OSCE supports Central Asian Dialogue on reduction of prison population, development of probation

NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — The II Central Asian Dialogue on reduction of prison population and development of probation is taking place from 28 to 31 October in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The event was co-organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan, the Penal Reform International Office in Central Asia, the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman Office), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Asia Group, the British Embassy in Kazakhstan, the Prison Committees of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The aim of the four-day conference was the focus on the status and prospects of the probation service in the context of Central Asian countries. Discussions covered the advantages of probation, its effectiveness and influence on the penitentiary system, the post-penal rehabilitation of prisoners, and international practice on alternative measures to the deprivation of liberty.

Some 150 participants from relevant state bodies, legal experts, practicing lawyers, and representatives of international organizations and civil society associations are attending the event. Experts from the UK, Georgia, Poland and Germany provide information on their countries’ probation systems and offer some recommendations.

Workshops for prison service representatives of Central Asia and representatives of the Public Monitoring Council (PMC) and the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) conclude the event, discussing issues of law enforcement practice of the criminal executive legislation and the practical implementation of the UN Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.

The conference is a part of the OSCE Programme Office’s long-term activities in supporting Kazakhstan’s reform of the criminal justice and penal systems.

Sergey Kwan

TCA