Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan

Child-friendly premises opened in Nur-Sultan for migrant children

01/06/2021 - 14:03
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NUR-SULTAN, 1 June 2021 – Today, at the International Day for Protection of Children, the Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan and the UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan opened child-friendly premises for migrant children. The refurbished premises provide caring and supportive environment for children while they temporarily stay at the Center for the Support of Children in Nur-Sultan as well as encourage their contacts with the identified family members.

The child-friendly premises were established under a Programme funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The programme aims to enhance the system for the effective protection of children affected by migration through case management services - comprehensive social, psychological and legal assistance to children on the move. These services guarantee the best interests of children while their stay in Kazakhstan.

“Many children in migration processes face grave risks, particularly when they undertake their journeys alone. It is very important to create a friendly atmosphere for children and such child-friendly premises are designed to show them that they are protected, and it is a safe place for a temporary stay”, noted Sven-Olov Carlsson, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan.

The programme’s geographical scope in Kazakhstan covered Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Shymkent cities and the Turkestan region. Professional case-management services for children affected by migration were tested by civil society organizations, such as the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, NGO Rodnik, and the Legal Centre for Women’s Initiative Sana Sezim, working with  regional child support and adaptation centers. More than 250 children have already benefited from these services provided by the specialists trained under the programme.

The opening of child-friendly premises coincided with the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting organized jointly by UNICEF and the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The PAC meeting agenda included discussion of programme results and their sustainability, as well as a presentation of key findings and recommendations of the comparative review of Kazakhstan’s legislation against international standards on the protection of children affected by migration.

“Every child is born to live in a family. However, if child’s rights deprived in difficult circumstances, we are obliged to give hope and warmth”, said Elvira Azimova, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

“The country pays great attention to the situation and protection of the rights of migrant and refugee children, all measures ensure the safety of these children. Our common goal is to protect vulnerable children affected migration processes, provide them social,legal and psychological assistance, as well as create a comfortable and friendly environment at all stages of interaction with migrant children, said Bibigul Asylova, Vice Minister of Education and Science in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Representatives of the Parliament and Government of Kazakhstan, National Centre for Human Rights, the European Union, International Organization for Migration in Central Asia (IOM), the Regional Representation of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), embassies of Central Asian countries and the Russian Federation, centers for the support of children, academic organizations, civil society, and UNICEF met online to mark the achieved results and agree on further steps needed to eliminate still existing difficulties and to support children in migration processes.

“The rights of children affected by migration need protecting and promoting like all children’s rights. Children on the move are children first, no matter why they leave home, where they come from, where they are, or how they got there. Every child deserves to live in a safe environment, and it is our joint priority to ensure that. I’m really glad that we mark 1st June with the opening of child-friendly premises for migrant children and through this, reaffirm our commitment to protect the rights of the most vulnerable children,” said Arthur van Diesen, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan.

Background information:

The programme on the protection of children affected by migration is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNICEF in seven countries in partnership with the governments of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Thailand. The goal of the programme is to enhance the system for the effective protection of children affected by migration. Implementation period: 2017–2021.

Notes for the editors:

The European Union is made up of 27 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 60 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The EU is collectively the world's biggest donor of humanitarian aid. It helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. For more information about the EU activities in Kazakhstan, please visit the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan website and follow its social media pages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/kazakhstan/en. Follow UNICEF Kazakhstan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

For additional information, please contact Elvira Yausheva, UNICEF Communication Specialist, e-mail: eyausheva@unicef.org

Elnura Abakanova, Communications Officer, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan,

email: elnura.abakanova@eeas.europa.eu.