The project was implemented in cooperation of the Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan with the Open Society Foundation’s Human Rights Initiative (Budapest, Hungary). The goal of the project was to strengthen the capacity of human rights defenders and boost their skills to produce high quality analytical reports and conduct monitoring and advocacy to assess the human rights situation in Kazakhstan.
“The ABCs of Human Rights”, “Monitoring the human rights situation” and “Advocacy, protection and promotion of the public interest” were the training sessions offered as part of the project during the training year. Well-known human rights experts Evgenyi Zhovtis and Anna Sevortyan were the main trainers and consultants of the project. For each individual training session the experts from specific human rights areas were invited to cover the topics/areas they work on and share their experiences.
“During the year, the project participants not only acquired knowledge and developed certain skills, but also conducted monitoring of selected areas in relation to protecting human rights and freedoms. At the final stage of the project, participants presented their advocacy plans on protecting and promoting the public interest to the human rights experts,” – says Aizhan Oshakbaeva, coordinator of the Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan’s “Human Rights” program.
One of the project participants from Ust-Kamenogorsk Roman Reimer, said: “This project was extremely useful to me. First of all, the course helped me structurize my knowledge and understand domestic and international human rights mechanisms. During the academic year, we were able to strengthen our public speaking and communication skills and improve our approaches to the preparation of analytical documents. Thanks to this project I’ve been able to explore thoroughly such an important topic as “Access to justice and access to information for people with disabilities.” Having completed this training program I have set myself a goal to implement this project and contribute to the improvement of the situation in my own region.”
All project participants defended their advocacy projects and were awarded certificates (diplomas) while the panel of experts set the authors of four projects apart from other project participants. The following year, Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan plans to continue this project.