KYRGYZSTAN: Access to justice for children

A report on the status of the CRC in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.

Kyrgyzstan ratified the CRC on 7 October 1994. Further, the CRC can be directly enforced in national courts and takes precedence over national law. According to the Civil Code of Kyrgyzstan, full legal capacity is obtained at the age of 18, though there are exceptions. For example, children aged 16 or over may obtain full legal capacity if he/she enters in labour relations or becomes an entrepreneur. In civil and administrative proceedings, the rights and interests of children who have not attained full legal capacity must be protected through their parents, adoptive parents or legal guardians. The right to legal aid is explicitly provided for by the Constitution of Kyrgyzstan and children are entitled to legal aid without the need for means-testing. While the legislation of Kyrgyzstan provides for specialised children’s courts dealing specifically with children’s matters, these courts have not been created yet. It is reported that law enforcement agencies must do more to investigate, prosecute, and punish perpetrators of violence against children.

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