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A campaign to identify undocumented persons (reducing statelessness) in Kazakhstan

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Dates

2020 - 2022

Type of practice

Project/Programme

Geographic Scope

Country:

Regions:

Sub Regions:

Summary

In 2014 the Migration Police Department with the support of UNHCR's office in Kazakhstan launched a national campaign to identify stateless persons in Kazakhstan. The main objectives were to determine the number of undocumented persons living in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan and to search for legal solutions to solve their problem. Since then, NGOs have started collecting cases related to statelessness. Local authorities, hospitals, educational organizations constantly updated the list of undocumented persons with data collected during the provision of social services.

The main legal issue was that, according to Law on Citizenship, foreigners had to provide a document on the termination of the previous citizenship in order to obtain an identity card of a stateless person. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many people had only a post-Soviet Union passport or a birth certificate. They could not submit requested document and, therefore, they could not obtain any legal status in Kazakhstan. The list of such people has been expanding over the years. 

In 2020 the Ministry of Interior recognized the existence of this problem and adopted a new national procedure for identifying statelessness which states that the migration service must send a request for citizenship in the country from which the undocumented person arrived, and if information from the country of origin (or arrival) is not received within 6 months, the migration service can issue this person with passport of a stateless person. These new procedure has helped to provide a stateless identity card to many undocumented people in Kazakhstan. 

The Migration Service Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, together with non-governmental organizations and the UNHCR, is conducting an action to identify undocumented persons (statelessness). In 2021, 7,299 undocumented persons were found in Kazakhstan, of which 6,062 citizens were documented (4,130 were documented by a document of a citizen of Kazakhstan, 1,932 by a certificate of a stateless person). In respect of 1,237 persons, the procedure for confirming citizenship is being completed (confirmation of citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan - 981 and recognition as a stateless person - 353). Taking into account the positive assessment of society and the desire to solve the problem of statelessness in Kazakstan, the Ministry of Interior decided to extend this action until the end of May 2022. The current identification campaign is helping to reduce the level of undocumented people in Kazakhstan who have been living without any legal identity cards for many years.

 

Collaborators

Main Implementer

Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Other Organizations

the Ministry of Interior of Kazakhstan

Partners

Kazakhstani NGOs

Benefit and Impact

Statelessness affects millions of people around the world, often denying them access to basic rights and official recognition. Without a legal identity, many stateless persons do not have access to or are not covered by basic health and social protection services. In Kazakhstan more than 6000 people were documented and now have access to social servises such as education health work and other.

Key Lessons

The Ministry of Internal Affairs recognized the existence of a problem with statelessness and extended the campaign to identify undocumented persons until the end of May 2022. In addition, cooperation has been established with non-governmental organizations with which a memorandum of cooperation has been signed. In 2020, the Ministry of Internal Affairs developed a special order to establish the procedure for determining statelessness and the procedure for documenting.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

First, it is necessary to establish a procedure for determining statelessness and the procedure for documenting these persons. Next, it is necessary to identify and compile lists of undocumented citizens with the help of NGOs. The participation of NGOs is necessary, since undocumented citizens are a vulnerable category of people in a difficult situation. They are often refuse to contact the police and trust NGOs more. NGOs also provide the necessary legal and social support. Further, the migration service employee examines each case separately in accordance with the previously established procedures and documents the person with either a citizen's passport or a passport of a stateless person.

Innovation

Kazakhstan for the first time in 2020 legislated the procedure for determining statelessness, which allowed many people to obtain documents.

Media

Республиканская кампания по выявлению лиц без гражданства стартовала в Казахстане (12.10.20)

Республиканская кампания по выявлению лиц без гражданства стартовала в Казахстане (12.10.20)

Date submitted:

17 March 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

A campaign to identify undocumented persons (reducing statelessness) in Kazakhstan

Dates:

2020 - 2022

Type of practice:

Project/Programme

Geographic Scope

Country:

Regions:

Sub Regions:

Summary

In 2014 the Migration Police Department with the support of UNHCR's office in Kazakhstan launched a national campaign to identify stateless persons in Kazakhstan. The main objectives were to determine the number of undocumented persons living in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan and to search for legal solutions to solve their problem. Since then, NGOs have started collecting cases related to statelessness. Local authorities, hospitals, educational organizations constantly updated the list of undocumented persons with data collected during the provision of social services.

The main legal issue was that, according to Law on Citizenship, foreigners had to provide a document on the termination of the previous citizenship in order to obtain an identity card of a stateless person. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many people had only a post-Soviet Union passport or a birth certificate. They could not submit requested document and, therefore, they could not obtain any legal status in Kazakhstan. The list of such people has been expanding over the years. 

In 2020 the Ministry of Interior recognized the existence of this problem and adopted a new national procedure for identifying statelessness which states that the migration service must send a request for citizenship in the country from which the undocumented person arrived, and if information from the country of origin (or arrival) is not received within 6 months, the migration service can issue this person with passport of a stateless person. These new procedure has helped to provide a stateless identity card to many undocumented people in Kazakhstan. 

The Migration Service Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, together with non-governmental organizations and the UNHCR, is conducting an action to identify undocumented persons (statelessness). In 2021, 7,299 undocumented persons were found in Kazakhstan, of which 6,062 citizens were documented (4,130 were documented by a document of a citizen of Kazakhstan, 1,932 by a certificate of a stateless person). In respect of 1,237 persons, the procedure for confirming citizenship is being completed (confirmation of citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan - 981 and recognition as a stateless person - 353). Taking into account the positive assessment of society and the desire to solve the problem of statelessness in Kazakstan, the Ministry of Interior decided to extend this action until the end of May 2022. The current identification campaign is helping to reduce the level of undocumented people in Kazakhstan who have been living without any legal identity cards for many years.

 

Collaborators

Main Implementer:

Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Other Organizations:

the Ministry of Interior of Kazakhstan

Partners:

Kazakhstani NGOs

Benefit and Impact

Statelessness affects millions of people around the world, often denying them access to basic rights and official recognition. Without a legal identity, many stateless persons do not have access to or are not covered by basic health and social protection services. In Kazakhstan more than 6000 people were documented and now have access to social servises such as education health work and other.

Key Lessons

The Ministry of Internal Affairs recognized the existence of a problem with statelessness and extended the campaign to identify undocumented persons until the end of May 2022. In addition, cooperation has been established with non-governmental organizations with which a memorandum of cooperation has been signed. In 2020, the Ministry of Internal Affairs developed a special order to establish the procedure for determining statelessness and the procedure for documenting.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

First, it is necessary to establish a procedure for determining statelessness and the procedure for documenting these persons. Next, it is necessary to identify and compile lists of undocumented citizens with the help of NGOs. The participation of NGOs is necessary, since undocumented citizens are a vulnerable category of people in a difficult situation. They are often refuse to contact the police and trust NGOs more. NGOs also provide the necessary legal and social support. Further, the migration service employee examines each case separately in accordance with the previously established procedures and documents the person with either a citizen's passport or a passport of a stateless person.

Республиканская кампания по выявлению лиц без гражданства стартовала в Казахстане (12.10.20)

Республиканская кампания по выявлению лиц без гражданства стартовала в Казахстане (12.10.20)

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Innovation

Kazakhstan for the first time in 2020 legislated the procedure for determining statelessness, which allowed many people to obtain documents.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Date submitted:

17 March 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).