27-28 August 2015—Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Key partners met to discuss restrictions on civil society spaces on a two-day forum attended by members of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Philippines, as well as donor representatives.
Discussions revealed a number of issues relating to how civil society organizations (CSO) practices in the country are being restricted in both policy and practice.
“There is an increasing tendency on restriction in the activities of NGOs, particularly in the development of the draft law on foreign agents that contain regulations putting NGO representatives under criminal responsibility,” says a representative of Kyrgyzstan Nookat Idrisov.
According to Farida Abdylaeva of the Public Fund Legal Perspective in Kyrgyzstan, the work of the government on implementing previous commitments form Accra to Busan is ‘chaotic’ and ‘unsystematic.’ Participants also pointed out the lack of a single coordinating body to work on Kyrgyzstan’s international obligations, particularly on CSO enabling environment.
The forum concluded with CSOs urging the government and other development partners to commit to creating favorable conditions for CSOs in the country. Participants also called on governments to strengthen mechanisms in implementing human rights obligations as well as to expand state programs to include civil society in decision-making processes.
Likewise, CSOs also pledged to strengthen their responsibility and transparency in implementing their own activities, and be active participants in the discussion of aid effectiveness both at the country and global levels.