August 31, 2015

Regional Roundtable Addresses Drug-Related Crimes

August 2015

From March 16–17, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) held a regional roundtable in Bishkek for 30 representatives of the judiciary, as well as oversight, investigation and advocacy communities from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The event allowed participants—members of respective national working groups—to discuss strategies for enhancing the investigation and prosecution of drug-related crimes in the region.


Participants highlighted common challenges and conditions necessary for investigating, prosecuting and trying drug crimes in each country. 


In addition to analyzing ongoing criminal justice reforms in Central Asia and relevant laws and practice in the region, participants also shared country-specific assessments and recommendations. They highlighted common challenges and conditions necessary for investigating, prosecuting and trying drug crimes in each country. The experts also discussed the structure, methodology and approaches of the strategy each country will be using for court monitoring of drug-related cases. The participants additionally drafted recommendations for potential joint strategies, which take the regional context into account and identify opportunities for bilateral cooperation between relevant government agencies and law enforcement authorities, as well as for creating a unified regional database that allows easier and more intensive exchange of information.

Participants discussed several recommendations for addressing the problems of drug use and trafficking and identified two areas for immediate action: increasing media coverage of the problems to raise public intolerance for them and enhancing the capacity of relevant authorities to improve the investigation of drug-related crimes.

The roundtable was organized as part of ABA ROLI’s regional program in Central Asia, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and supports stakeholder engagement and court monitoring of drug-related criminal cases.

To learn more about our regional program in Central Asia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.