The European Union, the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan and UNICEF partner to improve the protection of children affected by migration
6 May 2020, Nur-Sultan – The programme “Protecting children affected by migration”, financed by the European Union (EU) and carried out by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Kazakhstan benefits from the participation of Elvira Azimova, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan, to steer the implementation of the programme in Kazakhstan.
The online meeting brought together representatives of the Delegation of European Union to Kazakhstan, government of Kazakhstan, embassies of Central Asian countries, UNHCR, IOM, academic organizations, and NGOs .
In three regions of Kazakhstan, programs have been launched to protect children in migration processes. The aim of these programs is to provide comprehensive social, psychological and legal assistance to children in migration processes. At the moment, the EU and UNICEF are working together to prevent the spread of the disease among children affected by migration. This includes promoting hygiene practices that help prevent transmission in child care institutions. Jointly with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, UNICEF has been reaching the most vulnerable – children affected by migration, children in residential care, and the most vulnerable families in different regions - with leaflets and posters on practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Migrant families and children are at heightened risk to the immediate and secondary impacts of COVID-19. Therefore, it is now extremely important to strengthen social protection measures for the most vulnerable children. We fully support the Government of Kazakhstan in measures taken to expand social assistance to families affected by the pandemic”, - said Arthur van Diesen, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan.
UNICEF also analyzes gaps and opportunities for protecting children in migration processes when exchanging information between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The results of this analysis will be used to promote mechanisms for the exchange of information and to strengthen cross-border coordination to support children at all stages of migration.
“We welcome the initiative to conduct a research on cross-border information sharing between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to better protect migrant families and their children. I would like to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan for their support as well as other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders who are facilitating this process”, - said Mr. Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation Section of the European Union Delegation to Kazakhstan.
During the meeting, participants also discussed the features of migration in Central Asia, situation of unaccompanied and separated children, the training for specialists involved in migration, and the development of special protective measures for migrant children, such as community-based child protection services. Services are now available in the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Shymkent and Turkestan region.
“We will continue to work together to protect the rights of children in migration processes. There is a work plan with UNICEF, and in the future it is important to continue work on the legislative review and improvement of services for migrant children at the level of regulatory legal acts. We suggest holding the next meeting in one of the regions of Kazakhstan and familiarizing ourselves with the work of the centers on the spot”, - said Elvira Azimova, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The programme “Protecting children affected by migration” is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNICEF in seven countries in partnership with the governments of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Thailand. The goal of the programme is to enhance the system for effective protection of children affected by migration. Implementation period: 2017-2021
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.