Operation: Opération: Kyrgyzstan



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
90% refugees with specific needs received multi-purpose cash grants
2,114 stateless persons assisted with acquisition and/or confirmation of nationality
490 refugees and asylum-seekers received legal advice and/or representation in state migration authorities and courts
314 government officials were trained through 14 trainings on nationality and civil registration issues
2019 planning figures
55% of people of concern who opted for local integration have locally integrated
35 households of concern will receive cash grants for basic 
30 advocacy interventions made for law to be consistent with international on prevention of statelessness

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2018 991
2017 1,302
2016 2,793


[["Refugees",333],["Asylum-seekers",109],["Stateless",548],["Others of concern",1]]
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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[6.2332598,4.26238403,2.87627194,1.038189,0.91389882,0.81383602],"expenditure":[3.51585467,3.14546242,1.69220608,0.8662693,0.87523792,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[2.78486726,1.82468099,1.85663841,0.68191035,0.55436622,0.53910139],"p2":[1.08157525,0.78015745,1.01963353,0.35627865,0.3595326,0.27473463],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[2.36681729,1.65754559,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[1.33577911,1.24001873,1.08522333,0.52052596,0.5212274,null],"p2":[0.81019074,0.64191183,0.60698275,0.34574334,0.35401052,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[1.36988482,1.26353186,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational environment

Following the peaceful transfer of power after the presidential elections in 2017, internal wrangling amongst political factions intensified in 2018, prompting frequent cabinet reshuffles, new appointments at various levels, as well as several criminal cases and the detention of former high-ranking politicians and officials.

No major changes with regard to the policies, legislation or practices related to asylum and refugee issues took place in 2018.

Population trends

By the end of the year, there were 333 refugees and 109 asylum-seekers in Kyrgyzstan. Five refugees voluntarily repatriated, and another five refugees acquired Kyrgyz citizenship. The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers in the country are from Afghanistan (257 people), with smaller numbers from the Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine and other countries.

There were 97 new arrivals in 2018, of which approximately 43% were from Afghanistan. The number of refugee status adjudications continued to decline from 213 in 2016, to 143 in 2017 and 89 in 2018. The recognition rate in 2018 was 32%.
The number of stateless persons decreased to 548 by the end of the year, due to state registration efforts, and a nation-wide registration and documentation campaign jointly undertaken by UNHCR, the government, and UNHCR’s non-governmental partners.

Key achievements

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic with the support of UNHCR revived discussions on exploring alternative solutions for mandate refugees residing in the country. The key state entities dealing with registration and documentation matters, as well as National Security, agreed to look into possibilities of alternative stay arrangements for 146 mandate refugees within the national legal framework.

The State Border Service, State Migration Service, UNHCR and its partner organizations agreed on joint visits to border entry points across the country to capacitate border officials at entry points on the identification and referral of refugees and asylum–seekers arriving at the borders of Kyrgyzstan, monitor reception facilities at entry points for asylum-seekers and exchange information on refugees and asylum-seekers arriving to entry points.

The Office continued to pursue the reduction of statelessness and prevention strategy in line with the UNHCR Global Action Plan to End Statelessness. Notable progress was achieved in resolving the status of identified cases since the implementation of the country-wide reduction campaign, which began in 2014. Out of an identified 13,707 stateless persons since 2014, only 548 persons remained in need of resolution of their statelessness as of December 2018.

In 2018, amendments to the Law on Civil Acts were initiated by the State Registration Service with the support of UNHCR and UNICEF to ensure the right of every child to state registration and a birth certificate regardless of the nationality and/or legal status of their parents.
The Kyrgyz government successfully completed two-year Chairmanship of the Almaty Process in 2018, handing it over to Tajikistan in 2019.

Unmet needs

In terms of statelessness-related activities, more timely and elaborate public information campaigns would have been beneficial for both the reduction and prevention of statelessness.

Working environment

Kyrgyzstan has a legal and administrative framework for asylum and protection in place: both the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol were ratified in 1996, the national Refugee Law was adopted in 2002. UNHCR is working with the Government on the accession to the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions. The State Migration Service is a government body responsible for refugee status determination and a set of rights provided for recognised refugees.
The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers in Kyrgyzstan are from Afghanistan, with smaller numbers from Syria, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and other countries. Most of asylum-seekers from Ukraine have family ties in Kyrgyzstan, and therefore choose Kyrgyzstan as a country of asylum. The Afghan population is most likely to remain the majority group of refugees and asylum-seekers in Kyrgyzstan in 2018 and 2019. The number of new arrivals is also expected to remain stable, at some 120 persons per year. The operation does not expect significant increase in the overall refugee caseload in 2018. The number of refugees is expected to stand at some 345 by the end of 2018, with no notable change in 2019. The government continues to take active steps to reduce and prevent statelessness in the country, which has some 2,700 stateless persons as of beginning 2017. A number of legal reforms, which may directly influence statelessness in the country from 2017 onwards, include the recent amendments to the Constitution, Law on External Migration and the development of the new Constitutional Law on Citizenship.
In line with the regional strategic priorities for Central Asia, the operation will pursue two overall goals: 1. support the Government to improve its national asylum system and to enhance measures aiming at prevention of statelessness; and 2. to seek pathways towards solutions tailored to meet the individual requirements of people of concern.
UNHCR will continue to work with the government to improve its registration and status determination procedures and to seek durable solutions for people of concern. UNHCR and partners will also support the government to improve the application of the law in the areas of asylum and statelessness.

Key priorities

In 2018, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Addressing the existing gaps to further strengthen the national asylum system through advocacy interventions, targeted capacity building for national authorities, partners and civil society;
  • Advocacy with the Government to find durable solutions for both refugees recognised through the government’s procedures and those considered refugees as a result of UNHCR’s own status determination;
  • Eradicating statelessness, through advocating for improvement of the national legal framework and protection system, as well as promote Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions.
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
  • 16-JUL-2019
  • 11-JUL-2019
  • 10-JUL-2019
  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
  • Kuwait
  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

  • European Union
  • Japan
  • 03-JUL-2019
  • 02-JUL-2019
  • 30-JUN-2019

    private donors

  • Argentina
  • Sweden

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  • Spain
  • Oman

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  • United Arab Emirates

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  • Kuwait

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  • Saudi Arabia

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