Ministry of Information and Social Development: Work is underway in Kazakhstan to update Concept of encouraging and promoting rights and opportunities of women in society

Today, an extended board meeting was held at the Ministry of Information and Social Development, during which the results of the past year were summed up and plans for the next year were discussed. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, deputies of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, NGOs and religious organizations, ethno-cultural associations and the media. Head of the Ministry Askar Umarov and Vice Minister of the Ministry Alexander Danilov made presentations on the work done in 2021 and plans for the coming period.

“In 2021, a huge amount of work was carried out in the field of information and social development, which gave the necessary impetus to all supervised areas of the ministry’s activities. At the same time, the Head of State and the Government have set the most important tasks to reformat the work in the supervised areas of the ministry in the new conditions,” the Minister of Information and Social Development began his speech.

Thus, last year in the field of interaction with the non-governmental sector, the main event was the 10th anniversary Civil Forum of Kazakhstan, which once again confirmed the importance of the dialogue between government and society. Thus, more than 1,000 proposals and recommendations were received from representatives of NGOs, the media, business and the civil sector as a whole.

In addition, in 2021, amendments to the Law “On Public Councils” were adopted, which significantly expanded and strengthened the powers of this institution. A draft law “On public control” has been submitted to the Mazhilis, which has gone through all stages of discussion with members of the public. Changes have been made to the rules for awarding grants to NGOs. For the first time they are now discussed publicly, taking into account the needs of the population.

Last year, at the initiative of the Head of State, a nationwide “Marathon of Good Deeds” was implemented, which was joined and actively participated by about 5 million citizens. In 2021, the implementation of the NGO Academy project continued, under which more than 800 representatives of the civil sector were trained. In general, about 2 thousand various socially significant projects are implemented annually together with NGOs.

Work in 2022 will be aimed at improving the mechanisms for the development of civil society. First, the mechanisms for grant funding for NGOs will be improved. An appropriate draft law has been developed (located in the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan), which will allow selecting only relevant projects that are of interest to NGOs and the population, and point-to-point solving problematic issues.

Second, in order to improve the quality of the activities of public councils, work will begin on updating the composition of public councils of state bodies with the broad involvement of NGOs, civil activists, the media, etc. The end result will be the formation of new compositions in 30 state bodies (13 at the republican and 17 at the local level).

Third, work will continue on the development of charity and volunteering through the adoption of a relevant law. The adoption of the law will significantly increase the number of incentive quotas and the number of employed volunteers.

“In 2022, it is planned to organize more than 20,000 multi-format events through the infrastructure of volunteering represented by the republican and 17 regional front offices,” Umarov shared his plans.

The next important activity of the Ministry of Information is the information sphere.

In 2021, for the first time, the Ministry, after a public discussion procedure with representatives of the public, the media and agreement with all interested bodies, adopted a regulation on the protection of the rights of journalists in case of violation of their rights. More than 4,000 specialists have passed the basics of industry journalism, namely the specifics of information coverage of issues in the medical, environmental, religious and IT fields. New rules for the accreditation of journalists, rules for the formation and placement on domestic TV channels of social advertising to promote a healthy lifestyle were created and began to operate.

“One of the important issues is the use of the state language in the domestic media. Last year, for the first time, we published the dictionary Suztuzer. Kate koldanystar sozdigi, developed on the basis of monitoring the materials of domestic media with the participation of qualified specialists. The implementation of the project for the introduction of digital terrestrial television and radio broadcasting continues,” the head of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan said.

An important part of the information and ideological work was 73 media projects implemented as part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Independence. On behalf of the President, in 2021, the stage of the active phase of the production of domestic television series, documentary historical films began and was implemented. On the air of the country's largest TV channels, series about Akhmet Baitursynov, Kanysh Satpayev and others are shown, which received a great positive response from the audience.

In 2022, the department faces the tasks of further developing the quality of the information work of the state, the competitiveness of domestic media. Thus, on behalf of the Head of State, it is necessary to significantly raise the level of information work of the Government. To do this, it is planned to introduce a criterion for working with the media into the assessment of state bodies.

This year, the vision for the development of the media industry will be actively discussed with representatives of the media and NGOs within the framework of the National Plan for the Development of the Information Sphere for 2023-2025. It is planned to implement a special plan for training for 2022-2023, aimed at developing the qualifications of media specialists, the formation of media and information literacy of the population.

The development of the Kazakhstani Internet segment will become one of the priority areas this year. It is necessary to develop Kazakh-language Internet resources, multimedia content and online platforms. In order to increase the level of media literacy in society, together with NGOs, it is planned to hold a week of media and information literacy.

At the same time, the ministry has developed new approaches to improve the activities of state television channels, which will improve the efficiency and quality of the implementation of state information policy. In the field of ensuring access to information, work was carried out to implement amendments and additions to the Law “On Access to Information” (adopted on Dec. 30, 2020, entered into force in January 2021). Thus, the institution of authorized persons on issues of access to information has been introduced. Today, commissioners have been identified and trained in all state bodies, their total number in the republic exceeds 1,400 people.

For the first time, an annual report was prepared to the Head of State on the state of the sphere of access to information in Kazakhstan. The report went through extensive public and expert discussions, and was also considered at a meeting of the Commission on Access to Information. Maslikhat sessions were broadcast online on the Ai-tube platform, and trainings and webinars were held jointly with the OSCE for maslikhat deputies.

Approaches to implement the principle of the "Listening State" are enshrined in the Concept for the Development of Public Administration until 2030. In order to solve this problem, the ministry plans:

First. To implement projects within the framework of the Concept for the Development of Public Administration until 2030, in particular, “Systematization of interaction between state bodies and the population”, “Comprehensive system for monitoring and forecasting social risks”, “Introduction of openness standards”, “Introduction of best practices and international standards in the field of interaction with NGOs” and others.

Second. Prepare the next report in the field of access to information for submission to the Head of State.

Third. Develop the necessary package of documents to legitimize the institution of petitions in Kazakhstan after the adoption of the draft law "On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Issues of Public Control».

Fourth. Adopt standards for the openness of information holders, as well as Rules for access to open meetings of information holders.

Fifth. Revise the Unified List of Open Data of State Bodies, taking into account the requests of the population and business.

Sixth. Introduce a new criterion for evaluating state bodies working with the media as part of the annual assessment, taking into account the opinion of society and the media.

Seventh. Strengthen communication interaction by holding meetings of CSC leaders with the population in a new format.

“The Concept of Family and Gender Policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2030 is being implemented. Currently, work is underway to update the Concept in terms of encouraging and promoting the rights and opportunities of women in society and the Action Plan for it. I would like to note that on December 24, 2021, the Action Plan for the implementation of several UN Security Council resolutions for 2022-2025 on ensuring gender equality and protecting women's rights was approved," the Minister of Information noted.

In addition, in 2021, changes were made to the Rules for the Mereili Otbasy Competition. The winners were 17 exemplary families in all 17 regions of the country, videos and stories about which were replicated in the media and social networks. In 2022, it is planned to hold the Mereili Otbasy competition in a new information format.

To date, 17 special projects are being implemented in six main areas of the Ruhani Zhangyru program. Since last year, the emphasis of the program has been aimed at educating the younger generation, especially children of school and preschool age. Thus, the projects Ulttyk tarbie, translation of children's content of Tiji and Nickelodeon channels and others are being implemented.

The main priority for the current period is the qualitative implementation of tasks in the context of the National project Ulttyk Ruhani Zhangyru and the Roadmap.

In 2021, at the initiative of the Ministry, for the first time in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, a two-year master's program in the specialty "Ethno-Political Science" was opened at the Eurasian National University. On topical issues of interethnic relations, 15 methodological manuals have been developed and 23 training seminars have been held, covering more than 3,000 people from state and public structures.

Republican lecture halls were organized in 4 regions to promote the Kazakh model of national unity and harmony, covering more than 2 thousand people. A set of works has been carried out to develop cultural and humanitarian cooperation with compatriots abroad. Since January of this year, the functions of working with Qandas and ethnic Kazakhs abroad have been transferred to the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For the coming period, within the framework of the Government Action Plan for 2022 in the field of interethnics, we will have to:

  • take a set of measures to prevent any form of humiliation of honor and dignity on linguistic and ethnic grounds;
  • maximally involve NGOs and the media in the prevention of interethnic tension and conflict in order to strengthen the foundations of interethnic harmony and unity of the people of Kazakhstan.

In addition, an ethnomediation center will be created on the basis of the Institute of Applied Ethnopolitical Research to train professional negotiators and conflictologists.

An updated Concept for the Development of the ANC until 2025 will be approved and the implementation of its Action Plan will begin.

“The next important area is the sphere of religion. In general, the activities of the ministry in the field of religion are built within three main areas: information-explanatory and rehabilitation work, prevention and counter-propaganda of religious extremism in the Internet space,” Umarov informed.

In 2021, more than 28 thousand targeted outreach events were held, incl. more than 10 thousand among young people.

Work continued on the prevention and counteraction of religious extremism in the Internet space. Thus, in 2021, more than 220,000 illegal materials promoting religious extremism and terrorism were removed and blocked. More than 156,000 people (from 512,000 to 356,000) have been removed from radical religious groups on social networks.

For the purpose of preventive work with schoolchildren, additional literature has been developed: the first Kazakhstani comic MEIRMAN. In addition, special manuals have been issued for high school students, students of colleges and universities, as well as educational and methodological recommendations on the basics of secularism and religious studies.

It should be noted that, despite the measures taken, the number of followers of destructive religious movements in the country is not decreasing. The main reasons and conditions for this are the low socio-economic status, the propaganda of activists of the ideologies of destructive religious movements. In this regard, we need to intensify work in this direction.

The measures implemented in the field of religion were accompanied by the improvement and simplification of legislation in the field of religion. Some "point" changes have been made to religious legislation. Within the framework of the Law “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Issues of Visual Information and Religious Activities”.

In the field of religion, the Ministry of Information and Social Development faces the following tasks.

First. Within the framework of the existing dialogue platforms, the XX Secretariat, the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions and the fifth meeting of the Kazakh-American working expert group on religious freedom will be held.

Second. It is necessary to continue awareness-raising work with an emphasis on target groups (coverage - 72%), to increase the effectiveness of theological and psychological rehabilitation of followers of destructive and radical religious views (coverage - 72%), from which there are direct risks of extremist manifestations, as well as preventive work in the Internet space as part of countering religious extremism.

In 2021, on behalf of the Head of State, important events in the field of youth policy were implemented. So, last year the National project "Ulttyk ruhani zhangyru" was adopted, within the framework of which a special direction for supporting youth Tauelsizdik Urpaktary (8 indicators, 15 nationwide events) is provided. In this national project, special attention is paid to the development of new opportunities for young people, socialization and employment, involvement of young people in socially useful activities.

Also, the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for the first time presented grants to the winners of Tauelsizdik Urpaktary in order to support talented youth in the nominations Science, Culture, Information Technology, Business and Media.

As part of improving legislation, in December 2021, a draft law on state youth policy was submitted to the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Youth Support Plan for 2021-2025 has been adopted and is being implemented (10 areas, 55 points of action).

The department is conducting targeted work with youth of the NEET category:

  • a republican project office has been created and is functioning;
  • in the regions, 15 departments have been opened to support youth initiatives on the basis of existing youth resource centers in small and single-industry towns.

The composition of the Youth Policy Council under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been updated, which includes representatives of the Presidential Youth Personnel Reserve, young entrepreneurs, scientists and activists. 23 grant projects were implemented, thanks to which about 120 thousand people received social services.

As part of the Government Action Plan for 2022, the ministry proposed a number of measures aimed at socialization, training in social life skills, vocational guidance and employment of young people, especially rural and socially vulnerable.

Vice Minister of Information and Social Development Alexander Danilov reported in more detail about new approaches to the implementation of the state youth policy.

“As part of the Government Action Plan for 2022, the Ministry of Information and Social Development proposed a number of measures aimed at the socialization, vocational guidance and employment of young people, especially rural and socially vulnerable youth. First of all, it is necessary to involve civil society in this work, so we plan to launch a procedure for updating the composition of advisory and advisory bodies in all state bodies. We must encourage the independence of young people, it is necessary to introduce a procedure for the annual review of all state support measures, analyze their effectiveness and get rid of inefficient programs,” said the Vice Minister.

Also, according to him, it is necessary to develop corporate social responsibility. The ministry is planning to launch a National Internship Program, which will develop a level playing field to attract young people to production and give them their first professional skills.

The Ministry, together with akimats, plans to implement a pilot project for the development of the youth corps "Zhas project", within the framework of which it is planned to open a business for at least 1,000 young people or create cooperatives of young entrepreneurs in small and single-industry towns with employment and the provision of services to socially vulnerable youth and ensuring maximum transparency of grant procedures. The Ministry, together with the Ministry of Education and Science and akimats, plans to introduce training and production facilities at schools to obtain the first working profession in single-industry towns.

“The activity of youth resource centers, which cannot work according to a single model, is highly criticized by society and experts, it needs to be reviewed and a differentiated approach should be introduced depending on the region and the youth contingent. Today, a lot of work falls on the youth resource centers. In 2021, we began the transformation of their activities with the opening of departments for targeted work with youth of the NEET category. In total, 15 such departments were created in mono and small towns. In this regard, the task is to increase the human resources potential of the youth center employees, in which specialists with the appropriate education should work,” said Danilov.

Youth resource centers should become proactive consulting services for young people, centers of attraction for young people, know everything about the youth of the region, and advise on all topical issues.

In addition, it is planned to transform the activities of the Youth Research Center, which should become the main methodological center of youth policy. All state bodies, in particular local executive bodies, will be able to have unhindered access to the results of the research activities of the Molodezh Research Center, request and receive the necessary information.

For legislative consolidation of all innovations in youth policy, the Ministry developed a draft Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On amendments and additions to certain legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on issues of state youth policy” and submitted to the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The Ministry will continue further support on family strengthening issues.

For reference: The bill provides for streamlining the legal mechanisms for the implementation of state policy in the field of combating domestic violence;

- define the goals and objectives of the law, new principles;

- expand the conceptual apparatus;

- identify the state body responsible for coordinating, monitoring and evaluating measures to combat violence;

- fix the norm on strengthening interdepartmental interaction;

- expand the circle of persons who have the right to report facts of domestic violence or threats;

- specify the competences of the authorized state bodies;

- distribute powers and functions between central and local executive authorities, local self-government bodies;

- strengthen the responsibility of the police to control offenders when a protective order is issued against them or by a court, special requirements, etc.

Further implementation of the Concept of Family and Gender Policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2030 (second stage: 2020 - 2022) will continue. In general, activities for the implementation of youth and family policy will be based on the principles of maximum openness and public involvement not only in the discussion of topical issues, but also in the implementation of specific initiatives.

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