Coram International is currently the institutional consultant to UNICEF Kazakhstan on a large-scale project to protect the rights of children affected by migration (CABM) in Kazakhstan. The project involves three components. The first component involves the review and analysis of the legal framework governing the protection of CABM in Kazakhstan. The purpose of the review is to identify gaps and recommend amendments to the laws to bring them in line with international child rights standards and good practices. The second component involves the review of draft legislation and to recommend amendments to strengthen the bills in line with international standards and good practices on protecting CABM. The third component involves the design, development and testing of a model for providing protective services to CABM in three pre-selected Cities (Nur Sultan, Almaty and Shymkent). This component involves desk-based and in-country research into the situation and needs of CABM in the three Cities; the barriers to CABM accessing birth registration, education, health, legal and social welfare services; CABM’s access to the child protection system and the outcomes of these cases; and legal mandates, organisational structures and job descriptions of those involved in providing protective services to CABM. Based on the research and in close consultation with stakeholders, the Coram International team designed a model for providing protective services to CABM in the three cities. To operationalise the model, the team developed an operational manual for the Centres of Adaptation of Minors (which perform the role of child protection case manager) and an operational manual for NGO service providers, including admission criteria, staffing requirements, job descriptions, operational standards and protocols, monitoring frameworks, and case management tools. The team also developed inter-sectoral working protocols for referring bodies, and is developing and delivering virtual and in-country training and coaching sessions to frontline professionals and practitioners on the implementation of the model framework. The project is part of UNICEF’s larger multi-country project on protecting CABM in the region, which is funded by the European Union.

From 2019-2020 Coram International has been the institutional consultant to UNICEF Kazakhstan on a project funded by the British Embassy in Kazakhstan. The project involved conducting desk-based and in-country research on the development of the ‘medical social registry’ (MSR), which was introduced to hold the medical and social records of individuals receiving prevention measures under the Law on the Prevention of Infractions among Minors and the Prevention of Child Neglect and Homelessness 2004. Coram International developed a policy paper including the key findings of the research and recommendations for the future development of the MSR. The paper analysed the extent to which the MSR is integrated with overlapping and parallel systems for working with families in difficult life situations, the use of child protection case management to working with children who are at high risk of offending or in need of care and protection, and an assessment of the capacities of local stakeholder bodies to manage the MSR.

From 2015 to 2017, Coram International worked with UNICEF and the Government in Kazakhstan on a large-scale institutional consultancy to develop a continuum of child protection services in the country in line with international standards and best practices. The project involved two workstreams: (1) the assessment of existing child protection services and the development of recommendations, implementation framework and theory of change for their reform; and (2) the design, operationalisation and evaluation of three pilot community-based rehabilitation centres for child victims and witnesses of crimes (offering individualised psychosocial support as well as victim and witness support during criminal justice proceedings); children at risk of coming into conflict with the law; and children in conflict with the law. Workstream 1 involved a desk review and in-country research of existing laws, policies and practices in the area of child protection, with a focus on the use of institutions; the development of an inventory report with recommendations, concept and theory of change for the reform of child protection services; and the review of the Draft Law on Probation and Draft Law on the Optimization of Children’s Institutions, providing recommendations and drafting amendments to bring the laws in line with international standards. Workstream 2 involved a desk review and in-country research with stakeholders including children in contact/at risk/ in conflict with the law and their families; the development of an inception report for each of the centres including recommendations for their design and implementation; the drafting of procedural manuals for stakeholders to use to implement the programmes; the design of a monitoring and evaluation framework for each centre including forms for data collection and maintenance; the provision of in-country coaching for centre staff on delivering the services including case management coaching; training for referring bodies and local stakeholders on case referral pathways and intersectoral coordination required to operationalise the centres; and a mid-term and final evaluation of the pilot centres.

In 2014-2015, Coram International provided research and technical assistance to the Supreme Court and UNICEF Kazakhstan to assess and document the development of the Specialist Inter-District Courts on Issues of Minors (SICIMs) throughout Kazakhstan, including their interaction with the police, prosecutors, lawyers, social workers, pedagogues, psychologists and community-based service providers, the use of legal aid, their impact on children’s rights in the justice system, and key enablers and bottlenecks that have promoted or impeded progress and impact. The study, which employed a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques, culminated in the development of recommendations to strengthen the laws, policies and practices of the SICIMs to enable them to further address the needs of children in conflict with the law or in contact with the justice system as victims or witnesses of crime, or as participants of civil and administrative procedures, in line with international child rights standards. This study was conducted in parallel with the Assessment of the Implementation of the 2009-2011 Juvenile Justice System Development Concept in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In 2014-2015, Coram International provided research and technical assistance to the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Supreme Court, the Office of the General Prosecutor and UNICEF in the Republic of Kazakhstan to assess the implementation of the 2009-2011 Juvenile Justice System Development Concept, which had been adopted by the Kazakh Government in 2008. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques, Coram International assessed the implementation of 16 activities under the Juvenile Justice Development Concept, including the establishment of specialist children’s divisions in the Prosecutor’s Offices and police, the reorganisation of the Centres for Temporary Isolation, Rehabilitation, and Adaptation of Minors, the establishment of specialised institutions for juveniles requiring special education, the introduction of specialised legal consultation centres, the development of an effective system for inter-departmental coordination and control of the operation of education institutions, the introduction of specialist training programmes for judges handling children’s cases, and the provision of special social support for children who come into conflict or contact with the justice system. The study included the development of recommendations to strengthen juvenile justice laws, policies and practices in line with international child rights standards. This study was conducted in parallel with the Assessment and Documentation of Kazakhstan’s Model of Children’s Courts: Development, Impact and Lessons Learnt.

From 2010-12 the Centre worked with UNICEF Kazakhstan to provide technical assistance in the development of strategic and practical evidence based interventions to establish sustainable, local level child protection mechanisms. This involved mapping existing local and central level child protection structures, evaluating law and policy, and providing recommendations for designing an integrated CP model.