UNICEF: Kazakhstan’s Repatriation Program Serves as Model for Other Countries

ASTANA – Kazakhstan set an example for other countries in the region facing similar challenges by being one of the first to repatriate its women and children from Syria and Iraq and effectively reintegrate them into society, said United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative Arthur van Diesen at a March 16 conference dedicated to the rehabilitation and reintegration of children, women, and families returning from conflict zones.

The humanitarian operations Zhusan and Rusafa allowed returning 725 people to Kazakhstan, including 188 women and 522 children. Photo credit: UNICEF, Galina Sorokina.

Representatives from the European Union, UN Women, UNICEF, the Foreign Ministry, and the Ministry of Education’s Committee for Children’s Rights Protection participated in the conference. 

The humanitarian operations, Jusan and Rusafa, allowed returning 725 people to Kazakhstan, including 188 women and 522 children, most of whom were under 12.

Kazakhstan established the national resource center to exchange skills in the training of professional psychologists with other regional universities in the country as part of the program for the repatriation and reintegration of families from conflict zones.

Over 250 Kazakh specialists and practitioners were trained in psychosocial care, legal issues, and work ethics, improving psychosocial and educational services for more than 200 children. 

The intergenerational storytelling approach reestablished previously broken familial and social links while fostering responsible citizenship and identity.

“Individual attention to each child and prioritizing children’s interests in the provision of public services has led to positive results. This experience, as well as the newly developed approaches and recommendations, will be helpful for specialists inside and outside the country,” said Ambassador-at-Large of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry Talgat Kaliyev. 

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