Eight years after the infamous massacre of striking oil workers and their supporters at Zhanaozen in western Kazakhstan, human rights defenders in the oil-rich republic are still seeking answers. How many victims were there, on top of the 16 dead and nearly 100 wounded acknowledged by the authorities? Who gave the order to open fire? What was the role of agents provocateurs? And Kazakhstan’s beleaguered trade union movement continues to count the cost of the killings – which brought to an end an eight-month strike, the longest and largest in the country’s history, and heralded a crackdown on all forms of opposition.
In anticipation of International Migrants Day on December 18, ADC Memorial, Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan, and the International Legal Initiative welcome recommendations to improve implementation of international treaties and realize fundamental human rights that Kazakhstan received as part of the Universal Periodic Review. Members of international delegations devoted special attention to the spheres of employment and migration, which are both important for the country since, as a receiving country, Kazakhstan has almost one million migrants (approximately seven percent of the population) who regularly face violation of their rights in various areas of life and have fallen victim to various forms of exploitation and human trafficking.
The ITUC is calling for the release of Erlan Baltabay, a leader of the Independent Oil and Energy Workers’ Union in Kazakhstan, who has been returned to prison to serve a new 5-month term. Baltabay was released from prison in August, following a special decree by Kazakhstan’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, that he be released on humanitarian grounds.
Following a wave of antigovernment protests across Kazakhstan earlier this month, activists from the volatile city of Zhanaozen say authorities are taking extraordinary measures to prevent them from attending another rally.
The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym Tokayev issued a decree on the evening of August 9th pardoning trade union leader Erlan Baltabay, leader of the Fuel and Energy Workers' Union and vice-president of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (KNPRK), from custody. Baltabay was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment on July 17, 2019, on embezzlement charges that the international labor movement condemned as being politically motivated. His sentence also included a prohibition on trade union activities for an additional seven years after his jail term
IndustriALL Global Union is calling for the immediate release of Kazakh trade union leader, Erlan Baltabay, after he was sentenced to seven years in prison by a Kazakh court on 17 July.
The ITUC has harshly condemned the sentencing of Kazakhstan trade union leader Erlan Baltabay. Efforts to improve freedom of association for working people are once again jeopardised; but the country’s new leadership could still intervene.
As pressure built against Kazakhstan at the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) conference in Geneva this month to address the country’s poor record on trade union rights, authorities back home are seeking to jail an independent trade union leader.
Here you can find a letter sent by ITUC to the President of Kazakhstan regarding violations of ILO Convention 87.
As the International Labour Organisation (ILO) celebrates its Centenary this week, one of its key committees decided today to examine once again the grim situation for labor rights in Kazakhstan.
The move is not a surprise. In the two years since the ILO’s Committee on the Application of Standards, which examines how states comply with ILO treaties, last reviewed Kazakhstan, its government has dragged its feet on much-needed legal reforms and continued to try to silence critical voices in the workplace.