Some religious groups continued to be subjected to fines and short-term detention for violating a restrictive religion law, and some individual members faced criminal charges. A mosque in the city of Petropavlovsk has been repeatedly denied registration, according to Forum 18, an international religious freedom watchdog.
In January, alleged members of Tabligi Jamaat were imprisoned for belonging to a banned religious organization. Four were sentenced to 20 months in prison, and another to 18 months. A trade union law restricts the right of workers to join trade unions of their choice and to freely determine their structure. The government failed to attend the session, prompting heavy criticism from the ILO. Other legislation governing the financing and collective bargaining rights of trade unions remains restrictive.
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A new labor code was adopted in November. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT people in Kazakhstan live in a climate of fear fuelled by harassment, discrimination, and violence. On the rare occasions when LGBT people report abuse, they often face indifference and hostility. Despite the absence of meaningful political reform in Kazakhstan, and European Union pledges to link upgraded relations to human rights improvements, the EU and Kazakhstan initialed an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement on January The United States continues to be largely silent on publicly registering human rights concerns in Kazakhstan, and the bilateral relationship focuses prominently on security, nuclear nonproliferation, the economy, and trade.
In April, Baskut Tuncak, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and waste, concluded after a mission to Kazakhstan that the government was not properly implementing or enforcing environmental legislation and needed to protect people from hazardous waste, including in Berezovka, a village whose residents, particularly children, continue to live in a toxic environment and suffer chronic health problems. In April, Kazakhstan ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and in August, signed on to the Safe Schools Declaration, a political commitment to better protect students, teachers, schools, and universities in armed conflict.
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In its October concluding observations on Kazakhstan, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child issued comprehensive recommendations, including on the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment, corporal punishment, and sexual violence against children, and addressing the needs of children with disabilities. The success of Michigan's program can be attributed to the unique partnership between public and private agencies responsible for adoption planning and placement of foster children who become permanent wards.
Department of Human Services does not handle all types of adoptions. Parental consent adoption occurs when birth parents directly consent, in a court of law, to the adoption of their child.
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For information on direct placement adoptions, international adoptions, stepparent adoptions or any other type of adoption where a child is not a permanent court ward, contact a licensed private adoption agency in your county or the circuit court. Tweets by MichiganHHS.
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