Human rights in Kazakhstan comprise a series of fundamental rights protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Constitutional Council, and the Human Rights Commission under the President of Kazakhstan. Soon after gaining its independence Kazakhstan established legal and institutional framework for human rights protection. The Constitution affirms that the Republic of Kazakhstan is an independent democratic state, where its multi-cultural people are the only source of governmental power. More specifically, Section II of the Constitution named “The Individual and Citizen” provides fundamental human rights and freedoms.
Another important step in creating an institutional and legal platform for human rights protection was establishment of a full-fledged Ombudsman institution in 2002. The activities of the Kazakhstan’s Ombudsman fully comply with a full range of the Paris Principles, a set of international standards that frame and guide the work of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).
Kazakhstan also works closely with international organizations, including but not limited to the UN Human Rights Council, Commission against Torture, OSCE, and UN Children’s Fund. Kazakhstan was elected to the UN Human Rights Council in 2012 for a three-year term, which is a true testament to Kazakhstan’s commitment to human rights protection and rule of law. During this period, Kazakhstan was actively involved in the UNHRC work and was among the main co-authors of some resolutions adopted by the UNHRC. Moreover, Kazakhstan successfully completed the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in 2014.
Another important mechanism that helps to provide for human rights protection is the Strategic Partnership Dialogue, a framework for cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United States on a range of critical issues. Bilateral meetings within SPD regularly reinforce both countries’ commitment to human rights, democracy, media and independent organizations in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan’s commitment to an international order based on respect for human rights and rule of law is one of the core purposes of Kazakhstan’s two-year tenure at the UN Security Council that started in January 2017.