ADB report provides recommendation for Tajik labor migrants

6 months ago Web Desk 0

Migration for work is an important livelihood option for many households in Tajikistan due to limited job opportunities. Labor migrants are a critical component in the economy of Tajikistan and remittances from migrant workers keep many struggling families at home above the poverty line and significantly supplement the country’s foreign currency reserves.

 

A report released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on December 9 notes that the economic crisis and worldwide shutdown induced by COVID-19 have caused international migration flows to fall and remittances are projected to decline significantly.

 

Strengthening Support for Labor Migration in Tajikistan: Assessment and Recommendations also reviews international best practices and discusses ways to address migrant workers’ issues related to the pandemic. It reviews the state of international migration out of Tajikistan and proposes programs and services to further strengthen support for migrant workers, including those affected by the impact of COVID-19.

 

The report presents an analysis of the major socioeconomic impacts of labor migration in Tajikistan, along with recommendations for policy planners and administrators.

 

The report reveals major problems during the premigration state including lack of access to information and skills training opportunities.

 

Challenges faced by Tajik migrants in Russia include unemployment for a month or more, difficulty in obtaining work permit and work patent from various government agencies in Russia; shortage of the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Employment (MoLME) representatives to aid migrants; and limited access to legal remedies in the Russian Federation. Stakeholders (including migrants) identified a lack of an adequate number of representatives in the destination countries as an obstacle in providing support to the migrant workers.

 

The main objective of this report is to identify (i) appropriate predeparture programs for Tajik migrants, including counseling on labor laws and regulations in destination countries; departure and arrival procedures; insurance and other protection services for Tajik migrants; financial literacy programs including safe banking and remittance services; and others and (ii) appropriate post-return services.

 

The report provides short-term recommendations for deported migrants and migrants in the reentry ban list of the Russian Federation in terms of immediate assistance. For all categories of returning migrants deported or voluntary, the report recommends medium- and long-term recommendations. Some of these recommendations include developing a return policy, early-warning mechanisms for Tajik migrant workers with reentry bans, legal aid services, and other concerns.

 

The report, in particular, notes that the main objective of the awareness-raising campaign should be to provide information on the costs and benefits of migration, available options for developing one’s skills and realities of migration. It should also encourage migrants to register and participate in the predeparture orientation (PDO) and inform about digital apps, advantages of skills training, and options in job markets.

 

Jobs in demand in the destination countries should be identified and training should be upgraded and/or developed accordingly. It is also important to improve the quality and relevance of training and to develop training that meets the needs of employers in the countries of destination and/or international standard, according to report.

 

Collaboration of training providers and recruiting agencies and employers abroad will ensure that graduates meet the requirements for employment.

 

Destination-country-specific general language training should be combined with skill-specific language training. It is proposed that a migrant-specific language program be developed to assist them in dealing with day-to-day life in the destination country.

 

The report recommends some services to be developed as post-return services for migrants in the Russian Federation’s reentry ban list and for return migrants who are planning to settle down or re-migrate.

 

The recommendations are divided into two parts: first, short-term recommendations specific to deported migrants and migrants in the reentry ban list of the Russian Federation and second, medium- and long-term recommendations for all return migrants.

 

Given that Tajikistan is a mountainous country with majority of the migrants originating from rural areas, the report says developing mobile apps for and providing the same information through the Migration Service website would prove cost-effective for migrants. Online programs and networks will also bring important data in the district and jamoat levels to the fingertips of policy-makers.

 

Establishing district- or jamoat-level centers in remote areas will not be possible right away and may not be cost-effective. Therefore, digital apps should be developed to assist migrant workers in registering with the government, search for jobs, and acquire information to assist them in making informed decisions about migration, predeparture information and formalities, support services at the destination countries, and post-return services, the report says. Because of difficulties in reaching seasonal migrants, they should be targeted through digital technology as well as through mass media awareness raising. However, digital information cannot replace face-to-face training and should be complementary to the government’s regular program.

 

The Government of Tajikistan can devise short-, medium- and long-term strategies to reduce the unforeseen effects of the pandemic. For all strategies and consequent programs, the government must consider migrants, their families, and the vulnerable population within migration, such as unaccompanied or separated children, women and girls, elderly, persons with disabilities or other medical vulnerabilities, survivors of gender-based violence, and other vulnerable groups in need of protection

 

Source: Asia Plus