Death of Aizada Renews the Call for Society to End Kidnapping of Women for Forced Marriage

UN STATEMENT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

09 April 2021
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BISHKEK, 9 April 2021 - The news reporting the death of Aizada Kanatbekova as the most recent victim of “Ala Kachuu” is a tragic reminder of the need to end this brutal practice. Women and girls of Kyrgyzstan and in all countries everywhere have the right to walk safely in their homeland without being exposed to kidnapping and violence.

The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan calls on all governmental stakeholders, including law enforcement and security forces to take timely and coordinated actions to respond and address the cases registered under article 175 of the Criminal Code, Abduction of a person for the purpose of marriage, and to ensure effective and prompt investigation when such cases are brought to their attention.

Reaffirming its strong commitment to support the elimination of child, early and forced marriage, the United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan welcomes the official statements of President Sadyr Japarov and Prime Minister Ulukbek Maripov that identify the violent death of Aizada as an unacceptable and preventable national tragedy. The UN supports the people of Kyrgyzstan expressing its intolerance on any form of violence against women and girls, including any behaviour associated with “Ala Kachuu”.

In this regard, the UN particularly welcomes deepened collaboration between Government and Civil Society to end harmful practices. The UN further encourages the sustained enactment and enforcement of laws and legal provisions aimed at preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls, while ensuring that survivors are safe and protected, have access to just judicial remedies and that perpetrators are brought to justice in line with due process of law.

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Background: 

The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan is working to support the country’s targeted efforts to end all forms of violence against women and girls, promoting the necessary social norms, attitudes and behaviours through education, and other interventions in order for the Kyrgyz Republic to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 5, to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. 

UNFPA surveys show that more than one in five women were married through abduction. The practice of forced marriage is a criminal practice and a violation of the rights of women and girls. However, forced and/or child marriage is still a scourge in Kyrgyzstan, with 13% of women between the ages of 20 and 24 have entered into marriage before the age of 18, according to UNICEF data.

Kyrgyzstan’s fifth national periodic report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) will be reviewed in 2021 or 2022. In 2015 Concluding Observations of CEDAW, Kyrgyzstan was recommended to put in place comprehensive measures to prevent and address violence against women and girls and ensure that women and girls who are victims of violence have access to immediate means of redress and protection and that perpetrators are prosecuted and adequately punished; to provide mandatory training for judges, prosecutors, the police and other law enforcement officials on the strict application of criminal law provisions dealing with violence against women; and on gender-sensitive procedures to deal with women who are the victims of violence.

Media contacts

Aiperi Alymbekova
Communications officer
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan
Tel: +996 777 91 91 43

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