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Youth Information
Service of Kazakhstan

We teach human rights and develop civic engagement among young people. We believe that this is what helps to develop a just and democratic society.

With us, you will find like-minded people and mentors, learn how to defend human rights, and join the community of human rights defenders in Kazakhstan.

What do we provide?

Information

We talk about the state of human rights and democratic institutions, we make useful legal instructions, we show the best practices of societal developments on the site Youth.kz

Education

We regularly conduct free trainings and schools on human rights and advocacy, public policy, observations on elections, fact-checking, and information hygiene.

Experience and practice

We teach how to launch your own projects, conduct mentoring for young people’s social initiatives. We organize internships in leading human rights organizations and independent media.

Protection and networking

We help young people protect their political and educational rights. We support alumni networks, we help find experts and mentors both in Kazakhstan and in the world.

Reviews

  • I’m not saying that ZhasCamp can solve all the problems and challenges facing society, but such events are very useful. It is important that young people are able to think, act independently, and unite on the basis of free choice, not simply accept set decisions as a given.


    Yevgeniy Zhovtis
    human rights activist, speaker at the ZhasCamp (non)Conference
  • The main benefit of ZhasCamp is that it is one of those volunteer projects that has a noble goal – working with young people. Trends in recent years around the world are showing that many young people are constantly trying to find themselves in different spheres and niches. The main thing is that they find themselves in creative activities. ZhasCamp is one example of when, at the level of general determination, they try to bring young people together with representatives of other professional niches and other demographic groups in order for these people to increase their level of professionalism, culture, education and to some extent realize themselves as citizens of the country. Because this is an important element of the security of any state, when young people in this state identify themselves with this country, consider themselves its citizens and are ready to make efforts to make this country a better place.

    Dosym Satpaev
    political scientist, speaker at the ZhasCamp (non)Conference
  • Excursions to Parliament are an important project of MISK. Now, working in the regions, I see that people do not know at all and have no idea what Parliament is, who their legislators are, what they do, who they work for, or how to interact with them. When young people visit the Parliament and see how it is structured then, of course, this establishes such interaction for the future.


    Irina Smirnova
    ex-legislator in the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Thank you for the Open Parliament project, which gave me the opportunity to meet with legislators. I gained experience in lawmaking, thanks to the contribution of the project and my work with like-minded people, advocacy work was carried out to amend legislative acts and now people living with HIV can adopt children. To date, work is underway on access to special social services for people living with HIV in Kazakhstan.


    Lyudmila Polyakova
    participant of the Open Parliament (2022)
  • I used to be unconfident, I thought about quitting my studies, I wasn't interested in anything... in 2015, we were forced to go to the polls. I arrived at about 6 p.m. and was informed that they had already voted in my place. It stunned me. Then I started asking myself questions: "What contribution am I making to my country?", "Why do I love my country?", "Do I want to stay in Kazakhstan?" And I started looking for people who know the answers to them. On VKontakt, I responded to an invitation to a public speaking meeting. That's how I got to the event at MISK, where I stayed because I found my people. Studying at the School of Human Rights gave me the confidence that I can do something myself. Soon, my team and I did a project on women’s rights. I was able to give MISK more than I thought. And MISK taught me strategic thinking and provided me with great networking – I’m still friends with a lot of people.


    Fariza Ospan
    human rights activist, graduate of the School of Human Rights (2015)
  • The Kazakhstan internship program exceeded all my expectations! It was really an eventful time, which I certainly spent usefully. The purpose of my internship was to expand my professional horizons, gain new knowledge and develop practical skills, as well as study the work in publishing from the inside. And I can say with full confidence that at the end of the internship, all my expectations were met. I would like to express my deep gratitude to the entire team of MISK, Freedom House and Manshuq Media. It is incredibly pleasant to work with you, you are real professionals in your field.


    Akniet Aldabergen
    participant of the Kazakhstan internship Program, interned at Manshuk Media
  • Participation in the School of Human Rights was an unforgettable experience for me, which completely changed my understanding of human rights and their importance in society. During my studies, I implemented a project to analyze the knowledge of high school students in this area. My work included lectures and a game “ON THE RIGHT,” which helped students better understand the basics of rights and their importance in everyday life. I can say with confidence that it was an unforgettable and inspiring journey that left a bright mark on my life.


    Ekaterina Germanova
    graduate of the School of Human Rights (2023)
  • This project has become the basis of my civic activism for me. The course gave me basic knowledge about human rights, gave me a lot of information not only about human rights, but also about how propaganda works, the judicial system in Kazakhstan and many other topics. In addition to the lectures, there were cool activities from the MISK and speakers.


    Ayim Tleuliyeva
    graduate of the School of Civic Education (2023)
  • The school turned out to be not only a fascinating experience for me, but also a source of valuable knowledge about human rights. We were impressed by the great lecturers, whose speeches were full of information and energy. I learned how to analyze difficult situations, find arguments and effectively defend my positions. This experience will be useful to me not only in everyday life, but also in my professional activities, in my work at school, in activism, in blogging, in human rights protection. Thanks to the School, I became convinced that I should continue to act and develop in the field of civic activism.


    Vlada Ermolcheva
    civic activist, graduate of the School of Civic Education (2023)

Where did it all start?

In 1998, students of an Almaty university conducted a public campaign “Students FOR Preferential Travel”:

Students FOR Preferential travel

In 1998, students conducted an advocacy campaign and demanded an introduction of a 50 percent discount on public transport for students. Students from different cities supported them and soon, local executive bodies introduced preferential travel to city budgets, and it was also included in the law “On youth policy.” The campaign was successful and the group decided to continue to defend other rights. They studied what other problems students are concerned about, and also opened a public foundation "Youth Information Service of Kazakhstan.”

Students FOR a new contract

In 2000-2001 MISK and its first network of students from 15 Kazakh cities declared the need for legal revision of university contracts for students, who are paying for their studies. Before this, the university often had all the rights, but the students only had an obligation to pay. As a result, 17 Kazakh universities have adopted MISK’s new model for contracts for paid education.

Students FOR better service at universities

In 2003, MISK led an advocacy campaign for the improvement of quality of service at universities (repairs in classrooms and dormitories, improvement of food qualities at student cafeterias, bathroom repairs, availability of soap and toilet papers). As a result, major repairs were carried out at a few universities and dormitories in Kazakhstan.

Law on Youth Policy

In order to systematize the solution of the youth’s problems, MISK proposed to the Ministry of Education to develop and adopt the Law on Youth Policy. Having done this work, MISK made a number of important proposals in the document, and also ruled out the creation of a state vertical of management of independent youth organizations. In 2004, the law on Youth Policy was adopted.

OUR PROJECTS

ZhasCamp (non) Conference

Informal conference dedicated to youth social initiatives has been held in Kazakhstan and Central Asia since 2010. Our goal: is to involve young people in social activity, create networks and spread the best practices of social development. The site also has an accelerator and mentors who help to launch the project. It takes place once a year in the fall.

School of human rights

The training platform, which educates young human rights defenders in Kazakhstan, has been operating since 2015. We teach the basics of the concept of human rights, followed by in-depth study of international law in this area and the technology of human rights protection, which is called advocacy. In addition, mini–grants for human rights initiatives are awarded. The course takes place once a year in summer.

Kazakhstan Internship Program

Paid internship in a human rights organization, independent media and socially responsible companies in Kazakhstan. It lasts from 1 to 3 weeks. Here interns study how civil society works and test their social project. It takes place twice a year: in spring and autumn. 

League of Young Voters

Independent election observation: here we teach young people about the election laws, as well as explain what rights we have as voters. We also observe voting day in universities and colleges and protect the electoral rights of young people. The project works every election, using crowdfunding.

School of Civic Education

A series of lectures and masterclasses with famous Kazakh politicians, political scientists, journalists, economists, and cultural and education figures. Here we look at politics and basic human rights. The school lasts for one month and takes place once or twice a year in spring and/or autumn.

Open Parliament

Youth participation in decision-making processes: In this project, we train young experts from different regions of the country in the process of drafting bills, introduce them to deputies of the Mazhilis and help them join working groups of the Parliament. The project recruits once every three years.

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Contacts

050008, Almaty, Kazakhstan, office 728, Abay avenue, 52 В, business center Bayzak

+7 776 577 2272 (call and WhatsApp) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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