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09ASTANA222 2009-02-06 08:46:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana
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1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for public Internet.

2. (U) SUMMARY: A new Special Social Services Law came into force
in Kazakhstan at the beginning of 2009 and will pave the way for
state funding of a full range of services -- including medical,
psychological, and legal services -- to persons "in difficult life
circumstances." The Ministry of Justice used the government's
2009-2011 plan to combat trafficking in persons (TIP) as a basis for
including victims of trafficking in the new legislation as "victims
of violence." The new law, in conjunction with the 2009-2011 plan,
will allow for the establishment of a government-funded shelter for
trafficking victims. END SUMMARY.


3. (U) A new Special Social Services Law, drafted by the Ministry of
Labor and Social Protection (MOL) with input from an interagency
working group, came into force on January 1. The working group will
monitor implementation of the law and is made up of all interested
ministries, government agencies, UNICEF, and local NGOs. The new
law provides the government the opportunity to develop
community-based services for ten at-risk groups: orphans, children
whose parents were deprived of parental rights, children with
serious behavioral problems, young developmentally-delayed children,
the mentally handicapped, those with serious diseases, the elderly
and/or infirm, the homeless, ex-convicts, and victims of violence.
The law is meant to help people in the above-listed categories who
are unable to sufficiently integrate into society because of social,
medical, or psychological problems.

4. (U) The law requires that responsible agencies develop social
services standards that establish the quality, scope, and conditions
under which services are provided for each of the groups. The
Ministry of Justice (MOJ) was assigned to develop and implement the
standards for providing assistance to victims of violence.

5. (U) Though the law does not explicitly include victims of
trafficking, the MOJ prepared standards that specifically included
victims of trafficking in the category of victims of violence. The
MOJ's standards provide for the establishment of a government
shelter for victims of trafficking. The MOJ has submitted the
initial draft of the standards to the MOL for comments and
recommendations by members of the working group.

6. (U) MOJ officials previously participated in an INL-sponsored
study tour to Rome to learn Italy's methods of providing victim
assistance and protection and supporting shelters (see reftel). INL
is continuing to work with the MOJ to reach out to other countries
to provide examples of standards for shelter operation and
rehabilitation and reintegration programs for victims of
trafficking. Preliminary discussions were held with Georgia, which
has similar legislation and a government-funded shelter.


7. (U) The MOJ reports that Kazakhstan now has all necessary legal
tools to assist trafficking victims. The national program on
financial support to trafficked Kazakhstani citizens in foreign
countries allows for the provision of assistance to victims of
trafficking abroad. Kazakhstan's law on protection of participants
in criminal proceedings provides assistance to victims domestically
during investigations and court proceedings. And now, the newly
adopted Special Social Services Law will allow the government to
open a shelter. In accordance with new law and the government's
2009-2011 plan to combat trafficking in persons, a government-funded
shelter will be opened as soon as 2010. The 2009-2011 plan, in
conjunction with an earlier Social Assistance Law, provides
government funding to create TIP hotlines, implement an anti-TIP
information campaign, and provide victim assistance through grants
to NGOs.


8. (SBU) NGOs have commented that because the new Special Social

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Services Law requires government certification of activities related
to the provision of special social services, there may be new
obstacles for them to implement their own activities. Some NGOs
have also complained that new certification rules may open the door
to corruption and the entry of unqualified and inexperienced NGOs.
NGOs plan to work with international organizations, such as the UN
and OSCE, to advocate for the right of NGOs to conduct activities
without certification. Since the government has improved its
cooperation with NGOs in recent years, the NGOs believe that they
will be able to participate in working groups and have their voices