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UNHCR Says Tajiks To Lose Refugee Status

(RFE/RL) ALMATY, June 20, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says it will soon withdraw refugee status to Tajik nationals as a group.

Cesar Dubon, the acting chief of the UNHCR mission in Kazakhstan, made the announcement at a press conference in Almaty today.

He said the UNHCR would issue a cessation clause for Tajik nationals that will become effective on December 31, 2006.

Dubon said the decision to apply the cessation clause for Tajik nationals does not mean individual applications for refugee status will no longer be considered.

"The UNHCR will always be considering any individual claims and if a Tajik national has any difficulties in returning home, [his or her] case will be reviewed on an individual basis, not on a general basis," Dubon told RFE/RL's Tajik Service.

Dubon said the cessation clause applies when it is recognized that the situation in the home country of refugees "has improved in a sustainable and durable" way.

An estimated 1 million Tajik nationals live abroad, including a large number of migrant workers who are not considered refugees.

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Central Asia In Focus

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