Comparative law and justice/Kazakhstan

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Scale of justice 2 new.jpeg Subject classification: this is a comparative law and justice project resource .

DaveILO34 22:46, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Basic Information[edit]

The flag of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan coat of arms.

Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia. Related to other countries, Kazakhstan is below Russia, Northwest of China, and bordered by Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. "At 2,724,900 sq km, Kazakhstan is the world’s 9th largest country. Kazakhstan’s capital Astana has a population of 0.3 million. Major cities beside the capital Astana include Aqtau, Almaty and Atyrau."[1] The climate of Kazakhstan has cold winters and hot summers. Kazakhstan has a vast variety of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, gold, uranium, bauxite. Some of the natural disasters that have occurred are earthquakes and mudslides near Almaty.

Kazakhstan is dealing with current issues that are in top priority, "radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense industries and test ranges scattered throughout the country pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers that flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices"[2]

"As of July 2010 the population of Kazakhstan was about 15,460,484. The ethnic groups that represent Kazakhstan is Kazakh(53.4%), Russian(20%), Ukrainian(3.7%), Uzbek(2.5%), German(2.4%), Tatar(1.7%), Uighur (1.4%), other (4.9%) as of a 1999 census survey. The religions that make up Kazakhstan consists of Muslim (47%), Russian Orthodox (44%), Protestant (2%), other (7%). And the languages that are Kazakh and Russian."[3]

Brief History[edit]

The history of Kazakhstan is one of diverse individuals of the many years of its existence. Many of the first people that lived on the land of Kazakhstan were nomadic people that would roam the land and live place to place seeking different areas for their cattle to graze and for food. "Nomadic tribes have been living in the region that is now Kazakhstan since the first century BC, although the land has been inhabited at least as far back as the Stone Age. From the fourth century AD through the beginning of the 13th century, the territory of Kazakhstan was ruled by a series of nomadic nations. Following the Mongolian invasion in the early 13th century, administrative districts were established under the Mongol Empire, which eventually became the territories of the Kazakh Khanate."[4] After the emergence of the Kazakh Khante, the rise of the colonization of the Russian empire for about 150 years. By the time of 1840, many of the Kazakh groups had signed treaties with Russia for protection.

At this time, when Russia was colonizing in Kazakhstan, Russia was in a rush to have a greater influence in central Asia referred to as the 'great game' with Great Britain. During this time the Kazakh people were enraged by what was happening in their country. The Kazakh people were very angry with the loss of their identity when the Russians were taking over that they decided to fought the annexation. In 1920, the land of Kazakhstan today was ruled by the Communist nation of Russia. "Kazakhstan experienced population inflows of thousands exiled from other parts of the Soviet Union during the 1930s and later became home for hundreds of thousands evacuated from the Second World War battlefields. The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) contributed five national divisions to the Soviet Union's World War II effort"[5] In 1986, young Kazakhs took charge and protested the Soviet Union installing a non Kazakh secretary leader. After these protests, unrest between the Kazakhs and the Soviets began to intensify steadily over time. This unrest lead to Kazakhstan declaring sovereignty in 1990. On December 16, 1991 Kazakhstan declared their independence from Russia. "Under Nursultan Nazarbayev, who initially came to power in 1989 as the head of the Kazakh Communist Party and was eventually elected President in 1991, Kazakhstan has made significant progress toward developing a market economy, for which it was recognized by the United States in 2002. The country has enjoyed significant economic growth since 2000, partly due to its large oil, gas, and mineral reserves."[6]

Economic Development, Health, and Education[edit]

Pavlodar-fiume Irtysh.

Kazakhstan's education system is completely state funded and completely free to all of the Kazakh citizens. "In 1999, the adult literacy rate was estimated at 98.4% (males, 99.1%; females, 97.7%)." [7] The two languages that are being taught the most is Russian and Kazakh since Kazakh is the official language of the country. Some of the universities created in Kazakhstan are, " The University of Kazakh Al-Farabi State University was founded in 1934 and offers history, philosophy, economics, sociology, journalism, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and geography. The Karaganda State University was founded in 1972 and teaches philosophy, economics, law, history, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. The Technical University at Karaganda Metallurgical Combine was founded in 1964 and has faculties of metallurgy, mechanics and technology, and chemical technology."[8] "The school year starts on the first of September and lasts for 210 days, excluding weekends, holidays, and breaks. There are usually four to five 45-minute classes a day in primary school, and five to six classes of the same length in high school. Students are given a 10-minute break between each class and one 20-minute snack break. Homework requiring several hours of study is common, and since admission to universities is highly competitive, many parents hire tutors for their high school children, thus turning the other half of the day, and often weekends, into a second school."[9]

Like many of the countries in this area, Kazakhstan is rich in materials such as oil and natural gas. In over a few more years, there is a possible chance that Kazakhstan can be one of the largest exporting countries of oil in the world. Development of the oil industry in Kazakhstan can enrich the nation into gaining more money for the country and expanding the oil industry larger creating more jobs for the Kazakh people. "The main goals of current structural policy are diversification and the strengthening of the non-oil sector. A number of development agencies and research centers (Development Institutions) have been established and the Government is looking at establishing techno and science parks to support the diversification of higher-value added industries. But there are certain obstacles inherited from the past to quickly achieve this." [10] "According to certain estimates, in the next 10 years the oil and gas sector of the country, particularly the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea, could attract between to 150-200 bln. US$. At the same time, the Kazakhstan Government's top priority is to encourage foreign direct investments into industry, agriculture, innovation, processing sectors in order to decrease the dependence of the Economy of Kazakhstan on energy and extracting sectors and to ensure continued growth of Kazakhstan's economy."[11] A major economic support and help for Kazakhstan is the amount of foreign investment and help. "The main driver behind Kazakhstan's economic growth has been foreign investment, mainly in the country's booming oil and natural gas industries. Since independence from Soviet rule in 1991, Kazakhstan has received more than 30 bln. US$ of foreign direct investment - the highest per capita indicator in the former Eastern Bloc."[12]

A developing part of the health care system in Kazakhstan is the Committee of Health. "The Committee of Health draws up the health care budget, controls the republican portion, nominally supervises the national research institutes and national hospitals, and has ultimate control over the mainstream health system. It also monitors environmental health through the Sanitary- Epidemiological Service."[13] Not only does the the Committee of Health have a major priority in the health care system, but also the other departments of the state all have a major influence on the health care system. There are 14 oblast departments, health departments, the ministry of finance, Ministry of Labour and social welfare, Medical service payment center, and even more departments all have at least a little bit of an influence on the health care system. "Kazakhstan began to privatize many state-owned facilities in the economy such as factories and large collective farms from 1991 onwards. Privatization has been more limited in the health care system, mostly involving pharmacies and dentists; for example, over 90% of drugstores were privatized by 1997"[14]

Governance[edit]

Elections[edit]

In Kazakhstan the people have the chance to vote for the person who they want to represent them as president. Kazakhstan has a senate and a lower house. "The President is elected by simple majority to serve a 7-year term. In the Senate, 7 members are appointed by the president to serve 6-year terms and 32 members are elected by indirect vote to serve 6-year terms. In the lower house (Majilis), 98 of the 107 Majilis deputies are elected via a proportional, closed list system through popular vote. The remaining nine deputies are chosen by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, an unelected body containing 364 members formed by the President of Kazakhstan"[15] In kazakhstant the legal voting age is 18 years old.

The current president of Kazakhstan is Nursultan Abish-uly Nazarbayev. Nazarbayev has been in a high powered political position since 1989. In 1989 he was elected as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. In the next year he was elected as president of Kazakhstan. Each election since the first election that he won he has won the great majority of the public to return yet again as president. "Nursultan Nazarbayev’s supporters credit him with managing to preserve inter-ethnic accord and stability during the reform years. Nursultan Nazarbayev has concentrated extensive powers in his own hands and is accused by the opposition of suppressing dissent. Although Nursultan Nazarbayev says he advocates democracy as a long-term goal, he also warns that stability could be at risk if change is too swift."[16] Also in Kazakhstan, there is a prime minister. The Prime Minister right now is Karim K. Massimov. Massimov has held various jobs throughout different areas or Kazakhstan. Some of these positions that he has held are " served as Senior Specialist of the China-based representation office of the Kazakh Ministry of External Economic Ties in Urumqi; held position of the Managing Director of the Kazakh Trading House in Hong Kong. Went on to hold positions of the Chairman of the Board of Almaty Trade and Finance Bank and Chairman of the Board of the People’s Savings Bank of Kazakhstan. Was appointed Minister of Transport and Communications, Deputy Prime-Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Assistant to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. From January 2006 served as Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan. From April 2006 - Vice Prime Minister-Minister of Economic Affairs and Budget Planning. Incumbent Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan since January 2007."[17]

Judicial Review[edit]

"The legal system of Kazakhstan is based on civil law and founded-on statutory legislation (the civil code), which provides for a hierarchy of legal acts. Within the hierarchy, international treaties ratified by Kazakhstan take priority over all other laws of the country, except for the constitution. Accordingly, although court judgments may have persuasive power, they are not binding and cannot therefore be considered as primary sources of law. In other words they do not set precedents, as court decisions do under common law."[18] The legislative branch wanted to guide the economy from a man enabling economy into a market economy. Over the years, the economy has had a strong hold on ensuring that the economy has a large importance on the laws. The courts have a strong power over interpreting laws and whether they are constitutional. "Kazakhstan has a hierarchical court system in which the Supreme Court is superior to local courts. Local courts comprise district, regional and oblast courts. District and regional courts are trial forums, but the oblast courts can conduct both trial and appellate proceedings. The system also includes specialist economic, administrative and military courts, which have the same status as district or regional courts..[19] Within the court decisions in Kazakhstan, precedent does not and cannot be used as a way of deciding a case. The cases must be decided by the facts and evidence in that particular trial. The ideas of law in Kazakhstan "The Supreme Court is considering the procedures for the implementation of such jury trials. Administration of justice in Kazakhstan is based on the constitutional principles of independence of judges, equality of all before the law and court, the adversary nature of the process and equal treatment of the parties. Such provisions apply both to citizens and non residents."[20] The highest court that is used to have the final ruling is the Supreme Court. "Establishment of special and extraordinary courts is prohibited, though specialized courts may be created (military, economic, administrative, juvenile, etc). The Supreme Court, the highest judicial body, dealing with civil, criminal and other cases, as well as cases of common jurisdiction, performs the control over lower courts activities and solves problems of the judicial practice. The Supreme Court includes the supervisory board, civil board, criminal board and plenary session of the court.[21]

The constitution of Kazakhstan has the main components of "It includes the main provisions of consolidation of Kazakhstan as a democratic, modern state in which the individual, his life, rights and freedoms are considered the highest values of the society. The Constitution guarantees the equality of citizens. Private and state properties are also guaranteed, as well as foreign investments, public unions including political parties, and Mass Media."[22] The constitution separates the powers into three separate branches. The three branches are legislative, judicial, and executive. Judges, especially those of the Supreme Court are appointed by the Senate, after they are recommended by the President. Depending on other responsibilities and and statuses are appointed by the president if recommended"Qualification College of Justice or the Highest Court Council."[23] The only way that a judge can be replaced or dismissed from duty is if their are legal grounds for the reason as too why they will be dismissed.

"The legal system of Kazakhstan is built according to the traditions of the continental, Roman-Germanic family of laws. The legal system of Kazakhstan is greatly influenced by the legal theory and practice of the Russian Federation. The Constitution reveals the content of the existing legislative system, which includes constitutional norms and laws, other normative legal acts, international treaties and other state obligations, normative decrees of the Constitutional Council and the Supreme Court."[24] As well as Roman law as an influence of the constitution, Islamic law is another influence on how the constitution for Kazakhstan was written. " The Main Law of Kazakhstan constitutionally requires a presidential form of government. According to it, law reform in present-day Kazakhstan is based on ideological and political pluralism, legislation ensuring the human rights and social-legal guarantees."[25]

Courts and Criminal Law[edit]

Punishment[edit]

Kazakhstan's punishment has gone through a change in the past several years. "July 21 Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan's President, has signed the law abolishing death penalty in all cases except acts of terrorism entailing loss of life and especially grave crimes committed in wartime. The law includes the right to seek pardon."[26] Before Kazakhstan abolished the death penalty, the death penalty that was mainly used in the country was the firing squad. Abolishing the death penalty was the one of the main goals that the president, Nursultan Nazarbayev tried to definitely get done during his term in office. This transformation of reforms in the country, with punishment and imprisonment were in 2007. Since Kazakhstan no longer has the death penalty, the harshest punishment any criminal can receive is life in prison. Crimes such as robbery, larceny, arson, homicide, etc... are all accompanied with time in prison which varies from what the judges decide on each case when each is heard.

Kazakhstan gives out fines for minor crimes, for example petty theft or loitering. Kazakhstan focuses on retribution as the main idea of how the criminal must repay for the crime they committed. " According to the King's College London’s International Center for Prison Studies, Kazakhstan ranks 16th in the world with index 378 prisoners per 100.000. Surely, detention conditions at prisons are very harsh, at best. The convicted struck many times against detention conditions, including committing to mass self-injuries. State of crime in colony-settlements is getting worse. There is two-time increase in the number of crimes in 2007 in comparison with 2006. 4 extra-heinous and 18 heinous crimes were committed."[27] Human rights are also ignored in the confines of the prisons. "Human rights defenders believe that despite of reforms in the country’s criminal-prison system, the situation worsens. Director of the Charter for Human Rights Fund Zhemis Turmagambetova thinks that toughening of the current legislature in March 2007 has changed situation to worst. The article on insubordination to the legitimate requirements of the management criminalizes every attempt of detainees’ protests. And norms about obligatory “confidential” HIV test, forced tuberculosis treatment for freed from detention, on interior organs’ control over those put on probation and a number of others arouse anxiety. Accordingly to Turmagambetova, the law “will have serious and long-term negative consequences”. Besides, last years' reshuffle in the Kazakh criminal system forces good experts to leave their jobs: some were “sent away”, some went away themselves."[28]

Legal Personnel[edit]

"Under the new Constitution, judicial power is carried out through constitutional, civil, administrative, criminal, and other types of judicial procedure as established by law. The courts of Kazakhstan are the Supreme Court of the Republic and the local courts of the Republic established by law."[29] The judges in the Kazakhstan society are thought of being regular citizens. They must be of the age of 25, they must have a higher juridical education, they must complete and pass a qualification exam, and they must have at least two years of service in a legal profession. These qualifications are determined by the Kazakhstan constitution to best fit the needs for the people that the judges must pass the requirements. "The republican budget must finance the courts and provide housing for the judges, thus ensuring complete and free exercise of justice."[30] The government fully supports the housing of the judges and the upkeep of the court houses.

Like many other court systems in the world, Kazakhstan has lower courts and then their top court called the supreme court.The lower courts vary between district courts, to city courts, to specialized courts, and military courts. Special and extraordinary courts are prohibited from being created in Kazakhstan. The Supreme Court is the highest court that a case can be heard. They have the ultimate power to overrule any verdict form the previous courts. The Supreme Court deals with all cases from criminal to civil to any other case that is brought. "The Chairperson of the Supreme Court, the Chairpersons of the Collegiums and Judges of the Supreme Court are elected by the Senate on the nomination of the President based on the recommendation of the Highest Judicial Council of the Republic. The Chairpersons of oblast and equivalent courts, the Chairpersons of the Colleguims and judges of the oblast and equivalent courts are appointed by the President at the recommendation of the Highest Judicial Court of the Republic. The Chairperson and judges of other courts of the Republic shall be appointed by the President at the proposal of the Minister of Justice based on recommendations of the Qualification Collegium of Justice. "[31] With many of the positions that are held within the courts are nominated by a higher position in the government such as the president of Kazakhstan. " The organization of courts, status of judges and enforcement of justice are regulated by the Constitution, Constitutional Law “About Court System and Judges Status in the Republic of Kazakhstan“ (2000) and other legislative acts. Only courts administrate justice, which gives all the judicial power to judges and jury, acting on behalf of the courts. No other juridical and physical bodies are empowered to perform the duties of a judge and execute judicial power. Judges are independent and submitted only to the laws."[32]

Juries are a new idea in the Kazakhstan court system. Just recently as of 2007 Kazakhstan has started to use Juries as well as judges in order to impose verdicts in court. In the first implemented year of taking regular citizens and putting them on juries to hear a case they had a difficult time. Many people responded that they had other obligations that they could not disregard. Even with many citizens avoiding it, they were able to have successful juries and are now using them more often.

Law Enforcement[edit]

The law enforcement of Kazakhstan is based largely on the factors from the era of the Soviet Union when they had control of the area that Kazakhstan land is now. Kazakhstan is a Decentralized multiple coordinated system and is common law. "Major legislative changes have concentrated on commercial law, with a view to improving the atmosphere for foreign investment. Formal responsibility for observation of the republic's laws and for protection of the state's interests is divided among the National Security Committee (successor to the Kazakh branch of the KGB), the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Office of the Procurator General. Intelligence and counterintelligence are the responsibility of the National Security Committee."[33] In Kazakhstan the police are referred to as the 'militia'. "Investigation of crimes shifted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which also is responsible for fire protection, automotive inspection, and routine preservation of order. As of 1992, Kazakhstan became a member of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), and Kazakstani authorities have worked particularly closely with the law enforcement agencies of Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan."[34] Kazakhstan, like many other countries deal with the common crimes, for example, homicide, theft, robbery, etc. IN 1992, Kazakhstan joined INTERPOL. "INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 188 member countries. Created in 1923, it facilitates cross-border police co-operation, and supports and assists all organizations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime."[35]. With Kazakhstan joining INTERPOL, it helps them defend the crimes that have increased lately in their society, first by defending the crimes that are occurring in neighboring countries that influence the crimes that are affecting Kazakhstan society. Preventing the crime outside of the country will help the police officers inside the country by limiting the sources, for example, of drugs that increase the crimes inside of the country.

Some data that has been collected about the citizens of Kazakhstan and some crime that revolves around them are, in 2006 there were about "1,729"[36] homicides by any means. Of those homicides, there were about "71"[37] reported homicides that were caused by guns. In order for the Kazakh government to keep track of the legal guns and ammunition that is allowed in the country by leaving identifying marks on each gun and or ammunition that shows that they are legal. In other attempts to regulate different aspects of illegal guns,"The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has been signed and ratified by Kazakhstan"[38] and " On 21 July 2001, Kazakhstan committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects"[39] A major concern of the government of Kazakhstan is the human rights. In recent years the idea of human rights has been low in the government.

Crime Rates and Public Opinion[edit]

Policing in Kazakhstan over the years have been under staff by a large margin, overworked, and financially underfunded by the country in order for it to completely do the job needed to ensure the country protection from all criminals. Since independence, crimes have increased since officers and investigators have left to go to other countries that offer much more money than they were receiving in Kazakhstan. "In numerous instances, police officers themselves have been involved in crime, especially in such potentially lucrative branches of law enforcement as highway patrol and customs inspection. Under these circumstances, public respect for the police declined seriously."[40] Crime has increased tremendously since 1991 when Kazakhstan received their full independence from Russia. "The incidence of reported crimes has grown by about 25 percent in every year since independence, although in the first months of 1995 the growth rate slowed to about 16 percent. The average crime rate for the republic is about 50 crimes per 10,000 population, but the rate is significantly higher in Qaraghandy, North Kazakhstan, East Kazakstan, Aqmola, Pavlodar, and Almaty. Crime-solving rates have fallen to under 60 percent across the republic and to as low as 30 percent in cities such as Qaraghandy and Temirtau."[41] During the days of the soviet control it was noted that not many of the convicts that were incarcerated were much older in their lives. In the middle of the 1990's more young men and teenagers had been committing more crimes and being incarcerated.

In Kazakhstan there are three prisons. There are approximately 69,000 police officers. As of 2002, there are approximately 58,300 prisoners incarcerated within the three prisons, 4.2% of the inmates were female. There were approximately 78,000 people that were convicted, and 201 were acquitted. As the youth started to participate in the crimes, it was reported that 631 youths had committed a murder and are incarcerated.

Rights[edit]

Family Law[edit]

Family law is fully enforced by the courts and the legal system. On June 8th, 1994, the government ratified the rights of the child. Children are, under the law, looked highly upon. Restrictions are in place in order to keep the safety and welfare of the children of the country in tact. " The Marriage and Family Act contains special chapters on “Establishing the parentage of children” and “Rights of the child,” and lays down the right of a child to live and be raised in a family, the right of a child to protection, to express his or her opinion, to protect his or her property rights, to restore of maintenance, to protect the interests of the child in the event of improper treatment, including the removal of the child where there is a direct threat to his or her life or health, and also to protect the rights and interests of children who are left without parental care. The legal guardian of a child has the right to determine independently the manner in which the child is to be raised, taking into account the views of the child and the recommendations of the guardianship authorities." [42] Kazakhstan has the complete mind frame of protecting the children of the country to make sure that what is at issue is for the best for them. At the age of 10, they are given the chance to speak their mind and give their opinions on issues that affect them directly. For example, they have the right to speak about their interests within the family as well as being able to be heard by a judicial council. The only time that someone can step in on the children rights, is when what they are deciding is going to oppose their best interests. Some of the legal restrictions "Parental rights may be restricted (the child is removed from his or her parents without depriving them of their parental rights) if leaving the child with the parents is dangerous because of circumstances outside the parents' control, or on grounds related to their behavior. If the parents do not modify their behavior, the guardianship authorities must, once six months have passed after the adoption of the court ruling restricting their parental rights, apply to the court for them to be deprived of those rights. This period may be shortened in the interests of the child. During this period, social services works with the parents whose parental rights have been restricted with the aim of restoring a normal situation in the family and creating appropriate conditions for the return of the child. This work promotes the reconstitution of the family. In any court proceedings dealing with the separation of a child from his or her parents, all interested parties are given an opportunity to participate and express their views."[43]

Marriage was once a common occurrence for young women, to be married off and become the mother of a household and do all of the chores in the house. Times have changed, now marriages are pushed further down the road in life so that both education can be pursued and encouraged to gain the education that can help them move forward in their life. Arranged marriages by parents are becoming rarer as the years go on. There are three ideas of tradition when it comes to marriage, the first being that forbidden relationships of relatives within seven generations, the second being the male partner should be older than the female in the relationship, and finally a nomadic tradition of stealing a bride is still practiced by some Kazakhs but it is very rare in the customs of the time. Weddings are huge traditions in Kazakhstan, they consist of a three day celebrations. The role of the family is an intricate part of the festivities and in the wedding itself. Before the ceremonies, both sides of the family sit down and trade gifts and dowries to the other. After marriage, Kazakhs normally immediately have children. Many households have one or two children while others may have more than seven. Divorces are not uncommon in Kazakhstan. Many feel that not every marriage is expected to last even though they try to make them. When a divorce is granted their are no real rules and regulations as to who gets what from the relationship but the one idea that is normal and consistent is that the women often get to keep the children after the divorce is finalized. Family is a large importance in the Kazakhstan tradition. Extended families are welcomed, relationships with second and third and even fourth cousins are natural, not only knowing the first cousins. Care for elderly people is a large custom in this society. When a family has a number of children, it is normally the youngest son who stays with the parents until they pass away. The youngest cares for the parents in their elderly years and makes sure they alright. Even if he marries and has children it is still his main obligation to take care of his parents until their passing.

Social Inequality[edit]

Equality is an important idea in many countries. Equality between both men and women, equality between different elasticities, and even equality between young and old. It is all important to every country, even to Kazakhstan. "Article 14 of the 1995 Constitution of Kazakhstan upholds the principle of legal equality for all citizens, but Kazakh legislation does not yet refer specifically to gender-based discrimination; the government plans to propose a bill addressing this issue. Article 4 of the Constitution gives force of law to all international treaties ratified by Kazakhstan. As a result, there are grounds to apply in every day law the definition of discrimination given in Article 1 of the United Nation’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women."[44] Like human rights, equality is an issue that is being looked into by legislation and representatives, but has not yet been fully enforced into everyday culture and life. " The Kazakh Family Code does not appear to discriminate against women. The 1998 Law on Marriage and the Family sets the minimum legal age for marriage at 18 years for both men and women. If there are “legitimate grounds”, a registry office can authorize marriages at 16 years. Early marriage does occur in Kazakhstan: a 2004 United Nations report estimated that 7 per cent of girls between 15 and 19 years of age were married, divorced or widowed. Religious and traditional marriages are not registered by the administration, a practice that can undermine women’s rights."[45] Unlike other countries, for example Yemen, most women have the chance in their life time to receive an education before they are forced or put into a situation of marriage. One area where women are still discriminated somewhat is in inheritance of land. "The Kazakh Civil Code guarantees equal ownership rights for women and men, making provisions for them to possess, use and inherit property. The country’s land reform was based on the principle of gender equality and more than half of the country’s farmers are women. Yet, overall, women continue to experience discrimination in regard to access to land (especially in rural areas) and access to property other than land."[46] This shows how women still do not have equal rights to that of men in all areas of life compared to men.

Human Rights[edit]

Kazakhstan has had trouble in the past and present with Human rights. Attempts to make Human rights a high priority in the country have been on going but has not been yet successful. "In May, President Nazarbaev approved a National Human Rights Action Plan for 2009 to 2012. This was to allay concerns of domestic and international human rights organizations that Kazakhstan was failing to comply with its human rights obligations on the eve of assuming the chairmanship of the OSCE in January 2010."[47] In July, the president signed amendments to a law about the internet that now everything on the internet can and will be labeled and classified as mass media. Because it is now classified as mass media anything online can be used with strict rules, for example, speech for criticizing different areas of the government or the president.

Problems in prisons and prisoners being held in custody has been a specific hot spot for human rights not being looked after. In 2008, National members visited Kazakhstan, and "received many credible allegations of beatings with hands and fists, plastic bottles filled with sand and police truncheons and of kicking, asphyxiation through plastic bags and gas masks used to obtain confessions from suspects. In several cases, these allegations were supported by forensic medical evidence."[48] It has been thought that because there is no clear evident definition for detention may be the problem, "Despite amendments to the criminal and criminal procedural codes to clamp down on abusive practices, torture and other ill-treatment remained widespread. Confessions reportedly extracted under torture continued to be admitted as evidence in criminal trials, and individuals continued to be held in unregistered detention for longer than the three hours allowed for in national law. The lack of a clear definition of detention remained unaddressed despite recommendations of the UN Committee against Torture in November 2008"[49] Also, in prisons, many prisoners are denied necessary health benefits and medication. Freedom of religion is also not fully accepted. People participating in practicing their religions outside of mosques and other religious ceremonial places, are often targeted and harassed by the police. "In February, following a request from the President, the Constitutional Council assessed a controversial draft law on freedom of conscience which would severely restrict the rights of religious minorities. The Council held that the draft law was incompatible with the Constitution and international human rights obligations. A revision of the draft law remained pending at the end of December. "[50]

The counter terrorism plans set fourth in Kazakhstan usually pin point certain groups of small minorities that may have a possibilities of being terrorists or spies. "The National Security Service (NSS), which carries out special operations relating to national security and corruption, continued to use counter-terrorism operations to target minority groups perceived as a threat to national and regional security. Groups particularly affected were asylum-seekers and refugees from Uzbekistan, and members or suspected members of Islamic groups or Islamic parties, either unregistered or banned in Kazakhstan. Some high-profile political actors targeted in anti-corruption operations continued to be held in arbitrary and incommunicado detention."[51] These small groups of people that are targeted are more likely to be treated with inhuman treatment and cruel punishments. The officers in control of interrogation are usually accused of treating prisoners and detainees witch inhuman treatments, cruel and harsh punishments. During interrogation, some officers beat, hit, and put bags over the people that are being interrogated. During trials, defendants are sometimes not told exactly what they are detesting, not being treated with a due process of law, and normally not told their normal rights.

Works Cited[edit]

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