Kyrgyzstan enacts new Domestic Violence Law

The Kyrgyzstan legislature has enacted a Law on the Prevention and Protection against Family Violence, which replaces the 2003 law on domestic violence. It includes measures for protecting victims, and strengthening police and judicial response to domestic violence. It has been welcomed as a progressive piece of legislation, as it takes into account reports of implementation gaps, including CEDAW Concluding Observations of 2015 and UN Women report on “Access to Justice” (2015).

The law recognizes ‘economic abuse’ in addition to physical and psychological abuse. It also requires police to register a domestic abuse complaint from anyone, not just the victim. The process for obtaining a protective order has been made simpler. The statute also states that domestic violence offenders will no longer be eligible for a permit to purchase or possess weapons, and the existing permits of convicted offenders will be revoked. Significantly, the law lays special emphasis on behaviour correction programmes for perpetrators.