The legal status of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan (hereinafter – the Ombudsman) and its agency – the National Centre for Human Rights – is governed by the Regulation on the Commissioner for Human Rights approved by the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan of September 19, 2002. And the National Centre for Human Rights approved by the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan of December 10, 2002.
It should be noted that the activities of the Ombudsman fully comply with a range of the Paris Principles:
– the Ombudsman shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the chambers of the Parliament. The guidance document has an exhaustive list of grounds for exemption of the Ombudsman from office.
– the Ombudsman has the competence to request officials to provide any information relating to human rights and freedoms, visit institutions, including private ones for monitoring, and in cases of great public importance apply to the President, Parliament and Government.
– the Ombudsman’s Office shall receive and consider requests from all territorial units, including through its online resource. Currently, the question to establish regional offices is being worked out.
– the Ombudsman shall make recommendations to government agencies. Moreover, the annual action report submitted to the President shall reflect all requests and recommendations by the Ombudsman that ensures control over their implementation.
– the Ombudsman shall actively cooperate on a wide range of issues both with civil society and international organizations.
In whole, the Ombudsman’s Office is taking steps to bring the work in full compliance with the Paris Principles. In accordance with Paragraph 11 of the Action Plan of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan to implement the recommendations of the United Nations members states within the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights for 2011-2014 approved by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan of October 13, 2011 No. 1165 the Ombudsman together with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice and General Prosecutor’s Office has prepared proposals to the Administration of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan on how to implement the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council to bring the status of Kazakhstan’s Ombudsman into conformity with the Paris Principles.
Besides, the Parliament is currently reviewing the draft Law on Amendments and Additions to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the Establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism to Prevent Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which also significantly enhances the status of the Ombudsman for Human Rights as a national human rights mechanism in Kazakhstan (hereinafter – the NHRM). The draft Law provides the direct participation of the Ombudsman’s Office in the NHRM activity as its member, as well as the preparation of consolidated annual reports on its visits and their publication in the national media, as well as placing on its official website.