Improvement of protection system for children affected by migration discussed in Astana

Improvement of protection system for children affected by migration discussed in Astana

Astana, 16 October 2018 – United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), European Union and Human Rights Ombudsman in Kazakhstan held a meeting with representatives of state organizations, UNHCR, IOM, academia and NGOs to discuss cooperation to improve the protection of children affected by migration.

Astana, 16 October 2018 – United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), European Union and Human Rights Ombudsman in Kazakhstan held a meeting with representatives of state organizations, UNHCR, IOM, academia and NGOs to discuss cooperation to improve the protection of children affected by migration.

«Children affected by migration may face different risks and challenges. Whereas in fact they are just children and migration is not always their choice. Often, migration is a result of the socio-economic factors. Today we discussed how to improve cooperation between all state and non- governmental organization to protect the rights of children affected by migration,” said Yuri Oksamitny, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan during the meeting.

 Participants discussed the issues of access of children in migration processes to education, to psycho- social support and health care.

«Kazakhstan is a destination and transit country for many adults and children. The European Union has contributed €10.5 million to support UNICEF’s work protecting children affected by migration in seven countries across Southeast, South and Central Asia. We hope that the contribution will help to strengthen support and protection for children who are migrants, have been forcibly displaced or have been left behind by parents or caregivers who have migrated, often in search of better economic opportunities to support their families,” said Zoltan Szalai, Head of policy, press and information department of the European Union in Kazakhstan.

The meeting’s participants also discussed the issues of undocumented children and statelessness. This category of children end up in extremely vulnerable situation due to their status which limits their access to education, health care and socialization.

«In recent years, effective cooperation has been established between the ombudsmen of the countries of Central Asia, which provides an opportunity to exchange experiences and interact on the most significant human rights issues. Within the framework of the “roadmap” of this cooperation, the national human rights institution of Kazakhstan is expected to participate in the implementation of the program “Protection of children affected by migration in South-East, South and Central Asia” together with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the European Union in Kazakhstan.” said Askar Shakirov, Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Kazakhstan. “During the annual meeting of the Global Alliance of the National Human Rights Institutions held in Geneva last year Kazakhstan’s Human Rights Ombudsman proposed to hold the first Regional meeting to discuss the protection of the rights of children affected by migration in Central Asia. The event is planned to be held in Almaty next year, during which it is expected to discuss the results of the first year of the implementation of the Joint Programme focused on protection of children affected by migration,” added Mr. Shakirov.

During the meeting, special attention was paid to improving the national legal framework, strengthening the existing protective procedures, improving the quality of training for social workers, law enforcement officers, migration, guardianship and trusteeship. In general, it is expected that this will allow practitioners to identify, direct and assist vulnerable children in the migration process in a timely manner.

Importantly, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Akan Rakhmetullin, declared that Kazakhstan is ready to join the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the first-ever UN global agreement on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions, planned for adoption on 10 – 11 December in Marrakech, Morocco.

Note:

The programme on protection of children affected by migration is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNICEF in seven countries in partnership with the governments of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Thailand. The goal of the programme is to enhance the system for effective protection of children affected by migration.

Implementation period: 2017-2021

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Contacts:

Oleksandra Gaskevych, UNICEF communication specialist, tel: +7 7172 39 17 97 ext 112

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