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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

USAID, through the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, has been sponsoring Summer School of Democracy in Kyrgyzstan.
Caption: USAID, through the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, has been sponsoring the Summer School of Democracy for high school students of Kyrgyzstan since 2000, promoting civic education and youth leadership.
Photo: IFES

USAID has supported Kyrgyzstan’s transition from a Soviet republic to an independent democratic state since the early 1990s. During this time, Kyrgyzstan has oscillated between periods of authoritarianism, which ended in two revolutions (in 2005 and 2010), followed by the introduction of a working parliamentary system and a concerted effort to embrace transparency, accountability and openness throughout the government. During these tumultuous times, USAID has been a stalwart supporter of Kyrgyzstan’s civil society efforts and has assisted reformers within the Kyrgyz government who advocate for the protection of democratic institutions, support for human rights, and fair elections. Following the April 2010 revolution, USAID rapidly expanded its democracy and governance assistance to Kyrgyzstan to support the country’s democratic transition.

USAID works across a broad spectrum of democracy and governance programming in close partnership with Kyrgyzstan’s civil society, government and the international community. Following the 2010 revolution support for the Parliament was instituted even before the first session of the newly elected Parliament was held. This program has ranged from assistance in drafting legislation, to committee organization and support, media outreach, and improved management and development of the Parliament’s human resources.

Maintaining and improving adherence to the rule of law in Kyrgyzstan is vital to the stability and prosperity of the country. We support reforms within the courts aimed to reduce corruption and improve fairness for all parties; this includes fair and open selection of judges and public access to court decisions. Human rights defenders are working with the police and courts to identify and reduce human rights violations and torture.

USAID also has provided significant support to the flourishing media sector to help ensure that people have access to reliable and diverse sources of information. As these sectors evolve and mature, we will pursue new avenues of engagement with both civil society and the media to enhance their roles in the democratic process.

Last updated: February 19, 2014

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