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USAID and Ombudsman Institute partner to expand access to free legal aid via hotline service

AKIPRESS.COM - The Institute of Ombudsman and USAID announced their partnership to expand access of people in Kyrgyzstan to free legal aid via the 115 hotline service.

Under the two-year partnership, the USAID Jigerduu Jarandar project will support additional five legal experts – three in Bishkek and two in the southern region. These lawyers will provide free legal consultations through the 115 hotline and strengthen the institute’s work in this area.

“USAID is proud to partner with the Ombudsman to expand the quantity and quality of legal services provided through the hotline. Our cooperation in strengthening and promoting the Hotline 115 will open a new chapter in our joint efforts to ensure that every Kyrgyz citizen has the opportunity to receive consultations from a lawyer,” said Ms. Alder Bartlett, Acting USAID Mission Director.

The Ombudsman Institute and USAID Jigerduu Jarandar project will work together to raise public awareness about the hotline through media and public outreach campaigns. The project will also support professional development of the Akyikatchy Institute’s staff, including the 115 hotline operators.

“Expansion of the Ombudsman Institute’s capacity in the provision of free legal aid will not only contribute to human rights strengthening on the territory of our country – which in itself is a priority area of the Institute’s work – but will also foster more effective dissemination of the information about the main state body in charge of human rights protection, its work and results, as well as about helpline channels such as 115 hotline and recently launched Telegram chat bot “Akyikatchy bot 115,” Ombudsman Tokon Mamytov said.

The 115 hotline service allows Kyrgyzstanis to receive free consultations over the phone on a wide range of legal issues, such as land disputes, civil rights, legal status, and family issues. Launched in 2015 as a service to protect children’s rights, today the hotline provides legal aid on all human rights issues. Every year the hotline receives around 8,000 calls from citizens within as well as outside of the country.

The Jigerduu Jarandar project is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by FHI 360, ACTED, and Fergana Valley Lawyers Without Borders.

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