Human Rights in Kazakhstan and the International Olympic Committee

Photo of Olympic rings by Flickr user mastahanky - licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Almaty, Kazakhstan is one of two remaining candidate cities to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Human rights activists are using its prominence as a finalist to criticize what they consider Kazakhstan’s abysmal human rights record and the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) apparent apathy to such concerns. Activists are pushing for increased scrutiny regarding the Olympic […]

Central Asian States Disregard LGBT Rights

Image courtesy Guillaume Paumier

  Throughout Central Asia, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people must hide their sexual orientation for fear of violence, extortion by the authorities, and even arrest. The lack of protections for this population creates a human rights issue. In the Soviet era, homosexuality was criminalized and could lead to several years in prison. Since […]

Central Asia: Balancing National Security with the Freedom of Religion

Sher-Dor Madrasa in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Since September 11, 2001 all five Central Asian countries have enacted legislation restricting religious freedoms in an attempt to curb the rise of radical Islamic terrorism. The new laws have had a damaging effect on the free practice of religion. In 2004, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, stated […]

Water Scarcity in Central Asia May Lead to Conflict

The Amu Darya or Oxus River seen from Uzbekistan looking towards Turkmenistan.

Water scarcity is a looming problem throughout the world, particularly affecting developing nations such as the Central Asian states. Approximately 884 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and the number of people affected by severe water stress could increase to over 3.9 billion by 2030. In Central Asia, obtaining an equitable […]