With support of international NGO partners, more than a dozen human rights NGOs from Central Asia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The Memorandum is based on the recognition that human rights organizations from across this region can significantly benefit from coordination, cooperation and mutual solidarity.
The 5-page Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been developed as the outcome document of a Forum for Central Asian human rights NGOs and their international partners that was held in Kiev in February 2013. The purpose of this event was to discuss and identify similar concerns regarding the protection of fundamental rights in the five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), as well as to consider opportunities and strategies for coordinated action to counteract these trends.
In the MoU, the participating NGOs declare their commitment and determination to carry on with their human rights work in view of the serious challenges to fundamental rights that exist across Central Asia, the failure of the governments of the region to comply with their international human rights obligations and the difficult conditions in which human rights groups operate. The participating NGOs also agree to cooperate and consult with each other, provide mutual support and solidarity, as well as to promote shared human rights priorities in relation to the governments of the region and international community actors.
The text of the MoU is available here.
Background information: The Kiev Forum was held in the framework of a project implemented by by the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, International Partnership for Human Rights, Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights and the Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Defenders of Uzbekistan. The event took place outside Central Asia because of the dangers of organizing gatherings of human rights defenders in the region. IPHR coordinated the preparation of the MoU.