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Kazakhstan passes law on refugees
On Dec. 7, the president of Kazakhstan signed a law on refugees and ratified several amendments to other legislation intended to protect refugees and define their basic rights and obligations in Kazakhstan.
ASTANA — On Dec. 7, the president of Kazakhstan signed a law on refugees and ratified several amendments to related legislation intended to protect refugees and define their basic rights and obligations in Kazakhstan. The bills were approved by the Senate in November.
Kazakhstan’s need to pass a law on refugees arose from its ratification on Dec. 15, 1998 of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Pursuant to the Convention, Kazakhstan will have to abide by the principles of non-refoulement, the accessibility and transparency of the asylum process and the right to appeal decisions.
The law that passed and amendments to related legislation on refugees were based on the principles underpinning the Convention, and clearly set out the legal status and obligations of refugees in Kazakhstan. Providing travel documents for refugees and social welfare assistance for child refugees are among the new measures to be implemented. Amendments will also be made to the Code of Administrative Violations, and laws on immigration and state social welfare.
The new laws will take effect on Jan. 1, 2010. Funds will be allocated from the national budget for interpretation services, and the printing of certificates and travel documents.
According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, 622 refugees were registered in Kazakhstan as of Oct. 1. Most are from Afghanistan. Almost two-thirds are of working age and four percent are children under 16 years of age.
[KT.kz, KazTAG.kz, Zakon.kz, CA-news.kz, Azattyq.org]