UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, together with the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan (hereinafter – MLSPP), conducted training on refugee issues for employees of the MLSPP Committee on Migration and local executive bodies.
During the training, UNHCR representatives spoke about international standards and national legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on issues of refugees and asylum seekers, and the specifics of their application in various situations.
Akmadi Sarbasov, First Vice Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who took part in the training, noted the importance of correctly determining the legal status of refugees, as well as providing them with quality support.
“Refugees and asylum seekers on the territory of the republic are under the protection of the state: along with legal assistance, they receive material and humanitarian support from NGOs and international organizations. All these measures are available to people in need, both thanks to Kazakhstan’s participation in the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, and within the framework of the norms of our law “On Refugees”, which is aimed at determining the legal status of asylum seekers and refugees on Kazakhstani territory,” said Akmadi Sarbasov.
The main goal of the training is to form a unified approach in the application of the above law and by-laws in accordance with international standards of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 and its Protocol of 1967.
During the training, the most frequently asked questions of employees of local executive bodies, difficulties in interpreting legal norms were also considered, and a unified approach to solving emerging issues was developed.
“We highly appreciate cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population to improve national legislation and practice on refugee issues. We believe that the training will help identify the existing problematic aspects in the activities of the authorized bodies and clearly define the direction for the development of state policy in relation to refugees and asylum seekers, which will contribute to the long-term solution of their problems,” said UNHCR Deputy Representative for Central Asia Dumitru Lipcanu.
Since 2022, the functions and powers on refugee issues have been transferred to the MLSPP. As of December 31, 2021, there were 673 refugees and asylum seekers in Kazakhstan, most of them from Afghanistan who have been living in Kazakhstan for a long time.
UNHCR will continue to cooperate with the MLSPP within the framework of the bilateral Joint Action Plan for 2022.