National Human Rights Commissioner holds online meeting with partners to discuss migration programme

13 October 2020

13 October 2020, Nur-Sultan – The National Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Kazakhstan discussed the progress and further actions to protect children affected by migration at a virtual meeting with representatives of government, embassies of Central Asian countries, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Organisation for Migration, academic organizations and NGOs. In cooperation with the European Union Delegation to Kazakhstan, UNICEF organized a virtual meeting to facilitate joint programme monitoring and forward planning.   

A recent study on the situation of children in migration processes in Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shymkent, carried out with Coram International research institution within the framework of the programme, revealed that undocumented migrant children from low-income families face difficulties in accessing education, medical care and social welfare and protection services. Kazakhstani children left with relatives or friends of the family during the migration of their parents abroad are facing the risk of being placed in childcare institutions due to the lack of relevant legal procedures. Separated and unaccompanied children risk becoming victims of exploitation, trafficking and abuse.

“Children who are migrating need special protection of their rights and interests. Wherever they are, and whatever their story, migrant children have the same rights as everyone else. As our study shows, there is still some way to go to ensure that every migrant child in Kazakhstan is protected and safe. We thank the Government of Kazakhstan, Office of the Ombudsperson,  European Union Delegation and all our local and national partners involved in the programme for their invaluable contribution to its effective implementation”, said Arthur van Diesen, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan.

As part of the Joint Project, in April 2020, projects for providing protective services have been launched in Nur Sultan, Almaty, and Shymkent/Turkestan Oblast. The overall goal of these protective services is to provide comprehensive social, psychological and legal assistance to children in migration processes.

“Our programme partners represented by non-governmental organisations such as “Rodnik”, “Sana Sezim ”, “Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law” currently help us to deliver these services in the selected regions, by developing a system of effective support for migrant children and their families in Kazakhstan. The rights of the children in migration processes, regardless of their status, have to be protected. We must ensure that their rights are fully respected and enforced”, noted Elvira Azimova, National Human Rights Ombudsperson.

In the course of the meeting participants also discussed the results and recommendations of the study, the state of unaccompanied and separated children, the training of specialists working on migration. The meeting’s agenda included integration of migration issues into national and regional development strategies and the best international practices in this field.

“The European Union supports Kazakhstan's efforts to protect the rights of children in migration processes. As part of our joint program with UNICEF, we conducted studies that helped us, as well as local and national authorities, to better understand the migration processes in Kazakhstan. We also trained migration specialists on effective delivery of services to children. The programme in Kazakhstan is still ongoing and we believe that it will help improve the lives of children, affected by migration. Every child has the right to be safe and develop to their full potential”, said Mr. Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation Section of the European Union Delegation to Kazakhstan.


Notes for the editors:

The programme on protection of 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, Thailand. The goal of the programme is to enhance the system for effective protection of children affected by migration. Implementation period: 2017-2021

Coram International is a research institution and consultancy specialising in a wide range of issues relating to children’s rights staffed by a dedicated core team of child rights lawyers and socio-legal researchers. Coram International has over 20 years of institutional experience working on international consultancies in the field of child rights.

Media contacts

Balnura Kuralova
Communication for Social Change Expert
UNICEF Kazakhstan
Tel: +7 (7172) 32-28-78 (106)


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