On 27 February, the Migration Service Committee of the Ministry of Interior jointly with the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law (KIBHR) , supported by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), are launching the second phase of reach-out visits as part of a joint country-wide identification campaign. The campaign will map statelessness and resolve it through confirmation of nationality or by documenting persons as stateless to provide them with legal status and eventual access to naturalization.
“We appreciate the efforts of Kazakh authorities to identify and resolve cases of statelessness across the country. This identification campaign will enable thousands of people without a nationality, who have lived in Kazakhstan for years and consider it their home, to finally fully contribute to society,” said Hans F. Schodder, UNHCR Representative for Central Asia.
February to March, the Migration Service Committee together with KIBHR will raise public awareness about statelessness, monitor the implementation of legislation, enhance activities to identify stateless persons and assist in resolving their situation in six regions of Kazakhstan.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice, KIBHR and the Legal Center for Women’s Initiatives “Sana Sezim” first launched this statelesness identification campaign in Kazakhstan in October 2020. By end 2020, it had already identified around 3,000 stateless persons and provided them with legal assistance and counselling.
Since the launch of the global #IBelong Campaign to eradicate statelessness by 2024, the UN Refugee Agency has supported Kazakhstan to identify over 6,500 stateless persons, of which over 2,000 thus confirmed or acquired a nationality.
Statelessness affects millions of people around the world, often denying them access to papers, basic rights and services that citizens take for granted. COVID-19 has exacerbated the difficulties and injustice that stateless people face. Without legal identity many stateless people do not have access or are not included in essential health and protection services and social safety nets.