Photo credit: Nurbek Arzyaev/Saferworld
Photo credit: Nurbek Arzyaev/Saferworld

Building safer communities

People living in Kyrgyzstan face a range of insecurities – from street crime, poor governance and ethnic tensions to the more hidden threats of domestic violence and gender-based discrimination.

Together with partners, Saferworld supports 40 communities in several provinces of Kyrgyzstan to identify threats to safety and security and to jointly work with law enforcement officials in order to find solutions to them. By identifying safety concerns – stemming from issues such as school bullying, social stigmatisation and street harassment that can lead to violence – mutual trust, accountability and long-term relationships are built between communities, the police and other law enforcement officials as they work towards joint solutions to tackle problems. Women, young people and members of minority ethnic groups are included to ensure that marginalised people have a say in how to make their communities safer.

Over time, this helps to restore people’s faith in the police and security sector, and leads to more security issues being reported and addressed. We train and support civil society organisations in Kyrgyzstan to advocate for reforms in law enforcement, so that police services are more inclusive, accountable and more sensitive to the needs of all communities.

I always thought that being a senior juvenile inspector meant that I was the only one who could understand the hardships children face. However, after some simple exercises, such as security concern mapping where community members express their own worries and understandings of safety, I realised that everyone has a different perception, and that we need to include these voices to make them part of the solution. Our Local Crime Prevention Centres (LCPCs) have been very useful for this reason. They provide a space where we can discuss our problems with communities and local police representatives.

Munduz Usenova, senior juvenile inspector from the Batken Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)