Last Updated: Wednesday, 02 December 2015, 05:56 GMT

Kyrgyzstan: Whether self-employment is noted in labour books

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 11 December 2003
Citation / Document Symbol KGT42076.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Kyrgyzstan: Whether self-employment is noted in labour books, 11 December 2003, KGT42076.E, available at: [accessed 2 December 2015]
DisclaimerThis 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.

During the Soviet era, the state provided all employees with a labour book (trudovaya knizhka [Novostnaya Lenta 8 Aug. 2003; United States Consulate General n.d.]), which they registered with their employer for the duration of their employment (CDPR 1999, 9). In this system, an individual would only have possession of his or her labour book if there was an interruption in their employment (ibid.).

Several sources refer to the maintenance of the labour book system in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan (Novostnaya Lenta 8 Aug. 2003; Slovo Kyrgyzstana 13 Feb. 2003; KCHR 4 June 2001). The Labor Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, which entered into force on 4 October 1997 (amended on 31 October 1998), regulates the use of employees' labour books (Kyrgyz Republic n.d.). Specifically, according to an undated draft version of the Code published by the German-based European Union economic consultants, European Institute GmbH, Article 67 reads as follows:

[The] [l]abor book ... is the main document on employee's labor activities. The government of the Kyrgyz Republic shall establish the form, ... maintenance and storage procedures and [the] procedures for providing labor books to employers.

[The e]mployer (unless the employer is a natural person) shall be obliged to maintain labor books for all employees that worked more than five days for the organization, except for part time employees.

The labor book shall contain information on admission to work, transfer to another permanent work and dismissal of an employee, as well as set the grounds for labor contract termination.

Grounds for termination of labor contract shall be made in strict compliance with the appropriate wording of this Code and other relevant legislation with reference to appropriate paragraph and Article.

When [the] labor contract is terminated, the labor book shall be handed to an employee on the dismissal date (last day of work). When [the] labor book was not given on the last workday, for reasons beyond control of an employer (absence of an employee, refusal to accept labor book), the employer shall send a notice to an employee to either come for the labor book or agree to receive it via mail. Once the notice is sent, the employer shall be released from the responsibility for delay in giving a labor book (ibid., 30-31).

As the second paragraph of Article 67 indicates, a natural person – which, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is a human being and different from a legal or artificial person (corporation) (Black's Law 1999, 1162) – is not obligated to obtain or maintain labour books (Kyrgyz Republic n.d., 30). Articles 7, 18 and 56 in the Labor Code refer to natural persons as possible employers (ibid., 15, 17, 27). The Labor Code does not make reference to self-employed individuals in any of its articles.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Black's Law Dictionary. 1999. 7th ed. Edited by Bryan A. Garner. St. Paul, MN: West Group.

Centre for Development Policy and Research (CDPR). 1999. Deniz Kandiyoti. "Poverty in Transition: An Ethnographic Critique of Household Surveys in Post-Soviet Central Asia." CDPR Discussion Paper No. 1299. [Accessed 4 Dec. 2003]

Kyrgyz Republic. n.d. Labor Code of the Kyrgyz Republic (Draft). (European Institute GmbH) [Accessed 4 Dec. 2003]

Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights (KCHR). 4 June 2001. R. Dyryldaev. "In Batken, A Scandal Was Blown Out, But Not by the Militants." (Kyrgyzstan Daily Digest/ [Accessed 3 Dec. 2003]

Novostnaya Lenta [Bishkek, in Russian]. 8 August 2003. AKN Press. "On 1 Jan. 2004 a New Work Book Model Will Be Introduced." [Accessed 4 Dec. 2003]

Slovo Kyrgyzstana [Bishkek, in Russian]. 13 February 2003. Vol. 16. Vyacheslav Breyvo. "Working Relations: The Work Book: It Was, Is and Will Be." [Accessed 4 Dec. 2003]

United States Consulate General, St. Petersburg, Russia. n.d. "Required Documents- H Visa Applicants." [Accessed 4 Dec. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including:

Cornell Law Library

Department of State, Visa Reciprocity and Country Documents Finder


Kyrgyzstan Development Agency "Overview of the Legal System of the Kyrgyz Republic and Web Resources"

Political Resources on the Net

UNHCR- Country of Origin and Legal Information Databases

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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