Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Digesting News: Kyrgyzstasis:

Nathan Hamm at pointed out that I was mentioned in the Columbia Journalism Review. Looks like junk food has gotten me in trouble again. I've downloaded over 80 pages of news and hope to scan through and scour over the digital pulp over the next few days. Currently, my co-workers and I are busy writing a "concept paper", which, if realized, would form an alliance between Osh's three law schools, the local courts (including some civic minded judges), the American Bar Association and the Eurasia Foundation. Unfortunately, time is of the essence so my energy and attention has shifted from post-revolution politics to "how can we sustain our organization?".

Thanks to all of you have contributed articles via email. If you see something interesting--please keep it coming.

Also, if anyone knows any specific sources of funding--please drop me a line.


Brief information on Human Rights and Democracy Center

Our Mission: Public Foundation “Human Rights and Democracy Center” (HRDC) was established with the purpose of protecting human rights and freedoms, developing civil society and raising the social awareness of the population. HRDC achieves these objectives by supporting civic action initiatives, providing free legal and social assistance, developing and promoting regional and international cooperation and implementing educational programs in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Target Group: Geographically, HRDC targets the population of Southern Kyrgyzstan’s three provinces (or oblasts). In particular the target group consists of students from the law and pedagogical faculties of Osh city who need to raise their level of professionalism and experience; secondary school students who need to increase their civic awareness; teachers who desire to improve their teaching methodology regarding law and justice in the Kyrgyz Republic; and physicians and teachers interested in increasing the public’s awareness of electoral law and Human Rights. HRDC also works with individuals from all facets of the judicial and political systems (including judges, members of parliament, public prosecutors, lawyers, local leaders, NGOs and activists) to promote justice by ensuring that knowledge, transparency and openness predominate the systems.

History: Established on March 26, 1998 by young professors, law school students and civil society activists, HRDC began implementing program activities with the financial support of the “Soros-Kyrgyzstan” Foundation and Osh State University. On May 11, 2000 HRDC became a legal entity in accordance with Kyrgyzstan’s legislation involving non-commercial entities. In addition to the headquarters in Osh, HRDC has branch offices in Batken and Jalalabat provinces in Southern Kyrgyzstan. At present, HRDС has 12 full time working staff members (9 of whom are licensed advocates) and 10 volunteers.

Current Activities: HRDC currently runs three projects: (1) Student Legal Clinic in Osh; (2) Free Legal Consultations for Labor Migrants; and (3) Electoral Law and Proceedings, in which HRDC conducts trainings for political parties, NGO representatives, judges, attorneys, police and prosecutors’ staff.

The clinical educational program is one of HRDC’s main directions. This program has three continuing objectives. First, the clinics seek to imbue law students with professionalism, an ethical foundation and practical skills. Second, the clinic provides free legal aid to the indigent population in the region. Third, the Street Law Clinic, increases school children’s awareness of law and society

The Legal Clinic now specializes in four areas: “Criminal Law”, “Civil Law”, “Street Law” and “Human Rights and International Law”. Clinic trainings are conducted in Russian and Kyrgyz languages. Approximately 70 students from three law schools in Osh study in the Clinic. Students, under strict supervision of HRDC’s lawyers, accept clients, provide legal advice and representation in the court, and conduct lessons in the secondary schools. Since beginning in 2001, HRDC’s Legal Clinic has provided legal services to more than 790 clients with criminal and civil law issues.

For more in-depth information regarding past and present programs and HRDC’s organizational structure, please visit our website at (in Russian Language), or feel free to contact us directly by email or telephone.


  • What a coincidence -- I was just at Columbia today, checking out their Ph.D. program in Religion. I don't recall hearing your name being dropped in the local coffee shop banter, but maybe I wasn't in the right coffee shop(s). What great resume fodder: "I experienced the revolution in Kyrgyzstan first-hand," and "My observations were cited in the Columbia Journalism Review." Way to go, Larry!

    By Blogger Koine, At 12:16 AM  

  • Larry, my old office at DOJ gives grants to NGOs doing work to develop the justice sector in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. I could put you in contact with the lawyers that are in charge of these programs-they might be able to help. Let me know. Btw-did you get my package of goodies?

    By Anonymous Jessica Wilson, At 3:07 PM  

  • Neat. What you might do with that legal alliance thing is go after some land rights(just kidding)!

    DOJ grants to foreign NGOs? I remember when it was just A.I.D.(or is that someone else?)!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 2:46 PM  

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