This month it is five years since the EU adopted its Strategy for a New Partnership with Central Asia. The Strategy identifies human rights as a key element in EU-Central Asia relations and sets out that the EU will step up support for human rights in the region. However, five years on, there is broad consensus that the implementation of the Strategy’s human rights objectives has not been as effective as desired. Two documents issued by IPHR and partners today focuses on the need for reinforced efforts by the EU to promote human rights in the framework of the Central Asia Strategy:
Five Year Anniversary of EU Central Asia Strategy: Placing Human Rights at the Heart of EU Action is a civil society appeal signed by more than forty NGOs. It makes a number of general recommendations for ways to improve the effectiveness and impact of EU efforts to promote human rights in Central Asia.
EU Central Asia Strategy and Human Rights Promotion: Civil Society Views and Recommendations is a longer discussion paper prepared by IPHR and four partner organizations. This paper also features an overview of current human rights challenges in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, to which the EU is encouraged to pay particular attention in its continued human rights engagement in the region, as well as recommendations for reform steps the EU should require from the governments of these countries.