Monday, October 9, 2006

Launch of Human Rights Digital Library in Kazakhstan

The Launch of the human rights digital library in Kazakhstan.

27 September 2006
Astana, venue: Conference Hall , National Academic Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan


It is my honour and pleasure to welcome, on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator, the participants of the presentation of the human rights digital library organized jointly by the RK Presidential Commission on Human Rights, United Nations Development Programme and the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty.

At the outset I would like to thank our partners in the Human Rights Commission and the National Academic Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the invaluable support they’ve provided in organizing this event.

I would like to express our appreciation of the excellent team work done by the Presidential Human Rights Commission, UNDP, UNESCO Cluster Office and the Parliament of Kazakhstan in the process of creation of the human rights digital library, which is a part of the preparation of the National Human Rights Action Plan in the country. I think it’s only in partnerships such as that, collectively, we can achieve the mutual understanding on the goals and aims to be set out in the National Human Rights Action Plan.

The creation of the digital library is an innovative step forward in improving access to information and justice and providing human rights education for all through opening public information services. It should be especially stresses that it is the first experience in Central Asian countries.

The digital library has several important characteristics that I would like to emphasize:

1. The digital library is created in Kazakh and Russian Languages in a user friendly version and provides a free access for the whole population to legal data base, containing more than 500 documents mostly related to human rights issues.


2. The library has a particular focus on rural population and the vulnerable groups. The user friendly software allows to looking up for documents to more than 50 categories such as ‘children’, ‘pension’, ‘matrimony’ an etc. It gives answers to frequently asked questions where to apply and which law or provision of the national legislation to apply if human rights are violated.


3. The digital library serves as an effective awareness raising and educational tool on human rights.

4. The digital library is accessible on the Human Rights Commission’s website from any computer with access to internet or without such access, it is very important that it works either on-line and off line.

5. In the vast and sparsely populated country, like Kazakhstan IT tools are definitely the most efficient way to disseminate information.

6. Of course, in rural areas only few people have an own personal computer, let alone internet access. However, an extensive net of state libraries is spread all over the country. These libraries are being equipped with computers and internet access and staff is going to be trained in program and will be able to provide support to those citizens with no or little IT skills. Thus, we make sure that the most vulnerable groups of the population, elderly and poorly educated people will benefit from the digital library.

7. Finally I would like to raise the issue of sustainability of the digital library. The updating of the documents contained in the library and its disseminations is no less important than the creation of the library itself. Now it is a state ownership and we hope that the appropriate ways of maintaining and updating of the digital library documents will be found.

We in the United Nations remain committed to assisting Kazakhstan in its
Development. To that end, I wish all of us the best of luck.
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The Launch of the human rights digital library in Kazakhstan.

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