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2013 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - Kazakhstan

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 6 June 2013
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2013 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - Kazakhstan, 6 June 2013, available at: [accessed 28 May 2023]
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.

Interference by employers: In January 2013, the Trade Union of Mining & Metallurgy Workers of Republic of Kazakhstan (TUMMWRK) reported that Kazakhmys, a copper mining company in Kazakhstan, is forcing TUMMWRK members to quit their union and to join the company-controlled one.

The company has also forbidden the sending of union dues directly from workers' salaries to TUMMWRK's account, completely paralysing the Kazakhmys branch of the union.

Lack of due process rights: On December 6 2012, Asel Nurghazieva was detained in the western city of Aqtau when she filed lawsuits on behalf of the citizens claiming police abuse during last year's unrest in the western town of Zhanaozen.

Denial of fundamental civil rights: Ever since the killings in Zhanaozen in December 2011 where the police shot 12 workers, public authorities have targeted leading oil workers and opposition activists who supported the strikers. 13 people who had assumed active roles in the strike, including the most outspoken oil workers received prison sentences from 3 to 7 years in June 2012. During the trial both the defendants and witnesses testified to being tortured.

Introduction of restrictive legislation: In March 2013, the government announced that a new labour law will be introduced in 2013. The draft reveals that the law will restrict the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. According to the bill, unions can only negotiate on behalf of their members if they have affiliated organisations in more than half of the country's 14 regions as well as in the capital Astana and financial centre Almaty. This would be difficult for unions in the oil and mining industries, which are concentrated in the west and north-central parts of the country, respectively.

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