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Legal Сonsultations Focus on Family Matters
From January through March, EBL’s 32 lawyers gave nearly 4,000 consultations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and participated in more than 100 court proceedings.
Most clients had complaints concerning family matters, like domestic violence and problem divorce. Women made up 80% of clients, youth 13% and people with disabilities 5%. And the lawyers as a whole had close interaction with grassroots NGOs, who referred clients and improved their legal knowledge.
In addition to providing direct support to more than 65 clients a day, the consultations and legal cases are a treasure trove of information from the point of view of those most likely to lack access to justice.
The family cases often concern divorce where the wife and children are denied a fair share of property and support. As Tolstoy said, “each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In these cases a variety of compounding issue and in these cases a variety of problems hinder the path to justice. Prominent among them are the lack of marriage and often birth certificates, unclear ownership rights, and fathers working in Russia. These issues, in particular documentation, will be discussed in upcoming EBL papers and events.