The above title and following essay was written by a former student of mine in Astana, Kazakhstan. She was greatly impacted by what Marinka Franulovic wrote in her book “Two Kyrgyz Women.” I liked the title of her piece, see for yourself what her thoughts are on this matter:
Nowadays people who know law can live happily and well. Bosses on the top always tell what you have to do but not everybody knows what rights every citizen has, especially in our country, Kazakhstan. I suppose that such problems are not so sharp abroad. I feel that in our young country only limited circle of people who are familiar with law and can protect themselves properly by right. Such lack of knowledge influences on increasing the number of victims who suffer from someone else’s pressure. Even though some people are aware of their rights, anyone can be in danger because their employers can break the law of human rights about working conditions, freedom of movement or security.
Most people do not work totally or have a job but with meager salary, or even do not receive money several months entirely. To solve this situation I offer to provide each school leaver with opportunity to get free high education. Obligatory school education is free of charge in Kazakhstan but then some teenagers become spongers who cannot or do not want to work. Those who are eager to improve oneself must have a chance to go to courses of professional development. Most employees are faced with corruption while applying for work. Therefore, it should be organized contests in which anyone who has appropriate abilities and knowledge can be hired. It would be more correct and fair that way. But most workers cannot get money which they have earned during months or even years. Judicial process is so protracted and may be unjustified. Only few people who want, dare to have legal proceeding with their bosses. We must establish the special department which will control the people’s salary, fine (even prison) those who do not pay salaries to workers. It must be very strict and regularly checked in order to eliminate such lawbreakers.
A lot of unemployed people or just young students have a chance to work abroad. But after arriving they can suffer from employers who keep workers under lock and key and even can fetter in order to have free work labour. Swindled people, especially foreigners, do not have freedom of movements. In order to avoid such problems people must be aware of ways on how to address their requests and survive. “By the end of the summer, Ainura left Bishkek without knowing the name of its main square.” (Two Kyrgyz women Franulovic, M. p.15) It will be better to organize a helpline, for example, 919 like 911, to help such people. Everyone must know that he or she can receive help and be safe. The information about this helpline should be located in customs, airports, train or bus stations, public transports and any crowded places. Every person must know those whom they can ask help and how to get connected with police, embassy or other organizations.
Such helpline can solve another problem – security problem. If any recruitment companies exist, they must be controlled and checked by special department. In order to find better jobs, people try to look for it abroad. They can be in danger because some lawbreakers take the passports from their employees. “I had no money, I did not know the city, I did not speak the language, and she (Adele) held my passport. (Two Kyrgyz women Franulovic, M. p.130) And then “new workers” become illegal and are afraid to go to the police. One decision is to make this problem more solvable; it is to set common electronic identity cards for all countries, at least for CIS. It will be easy to find and help people who perhaps are lost. “After two weeks on the farm, Altynay was gone. Nobody knew where, but they all suspected why.” (Two Kyrgyz women Franulovic, M. p.33) Regular controls and checkups of “new citizen-workers” can save their own lives.
In conclusion, there are a lot of problems of vital importance concern with human rights which must be solved in order to save people’s lives. All of us must know and attend to carry out our own duties but at the same time remember and exercise the rights in case of need.