Cooperation on Migration issues in Central Asia
Davron Abdigapparov (Europa-Institut, Saarland University, Germany) [BIO]
Migration is currently a central issue of our times for Central Asian region. Each year men and women leave their homes and cross national borders in search of greater human security for themselves and their families. The main motive is the desire for higher wages and better opportunities, but some are forced to leave their homes on account of poverty, natural disasters and environmental degradation, etc. As Central Asian countries are neighboring countries, it means that availability of global information and cheaper transport makes distance almost a trifling barrier to movement. Besides, the rising economic and demographic differences between nation States make the transfer of people over borders a “natural response” in a globalizing world.
Russian Federation and Kazakhstan are two major receiving countries of the labor migrants from Central Asia States. Considering the demographic growth of Russian Federation one can see that there is a real possibility that the country’s population may think approximately to 104 million from today’s 141.3 mln.(1) This is one of the reasons why the Government of Russian Federation in it’s Decree Nr 682 from 15 November 2006 has raised the quotas for the work permits for the nationals of the countries that do not require visa to enter Russian Federation to 6 million.(2)
While international migration can be an enriching experience for most people, reportedly many migrant workers suffer poor working and living conditions. Their terms of employment may be better than in their home countries, but they often face conditions far inferior to those available to nationals in host countries. Despite international standards to protect them, their rights as workers are too often undermined, especially if they are unauthorized.
The Central Asian region as a part of the global community should aim to address the existing difficulties and direct the labor migration for the regional development. Thus, the mutual cooperation of the Central Asian States amongst themselves as well as with the international organizations can serve as an instrument for the protection of already established institutions as well as protecting the labor migrants.
The EU, which has made considerable input on the development of the issues related to migration in the region, has further expressed its readiness on working on the issue further. The confirmation to this can be found in the text of “The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a new Partnership.(3) In this document the migration and border management is repeatedly brought to attention and in particular, on the chapter “Combating common threat and challenges” it states:
“Migration is one of the major global challenges of the 21st century. The impact of migration, both positive and negative, can be felt in all countries, including in Central Asia. The EU seeks to enhance dialogue and cooperation on migration with regions of transit, origin and destination through the EU’s Global Approach to Migration. As part of the Global Approach the EU proposes to launch a close dialogue on migration with the eastern and south eastern neighboring regions.”(4)
This issue of migration has always existed and will exist in the future too. Thus, the main aim is to address the problems realistically and to exchange the good practice and continue the working on the issue, as at stake, it is always a human being who has to be protected wherever s/he is.
- The Decree of the Government of Russian Federation dated from 15.11.2006 Nr 682 “On Confirming the quotas for the year 2007 for issuing work permits to the foreign citizens, who arrive to the Russian Federation in order that does not require obtaining the visa.”
- The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a new Partnership, Brussels, 31 May 2007 10113/07 LIMITE PESC 655 COEST 179
- Трудовая миграция в странах Центральной Азии, Российской Федерации, Афганистане и Пакистане Аналитический обзор Алматы 2005
- CIS Migration Report 1996. Technical Co-operation Centre for Europe and Central Asia. International Organization for Migration. Geneva, 1997.
- http://www.nationmaster.com/country/rs-russia date accessed 22 July 2007
1 According to http://www.nationmaster.com/country/rs-russia date accessed 22 July 2007
2 The Decree of the Government of Russian Federation dated from 15.11.2006 Nr 682 “On Confirming the quotas for the year 2007 for issuing work permits to the foreign citizens, who arrive to the Russian Federation in order that does not require obtaining the visa.”
3 The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a new Partnership, Brussels, 31 May 2007 10113/07 LIMITE PESC 655 COEST 179
4 ibid page 16