• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Uzbek Prison Visit by EU, US, and UK Diplomats

At the invitation of Uzbek authorities, UK Ambassador Timothy Smart, EU Ambassador Charlotte Adriaen and US Deputy Chief of Mission Paul Poletes visited a prison colony in the Chirchik district close to Tashkent, on 20 June. As reported by the Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan, the visit included a tour of facilities for medical care and therapy, as well as two workshops where prisoners produce garments and furniture. Presentations by staff, provided an insight into the daily lives of prisoners serving their sentences. The visit marks a milestone in engagement between Uzbekistan and the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and the diplomats acknowledged both the openness of the prison staff and  improvements made in recent years. Uzbekistan has announced its intention to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) under which the National Preventative Mechanism will conduct comprehensive and independent reports on detention facilities to support the Uzbek government in forwarding reforms to improve the justice sector. Charlotte Adriaen thanked both the Uzbek government and the administration of prison #13 for enabling the visit and said: “Transparency in the penitentiary system is key to Uzbekistan’s path towards the ratification of OPCAT. In this regard, and considering the positive impression provided by today’s visit, it is my firm belief that openness and cooperation with international and national monitors can only benefit the life of prisoners and Uzbekistan.” Enthused by the visit, Timothy Smart added: “It is encouraging to see Uzbekistan continue its journey towards improving human rights in the country. In the UK we have had many issues with our prisons and through open discussion and independent scrutiny, have been able to improve conditions. I am most grateful to the Uzbek government and authorities of prison #13 for such access.  I was struck by both the quality of the facilities we saw today and the focus on rehabilitation. The life skills provided are invaluable to both the individuals as well as their mahallas”.

A Welcome Expansion of Kazakhstan’s Invataxi Fleet

On 28 May, Kazakhstan Transport Minister Marat Karabaev and Astana’s Mayor Zhenis Kasymbek attended a demonstration of advantages afforded to citizens with special physical needs and impaired mobility by vehicles adapted to serve their needs. Back in 2008, the Saby Charitable Foundation provided 16 Kazakh cities with a fleet of 62 Invataxis. Equipped with wheelchair-friendly hydraulic lifts, the specially adapted minivans have long facilitated travel for adults and children, opened up opportunities for work and study,  and contributed towards their social integration. Since then, the Ministry of Transport in collaboration with local executive bodies,  has continued to expand the fleet across Kazakhstan and this year alone, the number of Invataxis operating in the capital has risen by 26 to 145. A total of 119 Invataxi services with the combined fleet of 760 vehicles currently operate in the country’s regions.  

Kazakhstan Ranked Among 50 Happiest Countries in the World

In the recently published UN and Gallup World Happiness Report 2024, Kazakhstan was ranked among the top 50 happiest countries in the world, ahead of Russia, Armenia and Georgia. However, the Baltic States and Uzbekistan returned higher happiness scores on the index. This rating, presented on March 20, was developed on the basis of a three-year study conducted by UN experts, Gallup and other scientists. Citizens of different countries assessed their quality of life by taking into account a variety of factors, including economic status, GDP, life expectancy, major life challenges, sense of freedom, public responsiveness, and the level of corruption. These interdisciplinary studies help the understanding of how different aspects of life interact and influence the overall sense of happiness. TCA asked citizens from across Kazakhstan about the their feelings regarding the level of happiness presented in the report, and met with mixed feelings. "Frankly speaking, I don't have such a feeling,” Alua, a 21-year-old pedagogical student from Taraz told TCA. “After all, food prices are rising almost daily, and wages are not growing as fast. Also, conditions in state institutions haven’t changed much, especially in healthcare and education." "I’ve seen this rating, but prices are rising so quickly that Almaty has become the most expensive city in Central Asia,” Sanzhar, a 22-year-old CMM specialist from Almaty commented. "To be honest, I don't think there have been any significant changes that mean we’re happier than before,” Merey, a 28-year-old singer from Astana told TCA. “The only thing maybe because the coronavirus pandemic was in full swing three years ago, so compared to that the situation is much better now, so people think they’ve become happier. However, the socio-economic situation in the country hasn't changed that much, so it's strange for me to hear that people in our country are happier than in Georgia, for example." Comments from others, however, suggest that life in Kazakhstan is improving year on year. "Yes, I feel the changes,” Raushan, a 40-year-old Art Historian from Almaty stated. “There is less discrimination due to language barriers, and there’s a growing interest in traditional nomadic culture which leads to the creative development of young talents who are able to make a name for themselves internationally. All this strengthens their faith and motivation to move forward with creative ideas and learn ways to promote their creativity." "Thanks to the internet and social networks people are aware of the inhuman things happening in the world. With all that is known, I think people in Kazakhstan are just happy to have a peaceful sky above their heads." Tair, a 25-year-old businessman from Taraz told TCA. "I’ve definitely seen an increase in happiness among people. It's like the confidence in our security has gotten higher for me personally," Merey, a 20-year-old student from Kostanai commented.