The Ministry of information and social development of the Republic of Kazakhstan has developed the first anti-harassment policy. The norms of the document were approved in order to prevent harassment in their ranks, but they go beyond the Ministry, as they also prohibit prosecution against third parties with whom employees of the department may be associated. This document is the first legal act that uses the concept of harassment, gives the appropriate definition and shows a clear position of the agency regarding unethical actions.
This document was developed on the basis of the “Policy on protection from sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and sexual harassment in the workplace”. This policy was prepared by the Public Foundation “Legal Policy Research Center” as part of the project “Combating sexual harassment in the workplace and in public places through legislative reforms, responsible business conduct and awareness raising in Kazakhstan”, supported by CFLI (Canada Fund for Local Initiatives). The document is available at the link.
A similar document was adopted on the basis of the order of the Ministry of information and social development of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On protection from harassment” by the Kazakhstan Institute of Social Development. The goal of the policy is to prevent harassment in the workplace, create a safe environment for employees, and counteract any type of sexual blackmail.
The Kazakhstan Institute for Public Development expressed its gratitude to the experts who participated in the preparation of this document: Ayazhan Oirat, Regional Director of the Legal Policy Research Center, Dinara Kusain, UN Women Analyst, Gulzhaina Rashbayeva, expert of the National Scientific Cardiac Surgery Center, as well as their employees, Head of HR Yulia Kayrushina, lawyer Aisana Sman, expert Aynur Tukumova. Read more here
According to the norms of the adopted policy, harassment is the behaviour of a person that causes inconvenience or even harm to another person, violating his privacy.
According to representatives of the Ministry, the relevant policy was developed in accordance with the law “On the Civil Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan” and the Code of Ethics for Civil Servants of the Republic of Kazakhstan: “The Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan adheres to a policy of zero tolerance for harassment and such violations must be prevented. All employees of the Ministry must observe high moral and ethical standards of personal and professional conduct.”
Although the last statement is extremely true, the norms of this order must be further strengthened by appropriate amendments to a number of legal acts, including the Civil and Labor Codes of the Republic of Kazakhstan.