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UN concerned by attempts of deputies to amend NGOs law

The United Nations Organization is concerned about the attempts of deputies of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan to amend the law on NGOs and oblige non-governmental organizations to report on sources of their funding. The Representative Office of the UN Resident Coordinator sent a note verbale to the Parliament.

Yesterday, despite the quarantine, the Committee on Social Issues organized parliamentary hearings on the bill on NGOs initiated by a deputy Baktybek Raiymkulov. Access of representatives of the civilian sector was limited. Online discussion was not provided contrary to the requests of human rights defenders.

The UN recalls that the initiative of the deputy Raiymkulov caused serious concern of representatives of the international community and mediators of the organization’s special procedures. «UN Human Rights Council resolution 22/6 provides that states should ensure that reporting requirements not to interfere with the functional autonomy of non-governmental associations. The mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association has affirmed that the use of burdensome, bureaucratic reporting requirements can ultimately, in the end, impede the legitimate work of non-profit organizations,» the UN said in the note.

In addition, the appeal notes that any sanctions against NGOs must be proportionate to the intended purpose and have a strong and objective justification for the law and its application.

«We regret that the proposed amendment does not meet this requirement,» the UN note says.

Representatives of the organization ask deputies to pay attention to the opinion of UN Special Rapporteurs and a member of the Venice Commission. They were sent to the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan in early March. «The United Nations is concerned that the Parliament continues to make efforts to amend the legislation on NGOs without the need for comprehensive consultations and participation of civil society,» the note says.

Given the significant impact of COVID-19 on the economy and society, we believe that the time has come for national mobilization to confront this pandemic and strengthen relations between government and civil society. Unfortunately, the proposed legislation belittles these national goals.

UN note verbale

Recall, on March 4, the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan adopted amendments to the law on NGOs in the first reading, requiring from non-profit organizations to report on sources of their funding. Human rights activists called them discriminatory and asked the initiators to withdraw the bill.

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