Lesson plans for ages 15-18 in History: Population Displacement in the Commonwealth of Independent States


An ethnic Armenian refugee from Azerbaijan participating in a poultry-raising micro-credit project in Masis, Armenia.   © UNHCR/A.Hollmann

LESSON 4: Multi-ethnicity


Show the students the Minorities Map to confirm the impression, which they would have gained after completing the comprehension questions in the previous lesson, that the CIS countries are multi-ethnic in their population composition. Looking at each pie chart on the map, the students will see that certain ethnic groups are present in several countries. For example, Uzbeks form minority populations in Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Class discussion

  • In the light of the information contained in the article from the previous lesson, what suggestions can the students give to explain such population distributions?
  • What problems have emerged from the huge forced population displacements which occurred during the communist regime?
  • How can UNHCR and other UN organisations help the CIS countries to deal with these problems?