Politics • 01 July, 2019

EU and UNICEF to improve protection system for children affected by migration

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Kazakhstan's Ombudsman for Human Rights with the support of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Kazakhstan met with representatives of government, UNHCR, IOM, academic organizations and NGOs to discuss the results and further actions to protect children affected by migration.

Together with the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the programme partners conducted an analysis of training needs on children's migration, which allow them to develop training modules for universities. The updated training programs will help ensure that Kazakhstani specialists use the principle of the best interest of the child, improve the quality of service delivery based on case management technologies, and provide protective measures for children in migration processes. The participants also discussed international legal regulation of migration issues.

“A big recent achievement of the world community was the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Legal Migration in Morocco in December 2018. The Treaty upholds the best interests of children affected by migration and emphasizes the importance of family unity. We are pleased that Kazakhstan has supported this international document and hope that the government will be able to ensure its effective implementation”, - said Mr. Johannes Stenbek Madsen, Head of Cooperation Section of the European Union Delegation to Kazakhstan.

“Children affected by migration need protection and the provision of quality services. We support Kazakhstan in its work to improve the system of protection of children involved in migration processes. We urge Kazakhstan to consider joining the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which is an incentive and guidance to ensure the rights of migrants in each country”, - said Arthur van Diesen, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan.

Participants also highlighted the situation of undocumented and stateless children. These children are extremely vulnerable because their status limits their access to education, health care and socialization. UNICEF proposes to provide the registration of birth for any child born in the territory of  Kazakhstan, regardless of the legal status of their parents. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality.

It is also important to mention that in June in Tashkent, the Ombudsmen for Human Rights of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan signed a cooperation roadmap, which includes aspects of protecting the rights of migrants and their children. Ombudsmen intend to strengthen cooperation in the consideration of citizens' appeals, the organization of works to improve the legal culture, protect the rights of migrant workers and youth.

“It is necessary to consider migration in Kazakhstan taking into account migration processes in Central Asia and Russia. We hope that the research will provide us with a comprehensive picture of the migration of children in Central Asia and will develop recommendations to strengthen international mechanisms for the protection of children in migration processes”, - said Serik Ospanov, Head of the National Center for Human Rights in Kazakhstan.

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