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Astana, Kazakhstan • 17 April, 2024 | 18:20

Kazakh President Signs Laws on Women's Rights and Children's Safety

The legislation entails amendments and additions to 15 legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan, comprising seven codes and eight laws

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On April 15, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed legislation amending penalties for violence against women and children, Akorda press service reports.

Changes: The primary legislation entails amendments and additions to 15 legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan, comprising seven codes and eight laws. The accompanying legislation encompasses amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses. The revisions include:

  • Criminal liability is imposed for intentional infliction of minor harm to health and battery. Increased liability for intentional infliction of moderate and serious harm to health.

  • Introduction of new principles in marriage and family legislation emphasizing the reinforcement of marital and familial institutions, as well as paternity, maternity, childhood, and the promotion of moral and spiritual education of children, grounded in respect for universal, national, traditional, cultural, and family values.

  • Establishment of a legal framework for the operation of a contact center addressing family issues and safeguarding women's and children's rights. The center will be represented by a legal entity appointed by an authorized body in the field of information. At the same time, government agencies are mandated not only to collaborate on family issues and the protection of women's and children's rights but also to provide the contact center with information regarding measures taken following the consideration of citizens' complaints.

  • Establishment of a legal framework for family support centers to deliver specialized social services to victims of domestic violence.

  • Introduction of criminal liability for instigating and aiding suicide, as well as for promoting suicide.

  • Criminalization of sexual harassment of individuals under 16 years old. Substantial escalation of penalties for abduction and unlawful deprivation of liberty of minors.

  • The law imposes administrative liability for bullying and cyberbullying of minors. Educational institutions are bound to promptly report unlawful acts committed by or against minors to law enforcement agencies.

  • To ensure safety, the law bans forced disembarkation of children under 16 from public transportation if they fail to pay for the fare.

Background: In his addresses to the People of Kazakhstan on March 16 and September 1, 2022, President Tokayev issued pertinent directives to stiffen penalties for violence against women and children. The enacted amendments underwent extensive public deliberation. On April 11, 2024, the Senate of the Parliament passed the legislation on ensuring women's rights and children's safety, alongside amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses, in two readings.

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