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Kyrgyz Protesters Seek Protection For Migrants In Kazakhstan

BISHKEK -- About 100 protesters in downtown Bishkek today demanded that the government do more to protect Kyrgyz migrant workers' rights in neighboring Kazakhstan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The protesters, who gathered in the Kyrgyz capital's Ala-Too Square, said that Kazakh city officials, migration officers, and police in the main Kazakh cities treat Kyrgyz labor migrants poorly and that they often work in "slave-like" conditions.

Protesters told RFE/RL that Kyrgyz labor migrants are under constant pressure in Kazakhstan.

The Kazakh and Kyrgyz governments have signed several agreements in the past to regulate labor migration.

According to Kyrgyz human rights organizations there are about 100,000 Kyrgyz labor migrants working in Kazakhstan, where wages are much higher and there are more jobs available.