State of the World's Minorities 2007 - Kazakhstan
|Publisher||Minority Rights Group International|
|Publication Date||4 March 2007|
|Cite as||Minority Rights Group International, State of the World's Minorities 2007 - Kazakhstan, 4 March 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48a9712f4.html [accessed 21 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Although religious minorities have been generally free to operate in Kazakhstan, in July 2005 President Nazarbaev signed 'amendments to laws relating to national security' making it compulsory to register all religious communities and banning the activities of all religious organizations that have not been registered. Attempts in 2006 to confiscate Hare Krishna devotees' property near Almaty could be justified under the new amendment.
On the positive side, Kazakhstan ratified two major human rights conventions in January 2006, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. If implemented in domestic law, these could offer greater human rights protection for minority groups.
By 2006, the number of ethnic Germans in Kazakhstan appears to have fallen to about 200,000. While traditionally concentrated in the Akmola, Kostanai and North Kazakhstan areas, their remaining numbers now predominantly live in central Karaganda, and in the north and the east of Kazakhstan. The villages where Germans were mainly concentrated and the German language was used most frequently have been taken over by ethnic Kazakhs as their former inhabitants have mostly migrated en masse.