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U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 1998 - Kazakhstan

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 1 January 1998
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 1998 - Kazakhstan, 1 January 1998, available at: [accessed 21 October 2017]
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.

About 14,000 asylum seekers were in Kazakhstan at the end of 1997. These included 6,000 from the Russian Federation (Chechnya), 6,000 from Tajikistan, and 2,000 from Afghanistan. Only 2,700 of these were registered with UNHCR, however, including 1,650 from Afghanistan, 500 from Chechnya, and 450 from Tajikistan. UNHCR did not determine the refugee status of asylum seekers who approached the agency. Instead, it registered them and assisted about 1,000 of the most vulnerable in conjunction with the Kazakh Red Crescent and Red Cross Society.

In December 1997, Kazakhstan adopted the Law on Population Migration and established the Agency on Migration and Demography. These developments were expected to lead to a system for determining refugee status, either directly by the government or in cooperation with UNHCR.

Kazakh law provides for the unhindered return of‹and citizenship for‹ethnic Kazakhs who fled or were deported from Kazakhstan to other areas of the former Soviet Union. In the past ten years, ethnic Kazakhs in Kazakhstan have increased from 40 percent to 50 percent of the population due to such returns and to the emigration from Kazakhstan of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Russians and Germans.

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