USAID Supports the Improvement of Legal Regulation of Non-commercial Organizations in Kazakhstan

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, September 24, 2021 – Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Kazakhstan Rule of Law Program, implemented by American Bar Association/Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), in cooperation with the Committee for Civil Society Affairs under the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan (MISD), organized a roundtable in Nur-Sultan to discuss legal regulations pertaining to non-commercial organizations (NCOs) in Kazakhstan. The roundtable provided a platform to discuss the current MISD initiative to develop a new draft law addressing long-standing issues in the legislation governing the activities of NCOs in Kazakhstan. 

In his opening remarks at the roundtable, USAID Acting Regional Mission Director, Peter Young recognized the years of investment the Government of Kazakhstan has made in developing civil society and recommended the further improvement of the legal framework for NCOs in the country. He noted that the MISD has recently created a working group responsible for developing a draft law to eliminate the remaining legal gaps governing NCOs and introduce additional benefits and incentives for them to grow and thrive. Young stated, “The main normative act governing NCOs in Kazakhstan is the law on non-commercial organizations. It is important that this law provides a clear and well-designed framework for NCOs with a reasonable balance between the privileges these organizations receive and the responsibilities they are expected to exercise.” 

The roundtable discussion brought together prominent leaders from civil society organizations, members of the MISD working group who conceptualized the draft law, representatives from other interested governmental bodies, academia, and local and international experts. Civil society representatives contributed to the discussion and members of the MISD working group developed a conceptual future draft law based on the salient findings and recommendations of their sub-groups. Through open dialogue, participants developed an analytical paper with recommendations aimed at addressing the gaps and challenges in CSO-related legislation which will be submitted to the MISD and other interested government bodies in early October 2021.

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