Continuing an official tour of Central Asia, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour arrived today in Kazakhstan for talks with top officials.
On her three-day visit to the country, she will meet with Prime Minister Karim Massimov and other high-level Government officials, as well as with representatives of regional and international organizations, civil society groups and diplomats.
“The visit will provide an opportunity to exchange views on human rights related issues with the Government of Kazakhstan and to engage in discussions about future cooperation and continued dialogue on issues of mutual concern in the region and the country in the area of human rights,” according to a press release by her Office.
The High Commissioner kicked off her trip – her first to the region – in Kyrgyzstan and then traveled to Tajikistan. She will conclude her tour in Turkmenistan.
On her first stop in Kyrgyzstan, she observed the positive direction in which civil society in the country is developing, but voiced concern over issues pertaining to women and reports of ill-treatment of detainees and torture.
At the end of her visit in Tajikistan, she noted that while reforms of the justice system – in particular, the areas of law enforcement, criminal procedures and the independence of the judiciary – are ongoing, access to justice remains a major challenge.