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Expert Council under the Ombudsman of Human Rights in Kazakhstan

On 20 February 2018, the expert meeting under the ombudsman of human rights in Kazakhstan was held in Astana. The meeting was attended by members of the Council (from the NGO "Sana Sezim" - Khadicha Abysheva), as well as representatives of UNHCR (Maria Voloshkevich), the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Committee of the Migration Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

During the meeting, Khadicha Abysheva and Maria Voloshkevich spoke about the problematic issues concerning the documentation of minor children, in particular the definition of citizenship, registration of births and documentation of children of stateless persons. The analysis of problems indicates the presence of a number of obstacles for undocumented persons in the exercise of their fundamental rights, including access to health care, social security, etc. A number of proposals were recommended to improve the mechanism for protecting the rights of undocumented individuals and reducing statelessness. The members of the council also voiced proposals on elimination of shortcomings and contradictions in the current legislation regulating the issues of acquisition and loss of citizenship and the right of stateless persons.It is in particular recommended to provide legislative norms ensuring the protection from statelessness of every child born in the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as the right to compulsory registration of birth and receipt of a birth certificate, regardless of the legal status of the parents.

Within the framework of the agenda, the draft law "On Religious Activities and Religious Associations" was also discussed, which was submitted to the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

At the end of the meeting, the members of the Expert Council developed practical recommendations that would be sent to the interested state bodies.