Putting their Stamp on International Migrants Day

Left to right: Artur Lastayev, Human Rights Ombudsman, Daulet Bekmanov, Managing Director for Postal Service and Public Services at KazPost and Zeynal Hajiyev, IOM’s Sub-regional Coordinator for Central Asia solemnly present the postal stamp dedicated to the International Migrants Day, 7 December 2023, Astana.

IOM and the Kazakh Postal Service have teamed up to produce the first-ever national postage stamp in the Central Asian country, commemorating both International Migrants Day and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The official launch was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with the support of IOM, KazPost and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

At the signing ceremony, Human Rights Ombudsman  Artur Lastayev noted “Human rights are migrants’ rights. In particular, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families emphasizes the rights of migrants to freedom of movement, religion, expression, protection of private property and security, protection from forced labour, regardless of country of destination and origin.”

The first ever national postage stamp in Kazakhstan,put together by IOM and the Kahzakh postal services.
The first ever national postage stamp in Kazakhstan, put together by IOM and the Kahzakh postal services. 

Echoing these remarks, IOM’s Sub-regional Coordinator for Central Asia, Zeynal Hajiyev emphasized the lack of safe and regular migration pathways, which, he said leads millions of people to embark on dangerous journeys every year.

“Since 2014, more than 50,000 migrants have lost their lives on migration routes around the world. In the first three months of 2023, more than 441 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to seek asylum in Europe. Many migrant workers often work in temporary, informal or insecure jobs, putting them at greater risk of insecurity, layoffs and poor working conditions. Many become victims of human trafficking”, added Hajiyev.

Migrants are also facing the threat posed by climate change. The World Bank estimates that in 2050, climate change will force about 216 million people around the world to leave their place of residence. Pockets of internal climate migration could form as early as 2030, and this dynamic is expected to continue until 2050.

Migrants are agents of sustainable development and innovation. The World Bank forecasts that remittances to low- and middle-income countries will increase by 1.4 per cent to about $656 billion in 2023. Remittance inflows increased in Europe and Central Asia by 19 per cent (to $79 billion) this year.

The total volume of remittances sent from Kazakhstan decreased compared to the previous year, except for remittances sent to the Russian Federation (24.6 per cent growth) and Georgia (59.7 per cent growth). In the first case, the trend persists due to the Ukrainian crisis and intensification of social and trade relations between Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. The increase in remittances to Georgia is due to the overall increase in bilateral trade turnover for the first half of 2023 by 30 per cent.

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