The government continued to discriminate in favor of ethnic Kazakhs in senior government employment. Minorities experienced ethnic prejudice and hostility; encountered incidents of insult, humiliation, or other offenses; and were discriminated against in employment or job retention.
Ethnic Kazakh migrants (oralmans) who returned to the country from abroad experienced domestic discrimination including problems with housing, employment, and access to social services.
Kazakh is the official state language, although organizations and bodies of local self-administration officially may use Russian on an equal basis with Kazakh. The language law was intended to strengthen the use of Kazakh without infringing on the rights of citizens to use other languages. By law the ability to speak Kazakh is not required for entry into the civil service, but most government agencies officially have switched to conducting business in Kazakh. Non-Kazakh speakers have protested that this is language discrimination. The Election Law requires presidential candidates to be fluent in Kazakh.
Among other forms of discrimination, critics have noted a scarcity of representatives of non-Kazakh ethnicities in the government and a reduction in the number of Russian-language schools.
Race, Racism and the Law
Vernellia R. Randall
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