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news | April 01, 2016 | Kyrgyzstan | Development

Launch of 2.0 interactive web-map displaying legal service providers in the Kyrgyz Republic

@ ACTED Kyrgyzstan: Capture of the web-map displaying legal aid service providers

ACTED launched a uniquely collaborative map which will play an instrumental role for helping vulnerable citizens to find contact details of legal aid providers and improve their access to justice.

Marginalized populations most likely to suffer from right’s violations

Access to Kyrgyzstan’s Rule of Law institutions is curtailed by a plethora of factors ranging from low density of legal services in peripheries, opportunity costs of justice institutions, to widespread practices of corruption. In the context of Kyrgyzstan, the failure of Rule of Law institutions substantially exacerbates tensions among societal groups and leaves the most vulnerable without legal protection. Due to cultural reasons and lack of infrastructure, women, youth and people with disabilities are frequently prevented from making their case heard in front of justice institutions.

Improving access to justice and the rule of law in the Kyrgyz Republic

Within the framework of the European Union-funded project “Building the role of civil society to improve access to justice and strengthen the Rule of Law in the Kyrgyz Republic”, ACTED, with the support of UNDP and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, has officially launched a country-wide interactive web map of legal service providers in the Kyrgyz Republic. This unique tool is the result of a vast data collection process, conducted from June to December 2015 in 500 rural districts in all rayons of the Kyrgyz Republic as well as Bishkek and Osh cities.

A uniquely collaborative experience

The map allows lawyers, law firms, civil society and many legal service providers to register online and be easily found by the general public. Everybody interested can add and edit legal service providers, leading to a uniquely collaborative experience across the country and ensuring that the map remains up-to-date. The web-map was handed over to the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic and can be accessed via http://kartauslug.minjust.gov.kg/.

“As for today, we are already seeing citizens applying for information and assistance in the legal services centers. (…) The map displays more than 1,500 service providers and legal centers and future plans include the launch of a mobile application”, said A. Chotonov, Head of the Department for Legal Advocacy and Cooperation with the Governmental Centre for Judicial Expertise (ГЦСЭ) and the Central Office for Pledge Registration (ЦЗPK).

Under the frame of the same project, ACTED with its partner is also providing free legal aid for the population in 16 districts spread over four regions of Kyrgyzstan.

“This interactive web map helps addressing the needs of population - including marginalized and most vulnerable groups - in regard to the protection of their rights and access to information and justice. Population must be able to identify where to go in case of a legal issue and also know which service providers are free or fee-based; a state actor or not. For the first time an effort has been made to map legal aid service providers all over Kyrgyzstan.” Nazira, ACTED Project Manager