UNODC virtual workshop builds capacity of Kazakh legal professionals on tailored approaches to support and protect children affected by the foreign terrorist fighter’s phenomenon

1-3 March 2021 – The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held a three-day online capacity-building workshop for approximately 50 justice professionals, legal practitioners and representatives from ministries, associations and civil society organizations from Kazakhstan. This virtual workshop built on the extensive work that UNODC has undertaken through its Global Programme to End Violence against Children, as well as the efforts made in the region to support Member States in dealing with the foreign terrorist fighter (FTF) phenomenon.


Building on the strong partnership between UNODC and the Government of Kazakhstan, and with financial support from the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT), the workshop offered tailored training sessions to provide legal practitioners with approaches and practical guidance in order to contribute to rehabilitation and reintegration processes and to protect children from re-traumatization and secondary victimization while providing legal services to children who have been returned from conflict zones.

Opening the workshop from Tashkent, Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, “congratulated the Government of Kazakhstan for its leadership in facilitating the return of its citizens and the considerable resources invested in the design and implementation of legal and policy strategies, especially with respect to repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration.” Ms. Mittal highlighted that there are substantial challenges that remain ahead that will require multi-sectoral efforts.


The Children’s Ombudsperson in the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ms. Aruzhan Sain, supported UNODC’s commitment and efforts to fight violence against children in all its forms, to protect children in vulnerable situations, and to promote the rehabilitation and reintegration of returned children affected by the FTF phenomenon. She noted ““Our joint task is providing and enabling an environment necessary for children having access to justice and also they should participate in legal processes in a safe and effective manner”.


The United Nations representative of the Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT/UNCCT), Ms. Ms. Saule Mektepbayeva, congratulated the Government of Kazakhstan for taking a step forward in repatriating citizens taken to conflict zones and put her Office at the service of Kazakhstan to help improve skills and to share experiences, highlighting that “the efforts being displayed by you will be a good example of which the future generations will be proud.”


The workshop was held over three consecutive days and was designed and led by Ms. Dayan Farias Picon and Ms. Valerie Chmara, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer and Psychosocial Support Specialist, respectively, from UNODC’s Justice Section. Throughout the sessions, the participants were acquainted with practical guidance and strategies about child-sensitive communication and age-, gender- and victim-sensitive approaches for returned children affected by the FTF phenomenon. They also learned how to protect these children from re-traumatization and secondary victimization while providing legal services.

The workshop focused on the importance of considering both the legal and psychosocial factors when supporting the rehabilitation and reintegration of children affected by the FTF phenomenon. Recognizing that these children experience violence and neglect differently and may face different and heightened consequences of trauma, the workshop aimed to support the government’s efforts to not only uphold children’s rights and strengthen legal protective measures, but also to urge legal professionals to comprehensively understand the unique context of each child, their particular experiences, and their specific developmental, behavioural and social needs when repatriating, rehabilitating and reintegrating them.


The workshop is not an isolated event, but part of consistent efforts displayed by the national government, in partnership with UNODC, to strengthen the practices and strategies to support these children during their individual rehabilitation and reintegration journey.

For further background on the UNODC approach to this phenomenon, please view: UNODC Roadmap on the Treatment of Children Associated with Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups.



For more information, kindly contact (Ms.) Vasilina Brazhko

UNODC ROCA Communication and PR Specialist, at:

 +996775987817 WhatsApp or by e-mail:

vasilina.brazhko [at]