Karachaganak Kazakhstan press release

Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship in the OSCE Has Not Improved Environmental Rights in the Country

Crude Accountability has published a new report, “Kazakhstan’s Implementation of its OSCE Obligations to Observe the Human Right to a Healthy Environment,” which was prepared in partnership with the Legal Policy Research Centere (Almaty, Kazakhstan).

In 2011, the Republic of Kazakhstan’s three year term as leader of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) came to a close. However, there were no improvements in human rights protections, including the right to a healthy environment and access to natural resources, despite declarations by the country’s leadership that Kazakhstan would draw attention to solving environmental problems during its chairmanship of the OSCE. Violation of environmental rights creates threats to life, health, and the well-being of the population of Kazakhstan and is one of the main reasons for poverty and the growth of social tensions in the country.

According to Sergey Solyanik, consultant to Crude Accountability and author of the report, “Unfortunately, monitoring the human right to a clean environment in Kazakhstan remains beyond of the criticism of well-known human rights organizations. A clear example is the fight of the residents of the village of Berezovka, who have been struggling since 2002 to be relocated from their dangerous proximity to the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Field, but the authorities and the company continue to violate their rights and remain deaf to the people’s appeal.”

Traditional monitoring of human rights and human freedoms in Kazakhstan reflects just the tip of the iceberg of the real situation with human rights violations in the country, which is enormous. Massive human rights violations in the country, to a significant extent, are determined by the economic and political leadership of the country, which is based on a predatory exploitation of natural resources, a battle between bureaucrats and business men for their possession and redistribution, placing the environmental costs on the shoulders of ordinary taxpayers, the inability of state bodies to fulfill their functions, the failure to observe international and national law, the absence of access to justice, the flourishing of corruption and the arbitrariness of bureaucrats.

This report provides a general evaluation of the situation with environmental human rights in Kazakhstan and the existing mechanisms for their protection on the national and international levels.

The report is available on Crude Accountability’s website:https://crudeaccountability.org.

Crude Press Release
December 23, 2011
Contact: Sergey Solyanik