and others.
29. The State sectoral programmes in such fields as education, health care, poverty reduction, migration policy, demographic development and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities are aimed, inter alia, at implementing the national policy on the observance of the lawful rights and interests of children. These programmes include:
The State programme for the development of education in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2005 2010, approved by Presidential decree No. 1459 of 11 October 2004;
The State programme for the reform and development of health care in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2005 2010, approved by Presidential decree No. 1438
of 13 September 2004;
The programme for the intensification of efforts to combat tuberculosis, approved by Government decision No. 850 of 13 August 2004;
The programme to counter the AIDS epidemic in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2001 2005, approved by Government decision No. 1207 of 14 September 2001;
The programme for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities for 2002 2005, approved by Government decision No. 1758 of 29 December 2001;
The programme for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities for 2006 2008, approved by Government decision No. 17 of 6 January 2006;
The programme for the employment of the population of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2005 2007, approved by Government decision No. 68 of 27 January 2005;
The programme to reduce poverty in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2003 2005, approved by Government decision No. 296 of 26 March 2003;
The programme to extend the scope of social reforms in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2005 2007, approved by Government decision No. 1241 of 30 November 2004;
The “Auyl mektebī” programme for 2003 2005, approved by Government decision No. 128 of 4 February 2003.
30. A special body, the Committee for the Protection of Children’s Rights, was established within the Ministry of Education and Science by Government decision No. 36 of 13 January 2006 to coordinate the implementation of the Convention at the national and local levels, including by effectively coordinating activities between central and local authorities and cooperating with NGOs and other sectors of civil society.
31. During the reporting period, the legal mechanisms for protecting children’s interests were further developed. Following the establishment of the office of Human Rights Commissioner in Kazakhstan, the role of the national human rights institution within the system of government bodies was strengthened and the Commissioner’s status and terms of reference were modified, taking into account the Committee’s recommendations in paragraphs 12 and 13 of its concluding observations on Kazakhstan’s initial report and its general comment No. 2 on the role of independent national human rights institutions in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child. Thus, pursuant to Presidential decree No. 1474 on the further enhancement of the system for the protection of constitutional rights and human and civil freedoms, of 29 November 2004, the Ombudsman’s powers to protect human rights were broadened and new functions were assigned to the office: participation in the judicial review of cases; handling of applications for review of the legality of judicial decisions; initiation of parliamentary hearings; and referral of petitions for the institution of criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings. In addition, within the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner in Kazakhstan, there is a special section with responsibility for children’s rights. In 2006, a pilot project entitled “Protecting the rights of the child and establishing monitoring mechanisms” was launched. The goal of the project is to create a special structure, a children’s rights ombudsman, in every region of Kazakhstan. It is being implemented jointly with the central Government as part of the cooperation programme for 2005 2009. The key partners in the project include 90 representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ombudsman’s Office, local authorities, NGOs and the media, and 3,000 children aged 10 17 years.
32. In line with the Committee’s recommendations concerning the need to develop a national plan of action to improve the situation of children in Kazakhstan, a draft Presidential decree on the State programme “Children of Kazakhstan” (2006 2011) is currently being prepared, as well as a draft Government decision on the draft Presidential decree. The programme defines the main directions, priorities and tasks of State policy for the protection of the rights and interests of children and the main strategic avenues for preventing social orphanhood.
33. During the reporting period, substantial attention was paid to implementing the Committee’s recommendations in paragraphs 16 18 of its concluding observations, concerning the adoption by Kazakhstan of economic measures to improve the situation of children. In order to protect children’s rights, the division of powers between central and regional government is being reviewed as part of a wider effort to improve budgetary coordination. The main task of this exercise is to achieve full implementation of the obligations assumed by the State.
There was a particular focus during the reporting period on mobilizing resources for fuller compliance with the Convention’s provisions. The new funds that have become available as a result of economic growth are being used to provide priority financing for State policies to benefit children in the areas of schooling, education, health care, culture, physical education and sport, social services and social protection of families and children. Since 2003, the proportion of national budget expenditure allocated for these purposes has risen steadily: whereas, in 2003, social expenditure amounted to 11.18 per cent of gross domestic product, in 2006 the figure was 11.84 per cent (as at 1 March 2006).
The proportion of the total national budget earmarked for social expenditure was 41.3 per cent in 2006.