Protecting Refugees

Kazakhstan acceded to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol in 1998

In December 2009, Kazakhstan adopted a Law on Refugees and began implementation in January 2010, assuming full responsibility for refugee status determination and introducing national asylum procedures.

Reaffirming its commitment to the Refugee Convention and the Global Compact on Refugees, at the 2023 Global Refugee Forum Kazakhstan made five pledges, including to establish border referral procedures to ensure unhindered access to territory and asylum procedures, and to provide equal access for refugees to medical care, employment, education, and social assistance on par with citizens and permanently residing foreigners.

UNHCR works with the government to strengthen asylum procedures and improve national legislation to ensure that all refugees have access to due rights and services, including local integration, and can contribute to the sustainable development of Kazakhstan.

Ending Statelessness

Since the 2014 launch of the global #IBelong campaign, Kazakhstan has made great progress to end statelessness, introducing Statelessness Determination Procedures, amending legislation to ensure all children are registered at birth and issued birth certificates – irrespective of their parents’ legal status – and granting citizenship to more than 14,000 stateless people.

At the 2023 Global Refugee Forum, Kazakhstan pledged to establish legislative safeguards and facilitate naturalization to reduce statelessness. Kazakhstan has fulfilled its 2019 pledge to ensure that every child is registered at birth in medical organizations

UNHCR assists Kazakhstan to develop and strengthen legal and administrative frameworks to identify, register and protect stateless people, and prevent and reduce statelessness, and actively promotes accession to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

UNHCR partners with non-governmental organizations to protect and assist refugees, asylum-seekers and stateless persons in Kazakhstan.

UNHCR collaborates with State authorities, UN agencies, international organizations and other partners, to ensure refugees, asylum-seekers and stateless people are not left behind in Kazakhstan’s achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The UNHCR National Office Kazakhstan is located in Astana, and the UNHCR Representation to Central Asia is located in Almaty.

Read the country factsheet to learn more about UNHCR’s work in Kazakhstan.