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UNHCR opened its representation in Kyrgyzstan in 1995 initially to assist the country in protecting over 20,000 refugees who fled from the civil war in Tajikistan. Over the years, the Kyrgyz Republic has locally integrated half of these refugees by granting them citizenship, while another half voluntarily repatriated to Tajikistan.

Kyrgyzstan has a legal and administrative framework for asylum and refugee protection in place.  It ratified both the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol in 1996, and established the national Refugee Law in 2002.

Operational goals

• Improve the quality and sustainability of asylum in accordance with international standards and national interests of the Kyrgyz Republic.
• Prevent refoulement. (Forcible return of refugees or asylum-seekers to a country where they are liable to be subjected to persecution). • Provide refugees with access to appropriate durable solutions.

• Reduce and prevent statelessness.
• Maintain contingency plans and emergency preparedness.


For refugees and asylum-seekers

• Legal counselling and representation: UNHCR and its NGO partners provide free-of-charge legal counselling to the asylum-seekers and refugees and represent them in the procedures and courts as necessary.

• Advocacy for durable solutions: UNHCR works with the Government to find lasting solutions for some 170 ‘Mandate Refugees’ who are unable to return to their countries of origin.

• Humanitarian Social Safety Net: UNHCR provides financial aid to very few families of ‘Mandate Refugees’ who have particular vulnerability and are in dire socio-economic conditions.

Advocacy and legislative amendments: UNHCR and its NGO partners provide technical support to the Government to improve legal framework and administrative mechanisms to ensure fair access to asylum and adequate protection of refugees.

• Capacity building: UNHCR and its NGO partners offer trainings to the government actors and legal practitioners on the asylum matters.

 For stateless persons:

Identification and documentation: Since 2014 together with the Government and NGO partner, UNHCR have identified and assisted over 13,000 people to have their stateless situations resolved.  . Documentation and resolution of the remaining 855 stateless people is ongoing, expected to be completed in 2018.

Advocacy and legislative amendments: UNHCR and its NGO partners provide technical advice to the Government to ensure adequate legal framework and sustainable executive mechanisms for the identification and prevention of the statelessness.

• Capacity building: UNHCR and its NGO partners organize trainings to the government actors on the citizenship issues, birth registration and prevention of statelessness.

For Internally Displaced Persons:

In response to the tragic events in the South of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2010, UNHCR delivered life-saving emergency relief and shelter to over 13,400 internally displaced people who were affected by the conflict. In the following years UNHCR continued supporting the peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts, including protection and assistance activities that strengthened equal access to rights and services. UNHCR successfully accomplished its programs for internally displaced people in 2015.

Key partners:

UNHCR works for the asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless persons. It partners with the Government, civil society organizations, UN agencies, international organizations and donors.

Project Partnerships:

Government: State Service for Migration, State Registration Services, Compulsory Health Insurance Fund

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): Legal Clinic "Adilet", Centre for Support to International Protection (CSIP), Ferghana Valley Lawyers without Borders (FVLWB).

Other Partnerships and cooperation:

Government: Parliament (Committee of Constitutional, Governance and Legal Affairs), Citizenship Commission under the President, Directorate of Border Guards Services, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ombudsman, Ministry of Interior, Prosecutor General, Courts. Etc.

UN agencies: UNHCR is part of the UNDAF (Outcome 2), UNICEF (UNICEF-UNHCR Coalition on the Birth Registration and Prevention of Statelessness), IOM, OHCHR, UNODC, UNDP.

Others: European Commission, ICRC, IOM, OSCE

Donors: United States of America, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Private donors Spain, Denmark, Australia, Switzerland, Private donors Republic of Korea, Italy.