Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considered the
initial report of Kyrgyzstan on the implementation of the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/1990/5/Add.42)
at its 42nd, 43rd and 44th meetings, held on 23 and 24 August 2000,
and adopted, at its 51st meeting, held on 29 August 2000, the following
Committee welcomes the submission of the initial report of Kyrgyzstan,
which has been prepared in general in conformity with the revised
reporting guidelines established by the Committee. While commending
the efforts made by the delegation from the Permanent Mission of
Kyrgyzstan in Geneva in answering the questions put to it, the Committee
regrets the absence of an expert delegation from the capital, a
matter which greatly reduced the constructiveness of the dialogue.
B. Positive aspects
Committee acknowledges the efforts made by the State party to improve
the macroeconomic conditions for the implementation of the rights
enshrined in the Covenant, such as integration into the international
economic system, the formulation of stabilization measures for 1999-2000,
the 80 per cent completion of structural reforms and success in
cutting back inflation. The Committee notes that there are good
prospects for growth of GDP in 2000.
Committee notes with appreciation the information provided by the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and reiterated by the
delegation, that courts in Kyrgyzstan are pursuing violations of
economic and social rights.
Committee notes the establishment of the Presidential Commission
on Human Rights and the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights.
Committee notes with appreciation the steps taken by the State party,
with the assistance of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights (OHCHR), UNDP and the Organization for Security
and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), to establish an independent national
human rights institution (Ombudsman's office).
Committee welcomes the initiatives taken by the State party to combat
poverty, including "Araket", the National Programme on Overcoming
Poverty (1998-2005), and the related government programmes to address
problems of employment, older persons, women, health and education,
as well as the establishment of the National Poverty Alleviation
Commission in 1998. The Committee also notes with appreciation the
monitoring of the situation of poor families and the compilation
of "maps of poverty".
Committee welcomes "Ayalzat" (1996-2000), the national programme
for the support of women, designed to enhance the role of women
in society and to improve their economic and social situation.
Committee also welcomes the "Education for all" programme, which
benefits more than one third of the population.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the
Committee is aware that the State party is currently confronted
with the difficulties commonly encountered by the countries in transition
and that this process is exacerbated by the Kyrgyz economy's high
level of dependence on the external economic environment, and by
the diverting of resources to service the country's sizeable foreign
Committee also acknowledges that the ongoing armed conflict in the
south of the country is a serious impediment to the implementation
of economic, social and cultural rights in Kyrgyzstan.
D. Principal subjects of concern
Committee is concerned that the independence of the judiciary may
be impaired in cases where the designation of high court judges
is effected without full participation of the legislature. The Committee
is particularly concerned to learn about cases of criminal prosecution
of human rights activists, and the dissolution of the Kyrgyz Committee
for Human Rights, which now operates in exile.
Committee notes with concern that, according to information at the
disposal of the Committee, the "tribunals of eminent persons" convened
informally to discuss issues of law and order in local communities
often take upon themselves the functions of the judiciary, including
recommendations on the death penalty.
Committee notes with concern the recent estimates of unemployment
reaching 26 per cent in Kyrgyzstan. The Committee regrets that despite
the efforts of the Government to raise the statutory minimum wage
to match the minimum consumer budget, the minimum wage does not
provide a decent standard of living to the worker and his/her dependants.
Furthermore, the Committee notes with regret that the Government
is in arrears in payments of pensions and of civil servants' salaries.
Committee regrets the extensive limitations on the right to strike
at present in force in Kyrgyzstan. The Committee is disturbed to
learn that some employers are hampering the activities of trade
unions and that trade union rights in general are not protected
by law as vigorously as they should be.
Committee is disturbed about the reassertion of traditional attitudes
towards women in Kyrgyz society. The Committee notes with concern
that although polygamy is illegal, it is nonetheless practised in
some regions. The Committee also notes with deep concern the re-emergence
of the old tradition of bride kidnapping.
Committee regrets the absence of information on the extent of violence
against women and the trafficking of women in Kyrgyzstan. The Committee
is also concerned at the classification of lesbianism as a sexual
offence in the Penal Code.
Committee notes with alarm the repressive measures taken against
female journalists for their protest against inequality between
men and women in Kyrgyz society. The Committee also notes with concern
that the unemployment rate among women is high, and that women predominantly
work in spheres characterized by low wages.
Committee is deeply concerned about the high rate of poverty, estimated
to affect more than 50 per cent of the population. The most affected
areas are the remote southern rural areas, where persons over the
age of 60, women and children, especially, suffer from poverty.
In particular, the Committee is concerned about malnutrition, which
mostly affects infants (19.7 per cent), children and adolescents.
Committee notes the decrease in the resources available to the Government
to fund social insurance, due to the need to reduce the national
Committee is concerned that the right to adequate housing is hampered
in Kyrgyzstan by the decrease in housing construction, the lack
of living space for rural migrants arriving in cities, and the insufficient
provision of sanitation and potable water.
Committee notes with concern that, although the general state of
health of the population is satisfactory, new health threats such
as increasing alcoholism and drug abuse, the growing incidence of
sexually transmitted diseases and the re-emergence of communicable
and vaccine-preventable diseases such as tuberculosis, and above
all the decreasing resources allocated to the health sector demand
the State party's urgent response.
regards education, the Committee is concerned about the phenomenon
of children dropping out of school to provide for their families.
The situation of girls is particularly alarming, as their access
to education is being curtailed by a revival of the tradition of
early marriage, and a decrease in the prestige of having a formal
E. Suggestions and recommendations
State party is urged to continue more actively the pursuit of perpetrators
of human rights violations.
Committee encourages the State party to establish, as soon as possible,
a national human rights institution in conformity with the Paris
Committee also encourages the State party to elaborate and implement
a national plan of action for human rights in accordance with the
1993 Vienna Declaration and Plan of Action.
Committee would appreciate information, in the second periodic report
of the State party, on the application of labour standards in the
Free Economic Zones used as export processing areas.
Committee encourages the State party to review the limitations in
the Labour Code on the right to strike with a view to bringing them
into conformity with the Covenant. The State party is also urged
to apply all legal means to put an end to the interference of employers
with the freedom of trade union activity by discouraging workers
from forming trade unions.
Committee would appreciate information, in the State party's second
periodic report, on the progress made in the implementation of "Araket",
the National Poverty Alleviation Programme, and related governmental
programmes. The Committee urges the State party to continue to seek
international financial and technical assistance, as provided for
in articles 2.1 and 23 of the Covenant, in its efforts to improve
the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights in Kyrgyzstan,
and to continue to direct resources to those most in need. The Committee
also feels strongly that Kyrgyzstan should assess the impact of
its economic reforms on the well-being of the population. In this
regard, the Committee would like to remind the State party of its
obligation, even under severe resource constraints, to protect the
vulnerable groups of society, as stated in paragraph 12 of the Committee's
General Comment No. 3.
Committee requests the State party to provide information, in its
second periodic report, on the extent of violence against women
and the measures taken by the Government to address this phenomenon,
including facilities and remedies provided for victims. The Committee
further recommends that the State party continue more actively to
implement the law with regard to the practice of polygamy and bride
kidnapping. The Committee recommends that the State party proceed
to remove lesbianism from the Penal Code, as indicated by the delegation.
The Government is advised to step up its efforts to promote the
rights of women in employment.
Committee requests the State party to discuss, in its second periodic
report, the results of the future International Labour Office (ILO)
study on child labour in Kyrgyzstan and to report to the Committee
on the status of ratification of ILO Convention No. 182, as well
as the practical measures taken by the State party to address the
problem of child labour.
Committee recommends that the right to housing be ensured to all
and that problems of the lack of housing be solved in the most expedient
manner possible. In this regard, the Committee wishes to draw the
attention of the State party to its General Comment No. 4 on the
right to adequate housing. The Committee also requests the State
party to provide, in its second periodic report, information on
the extent of homelessness in Kyrgyzstan.
Committee urges the State party to continue its efforts to address
the prevailing health threats, and to target progressively resources
to health services. The Committee requests the State party, in its
second periodic report, to provide information on how the recently
adopted health laws and policies are implemented. The Committee
would also appreciate statistics on the progress made by the Government
in its efforts to fulfil the right to health for its population
by providing comparative statistics with reference to the information
given in its initial report.
Committee calls upon the State party to take special care to ensure
the right to education, in particular of the girl child. The Committee
also requests the State party to provide information, in its second
periodic report, on the extent of the phenomenon of school dropout
and abandoned children, including measures taken to address the
Committee requests that the State party disseminate these concluding
observations as widely as possible among its citizens.
Committee requests the State party to address, in its second periodic
report, the implementation of these concluding observations.
Committee requests the State party to submit its second periodic
report before 30 June 2005.