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Tajikistan and Qatar Ratifies Draft Agreement on Migration

Saturday 28 April 2012

DUSHANBE (Avesta News Agency) – Draft Agreement for the organized recruitment and attraction of labour migrants was approved at a meeting of the working group of Tajikistan and Qatar in Dushanbe, reported the press service of Tajik Migration Service on Friday.

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Tajik Labor Migration to Russia: Is Tajikistan at a Crossroads? (PDF)
The number of labour migrants from Tajikistan in the Russian Federation has been steadily increasing in recent years. It is estimated that approximately 800,000 Tajiks were working in Russia in 2009.
They were primarily men working in the construction industry or other low-skilled jobs. While the large remittance flows have raised standards of living of households in Tajikistan, remittances have tended to support household consumption rather than increasing investment. Since this will not lead to economic growth in the long run, strategies to create jobs and leverage remittances for investment are needed.
This report discusses some of factors that have affected the size and nature of migration to Russia, how migration was changing by the summer of 2009 compared to previous years, particularly due to the financial crisis, and what the future outlook for migration and its role in Tajikistan’s development may be.

“The parties have considered and approved the draft agreement on the recruitment and attraction of migrant workers prepared by the Migration Service under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan,” noted the press service.

The project is designed to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the sphere of labour migration.

“Qatar needs the labour force and offers very favourable conditions. The demand for foreign labour in this country is explained by such factors as lack of qualified specialists, restrictions on women’s employment, which deprive the country of much of the labour potential,” added the press service.

Nearly half of Tajikistan’s GDP comes from the earnings of Tajik migrant workers, many of whom travel to take up employment in Kazakhstan and Russia and send money back home.

Experts estimate there are between 600,000 and over one million Tajik migrants in Russia, who sent more than $1.8 billion as remittances in 2007. This sum is substantial, especially compared with the $400 million in salaries earned by Tajik citizens at home. The Tajik government usually reports some 400,000-500,000 labour migrants residing abroad. But according to World Bank data, roughly 800,000 Tajik migrants – nearly 12% of the total population of Tajikistan – work in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan combined. IOM reports that up to 90% of Tajik migrants work in Russia.

There was a Government strategy to help Tajik citizens returning to the country with re-integration, legalities and finding jobs. Similarly, the families of Tajik citizens who had gone to work abroad were supported and assisted by the State. The Government cooperated with the International Labour Organization and the International Organization for Migration on several programmes to protect migrant workers’ rights. A Presidential Decree was recently adopted to stipulate a minimum wage and pension. Both regular and irregular migrants had equal rights to access social protection services, by Presidential Decree, while other protective laws had been passed on issues of migration such as immigration quotas, transfer of pensions, compensation for needy families and the families of migrant workers, and draft bilateral and multilateral agreements were currently being considered by Russia and Kazakhstan on ensuring social insurance for working migrants.

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