The Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic, with the support of EWMI’s USAID Collaborative Governance (CGP) Program, inaugurated two Free Legal Aid Centers (FLACs) in the cities of Cholpon-Ata and Balykchi in the Issyk-Kul Oblast on June 22, 2018. In accordance with the Kyrgyz Republic Constitution and the “Law on State Guaranteed Legal Aid”, the Free Legal Aid Centers will provide equal access to legal aid for citizens and increase the level of legal protection for vulnerable populations. In these centers, visitors may consult with a lawyer, public notary officer, or defense attorney, who are all included in the system of state guaranteed legal aid.
The Director of the Center for Coordination of State-Guaranteed Legal Aid under the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic, Akzhol Kalbekov, attended the June 22nd opening ceremonies along with CGP Director, Garry Ledbetter, EWMI Regional Director of Legal Programs, Nicolas Mansfield, the Head of the Issyk-Kul Rayon Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic, Daniyar Imanaliev, the Mayor of Balykchi city, Almaz Mambetov, Issyk-Kul oblast court representatives, local self-government bodies, civil society organizations, and members of the media.
EMWI’s CGP Program is assisting the Ministry of Justice in its initiative to improve access to legal aid and previously supported the opening of six Free Legal Aid Centers in Isfana and Kadamjay in Batken Oblast, Jalal-Abad city and Bazar-Korgon village in Jalal-Abad Oblast, and Naryn city and Kochkor village in Naryn Oblast. CGP also provides assistance to strengthen existing Free Legal Aid Centers to improve the quality of the services provided by these centers. Currently, 22 Free Legal Aid Centers operate in Chui, Osh, Talas, Jalal-Abad, Batken, Naryn and Issyk-Kul Oblasts and in Bishkek.
More detailed information on the work of the Free Legal Aid Centers and their contact information can be obtained in the territorial units of the Ministry of Justice, and on its online map of legal services at: http://legalmap.gov.kg/ru/ and/or www.minjust.gov.kg.
The Collaborative Governance Program promotes effective collaboration between civil society, the private sector, and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented by the East-West Management Institute (EWMI).