01 November 2017

Seeking out Kyrgyzstan’s families in need to sustain peace

Ermek Batyrov has taken us to Shark, a village in the district where he serves as head of the Department of Family Support and Children. Leading the way, he eventually stops at a simple, clay-walled house. We are in Kyrgyzstan’s southern Osh province, and this is the house of Momina Salieva. Her family is formally categorized as one in a difficult…, Concern for the children, Ermek Batyrov is witness to much human suffering in his job. His concern is, most of all, for the children: ‘This work can be very hard emotionally hard. Sometimes in the evenings I consider writing my letter of resignation and leaving the job. But then, in the morning, I picture the little children who need help, and I understand that I cannot…, Peacebuilding through social protection, Momina’s family belongs to Kyrgyzstan's ethnic Uzbek minority, which resides predominantly in the southern Osh and Batken provinces. On the whole, Uzbeks score less well than the majority Kyrgyz population on many social and economic indicators, including participation in local decision-making and access to services. In 2010, Kyrgyzstan saw a…, A new way to support families in need, In 2015, the Government of Kyrgyzstan passed Regulation № 391, on the identification and case management for children and families in a difficult life situation. ‘That was the best thing to happen that year’, Batyrov says emphatically. ‘It has made my work easier, because it clarifies what obligations various authorities have towards families and…, UNICEF support, ‘It can be challenging, making several institutions work together in a synchronized manner and think in terms of outreach’, says UNICEF Social Policy Specialist Gulsana Turusbekova. ‘The social support system has been largely unchanged for the last 20 years.’ The policy changes inherent in Regulation № 391 were advocated for by UNICEF. The…, On a path to a better life, Momina’s family was found by social workers through proactive identification. They lived below the poverty line; also, none of the family members had official documents. Ermek Batyrov’s team helped them recover birth certificates and internal passports, and also to obtain monthly allowances of 705 som (11 USD) for each of the five children. There…