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|2019 year-end results|
|100%||of refugees and asylum-seekers had access to free legal counselling and assistance services, including representation in court. UNHCR’s legal partners provided almost 500 legal counselling sessions or other legal services to asylum-seekers and refugees|
|4||female refugees and 1 male refugee received higher education through the DAFI programme|
|20||households received multi-purpose cash grants to meet their basic needs|
|2020 planning figures|
|30||households will receive cash grants for basic needs|
|25||advocacy interventions made for law to be consistent with internationally accepted norms on prevention of statelessness|
|10||events, workshops and seminars will be organized to conduct advocacy on potential integration|
People of Concern
Operational contextIn 2019, the Kyrgyz Republic became the first country in the world to have resolved all known cases of statelessness identified through a country-wide registration campaign, which was initiated in 2014. The Government demonstrated strong political will, engaging civil society and international organizations to find solutions for more than 13,700 stateless persons and people with undetermined nationality by regularizing their legal status and providing documentation.
In recognition of his contribution to this achievement, Mr Azizbek Ashurov, a Kyrgyz human rights lawyer and UNHCR partner, won the 2019 Nansen Refugee Award.
The Kyrgyz Republic further initiated significant reforms in the areas of civil registration, documentation and citizenship, including drafting a constitutional law on citizenship, a law on aliens, and a law on civil acts.
During 2019, UNHCR focused on supporting the Government to improve its national asylum system; tailoring solutions and identifying pathways to meet the individual circumstances of each person of concern; and enhancing the prevention of statelessness.
Population trendsThe Kyrgyz Republic hosted over 350 refugees and 160 asylum-seekers, the majority of Afghan nationality.
Two refugees voluntarily returned to their country of origin; two refugees acquired Kyrgyz citizenship; and 490 stateless persons and people with undetermined nationality acquired Kyrgyz nationality or had it confirmed.
- The Kyrgyz Republic became the first country in the world to end statelessness on its territory by granting or confirming citizenship to all known stateless persons. This included 490 persons in 2019 and more than 13,700 persons since 2014.
- UNHCR supported protection monitoring through legal partners, who also provided legal advice and representation.
- UNHCR and partners assessed the socio-economic vulnerability of mandate refugees and asylum-seekers and targeted multi-purpose cash grants to the most vulnerable.
- Advocacy interventions and activities built the capacity of national authorities responsible for policy development, reception of refugees, and refugee status determination.
- UNHCR, the State Border Service, and the State Migration Service established a working group to develop referral mechanisms for individual arrivals who apply for asylum at the border. In 2019, a draft of the instructions was pending approval by relevant government entities.
- UNHCR advocated with the Government to find alternative solutions for mandate refugees, including through access to legal representation for naturalization or long-term residency procedures and support to obtain civil documentation.
- UNHCR and UNICEF advocated for legislative amendments regarding prevention of statelessness, citizenship, local integration and birth registration.
- UNHCR collaborated with the Government, NGOs and United Nations agencies to enhance emergency preparedness and build national response capacities, including the donation of over 70 prefabricated housing units to the State emergency response authorities and 60 to the Red Crescent Society of the Kyrgyz Republic.
- The need for stronger engagement with the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, remained a significant gap.
Working environmentIn transition to the Parliamentary system and since the last presidential elections in 2017, the Kyrgyz Republic has been undergoing reforms of state services on security, reduction of poverty, infrastructure and economy. The process is accompanied by legislative amendments, including amendments on the citizenship and civil registry.
Change of ruling elites in Uzbekistan and subsequent improved cooperation in the fields of security, border-demarcation, trade, water and opening of the border-crossing points have reduced the risk of conflicts in the south of Kyrgyzstan. In parallel, harmonization of Kyrgyzstan’s regulations with the regional political, security and economic alliances - such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union is underway - which also contributes to further strengthening of relations with its allies.
Ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and the Middle East, concerns over the extremism and fear of abuse of the asylum system have resulted in the government tightening the controls and reconsidering its migration and asylum policies. Some legislative amendments (e.g. Citizenship Law, Law on Aliens, Civil Acts Documents) may directly or indirectly affect not only access to asylum, protection space and local integration, but also prevention of statelessness.
In 2019, UNHCR will reinforce its long-standing partnership with State authorities and enhance engagement with the Office of Ombudsman on Mandate Refugee issues. UNHCR will further build upon the Joint Strategy and reinforce its Coalition on Every Child's Right to a Nationality with UNICEF and work closer with the Parliament to improve the birth registration legislation.
UNHCR will engage in more awareness-raising campaigns, participate regularly in NGO forums and engage a wider spectrum of civil society in asylum and statelessness issues.
Key prioritiesIn line with the global and regional strategic priorities, in 2019 UNHCR will build its interventions around three overarching goals:
- support the Government to improve its national asylum system
- find solutions and pathways towards solutions tailored to meet the individual circumstances of people of concern
- enhance measures aiming at prevention of statelessness.