Operation: Opération: Kyrgyzstan



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Key Figures

2017 year-end results
1,480 people of concern were assisted with acquisition or confirmation of nationality and obtained documentation 
150 border guards and government officials were trained 
80 households received multipurpose cash grants
16 advocacy interventions on the quality of the status determination procedures were carried out
2018 planning figures
700 stateless persons and persons with undetermined nationality will be assisted with acquisition or confirmation of nationality 
70 vulnerable asylum-seeker and refugee households will be provided social assistance package (multipurpose cash grants) to meet basic needs
20 Status of 20 ‘Mandate refugees’ will be regularized through promotion of individualized solutions 

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2017 1,302
2016 2,793
2015 9,630


[["Refugees",341],["Asylum-seekers",105],["Stateless",855],["Others of concern",1]]
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2017 {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"budget":[7.49729754,6.2332598,4.26238403,2.87627194,1.038189,0.91389882],"expenditure":[2.9573579,3.51585467,3.14546242,1.69220608,0.8662693,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[3.13582893,2.78486726,1.82468099,1.85663841,0.68191035,0.57232122],"p2":[0.81536817,1.08157525,0.78015745,1.01963353,0.35627865,0.3415776],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[3.54610044,2.36681729,1.65754559,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[1.59089881,1.33577911,1.24001873,1.08522333,0.52052596,null],"p2":[0.37046023,0.81019074,0.64191183,0.60698275,0.34574334,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[0.99599886,1.36988482,1.26353186,null,null,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2017
  • 2018

Operational context

Security concerns over terrorism and radicalisation continued to affect government policies, including those on migration and asylum. In 2017 the Government alerted UNHCR of possible legislative amendments to the Refugee Act to introduce travel documents, pre-screening of the asylum applications and a reception centre. Additionally, the draft of the new Constitutional Citizenship Law that was initiated does not envisage due court process under the citizenship deprivations clause. Migration remains an important item in state agenda. Over the past 10 years, about a third of the total population of the country changed their place of residence.

Population trends

By the end of the year, the total number of asylum-seekers and refugees in Kyrgyzstan was 446 people (341 refugees and 105 asylum-seekers). The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers in Kyrgyzstan were from Afghanistan, with 125 new arrivals in 2017.
The number of stateless persons decreased from 2,330 in 2016 to 855 in 2017, due to the state registration efforts, and the nation-wide registration and documentation campaign jointly undertaken by UNHCR, the government, and non-governmental partners.

Key achievements

  • As of end of 2017, the enrolment rate in primary and secondary schools among refugees and asylum-seekers was above 90 per cent.
  • Four people departed, either through resettlement or private sponsorship programme, to a third country, and 14 Convention refugees received Kyrgyz citizenship.
  • UNHCR supported the Citizenship Commission through increased staffing to accelerate processing of documents for naturalization.
  • At the request of the government, UNHCR has supported the drafting of the Statelessness Status Determination Procedure, to be considered by respective state authorities throughout 2018.
  • UNHCR provided expertise support to the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic on development of the new Citizenship Law to ensure avoidance of statelessness in the future and prevent arbitrary deprivation of citizenship.

Unmet needs

  • More capacity-building activities for government officials would have contributed towards improvement of the asylum system in the country.
  • If more funding was available, UNHCR could have supported the eradication of statelessness through additional trainings and seminars held for government officials, and carried out more timely and elaborated public information awareness campaign on statelessness issues.

Working environment

Development of governance structures continues to take place in the Kyrgyz Republic, with the Government increasingly focusing on issues of national development, security, migration and border management. Border management remains a major concern in relations between Kyrgyzstan and neighboring countries. Kyrgyzstan’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization and  national security concerns have the potential for  a negative impact on state policy on asylum. 

In this context, the process of constitutional amendments, including legislative changes encompassing issues from nationality to judicial control and structures, continued in the second half of 2016. The amendments made to the national refugee law in 2016 did not include reference to a referral mechanism in case of refugee influx as expected. Nevertheless, UNHCR supports the government to issue instructions on interactions between state bodies in case of mass influx.  

The Kyrgyz Government has displayed a keen interest in resolving the long-standing statelessness situation. Some 11,800 stateless people and people at risk of statelessness have been identified to date, and 8,670 of these cases—about 72 per cent—had their citizenship confirmed or obtained Kyrgyz citizenship.  The Government will continue investing in the registration and documentation campaign, make amendments to fill legislative gaps and is also considering accession to the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions. 

In 2017 UNHCR will continue its presence in the country. The key challenge will be to build upon the steady progress towards solutions for refugees and stateless people.

The Kyrgyz Republic has been operating a reception centre for asylum-seekers since 2007, however the lease of the facility expires at the end of 2016 and continuation of its operation in 2017 is subject to the Government’s decisions. The Kyrgyz Republic guarantees access to primary education to both Convention and Mandate status refugees.  

Key priorities

In 2017, UNHCR’s operation will focus on: 
•    Monitoring and further improvement of the national asylum system through quality targeted legal representation supporting a well-functioning referral mechanism, monitoring of state registration and RSD; 
•    Achieving durable solutions for most people of concern, in particular monitoring of and following up on developments regarding the obtaining of a legal status based on business grants, training and mentoring for Mandate refugees by UNHCR and its partners; and following up on possible voluntary reparation requests from Mandate status holders, which will require direct engagement of UNHCR and its partners;
•    Monitoring the resolution of identified cases of statelessness, legislative changes for civil registration and nationality, and accession to the Statelessness Conventions; 
•    Continuing emergency preparedness and monitoring activities with partners in southern Kyrgyzstan. 

Additional funding will allow for the construction of reception facilities at border checkpoints, durable solutions opportunities for refugees, and further support capacity-building activities for governmental officials dealing with citizenship issues and identification of stateless people in remote areas.