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Strengthening legal protection of migrants’ rights in Kazakhstan

Implementation period: 30\01\2019 – 30\01\2021 (24 months)

Donor: Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan in the framework of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)

 In January 2019, Legal Policy Research Center (LPRC) in partnership with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the International Commission of jurists – European institutions (ICJ-EI) has launched a project entitled “Strengthening legal protection of migrants’ rights in Kazakhstan”.

The project aims to improve migrants’ access to national and international human rights instruments in Kazakhstan, as well as to encourage professional training and cooperation between specialized lawyers from Kazakhstan and their European counterparts. The total project budget is 315,789 euros, with the EU contribution of 300,000 euros.

The project aims to create and support a pool of specialized defenders and NGO lawyers who can effectively represent the interests of migrants, the project will expand the opportunities of Kazakhstani defenders and NGO representatives to act as intermediaries for effective legal protection through legal mentoring and communication. The project also aims to strengthen links, mutual learning and cooperation between Kazakh lawyers and their European counterparts who use these human rights mechanisms.

As a result, defense lawyers and NGO representatives will gain knowledge and skills in the effective use of national and international law to protect the rights of migrants at the national level, as well as learn effective strategies for applying to international protection mechanisms.

Specific project activities include:

1. Development and publication of four training modules for Kazakhstan defense lawyers and defenders of the non-governmental sector in Kazakh and Russian;

2. Three training sessions in three cities for defense lawyers and NGO representatives;

3. Seminar for 40 lawyers on UN human rights mechanisms and subsequent legal mentoring;

4. Strategic seminar on litigation and human rights activities for the exchange of best practices and strategy development between Kazakh and European lawyers;

5. Final Workshop on presenting the project results to state bodies, members of Parliament, the expert community and the public. The purpose of this event is to develop a strategy on gaps in legislation and human rights protection needs, as well as further steps to ensure the protection of migrants’ rights.

Activities undertaken so far include:

1) Three two-day training sessions that took place from September 30 to October 5 in Nur-Sultan, Shymkent and Almaty. The program of the marathon of trainings “International and national law on the protection of migrants in legal practice” includes both theoretical and practical blocks to strengthen the knowledge gained and develop practical skills for the protection of migrants in the country. Training modules with an overview of international law, case studies, and national legislation were prepared for participants. During the training, 100 defense lawyers and defenders of the non-governmental sector from 10 regions of Kazakhstan were trained. The trainers were reputable national and international experts: Julia Zelvenska, Aina Shormanbayeva, Massimo Frigo, Alexandros Konstantinou and Sofia Bonatti. More information about the training marathon can be found at the link.

2) Also on August 28-September 12, 2020, a series of online seminars on international human rights mechanisms for the protection of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers was held for 44 Kazakhstan defense lawyers and NGO representatives. The event was particularly important due to the impact of COVID-19 on migration processes in Kazakhstan and Central Asia as a whole. Distinguished international migration experts from the International Commission of Jurists, representatives of the OHCHR Complaints Division, the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), and the Greek National Human Rights Commission served as lecturers. Participants discussed international principles and fundamental documents on expulsion, detention and protection, with a brief overview of the economic, social and cultural rights of migrants, as well as the hierarchy of legal acts in Kazakhstan, the relationship between international law and national legislation. The training program consisted of theoretical and practical blocks to strengthen the knowledge gained and develop practical skills for the protection of migrants at the international level. A training module was prepared for participants with an overview of access to international human rights mechanisms. For more information about the training set, please follow the link.

3) Workshop on Preparation of applications to the Human Rights Committee is planned on November 14.

4) Training modules in Russian can be found at the links:

MODULE 1. Non-refoulement, expulsion and international protection.

MODULE 2. Access to justice for migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in custody.

MODULE 3. Access to justice to protect the rights to health, education, family and work.

MODULE 4. Access to international human rights mechanisms.

If you want to know more about the project, follow project pages on Facebook and Instagram

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