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Debates on Migration

“Rabat” №50 (492) December 14, 2011

The regular meeting of the media network‘s participants on migration was conducted in Shymkent. Guests came from all of CIS.  Experts, journalists, representatives of the UN had something to talk about and fix on some plans for the future.

“Golden Pen of Russia”

Lydia Grafova has seen a lot in this life. As a popular correspondent in the Soviet Union “Komsomolskaya pravda” she has visited all corners of a big country. She went down to the bottom of Lake Baikal, Drove along the famous “ring of the Gulag” in her journalistic life she met with different things. One of her main professional victories according to Lidia is an abolition of recognition of anonymous letters by the government agencies of the USSR. This happened also due to her sharp publications. 

Then there were the “Literary Gazette” the work with local flooding of refugees from areas of conflict to Russia, travelling to the hot war of Chechnya, the title “Golden Pen of Russia” was conferment to her. Today the main theme of her is labor migration; she recognizes that she literally lives with it. Moreover, the master of Russian journalism is the organizer of the “Forum of immigrant”.

Lydia Grafova came to Shymkent with a purpose to conduct master class for journalists, not only for Kazakh, but also for journalists from Russia, Tajikistan and Kirgizstan. This meeting was organized in the framework of special program of the organization UN Women- “The integration of labor migrants in the hosting society”. Great assistance rendered also local organizations: Civil Alliance of SKO and NGO “Sana Sezim”.

 “I am very pleased that there are people who really want to make a change in the migration policy of our countries-turned to training participants Mrs. Grafova. It is good that journalists present many CIS countries-it seems that the Soviet Union gathered there.  The big country disintegrated, in a sense it somehow stitched, and the seams are still bleeding. Something must be done, and journalists can influence the situation. But now the Russian Federation lost the confidence in the mass media and it is quite logical, because current media is characterized by such symptoms as venality, lies and, slander. The issue of migrants is particularly acute.   In light which is unfavorable for them.  Labor guests appear like a sort of monsters before the readers and audience. Xenophobia is born like that. Lidia Ivanova thinks that Russia simply cannot survive without the Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Moldavians and other peoples.

By the way, she commented on the recent trial of the Russian pilots, which was held in Tajikistan. Let us remind that in response to the verdict the political leadership of Russia has decided to deport 100 labor-migrant from Tajikistan.

“If the federal migration office sets the goal to deport the Tajik labor migrants”- told Lidia Grafova – “thus many construction will stop and the trash will be everywhere in the street”.  There is not enough budget for the acquisition of air flights.

Certainly our named guest was acquainted with the situation in Kazakhstan. We are the hosting country like Russia and we have similar problems.  While, for example, environment in Kazakhstan is more favorable in terms of the same xenophobic.


Ruben Kazaryan-is the director. He shoots not the game movies but high quality documentaries. The theme is social issues. He presented his new movie “Labor guests” at the master class.  The plot is simple a life of labor migrants in Kazakhstan.  Shootings took place in Almaty. Ruben managed to show the problem in 15 minute film. His “trick” is that throughout whole movie the author did not say a single word. Only his heroes spoke in this movie - the brigadier of construction crew, a female Kyrgyz trading in the market, her illegal friend.

 “I talked to all these people” - said the director after the premiere,- and I know that it is very difficult for them here.  Citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan come here to search for a work not always as legal migrant.  They are ready to take on any job, as a result, they are often deceived by our citizens and representatives of some governmental agencies, which take from them bribes. This is one side of the shadow economy. Meanwhile, many of our entrepreneurs are ready to hire workers officially and pay taxes to the state. It shows a defect in our legislation.

Who wins in this situation? Definitely it is not the state budget. According to the regional department of employment, every year for our region stand 3000 quotes for highly skilled foreign workers.  Everything is all right and foreigners work at the place of destination. More fifteen hundred quotes intended to low-skilled workers. But the point is that these quotes apply only to agriculture. And today accounts for only 53 places.  And why not to extend the quotes for the constructions, trade, services?

 “The whole problem is that we do not have any coordinating authority which would regulate issues related to labor migration”-said the Chairman of the Council of Trade Unions Dosybay Sherimkulov.

Many times it became apparent that we need to learn a lot, learning from the experience of other countries, and developing a sense of respect for human personality.  

Rinat Khamidulin

Special Opinion

Nargis Azizova is the PROGRAM Specialist of Sub-regional Office UN Women for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

 “Now a very large number of migrants, especially women, are classified as “non-regulated”. Free Visa regime allows them to enter Russia and Kazakhstan unhindered. Andthen– therearetheshadoweconomy, informalemployment.

Russia takes the main flow of migrants from Central Asia, about 90 percent. Until recent time male migrants are characterized for Kazakhstan but now the trend is changing. To the women the attitude is not the same as to the men; women are taken to job easier. But there is another problem especially when women travel with their children…”.

Jamil Sadykhbekov is the Chairman of Commission on Media Relations Council of Nationalities of the Government of Moscow.

“Of course, our Federal Migration Service has some achievements, experience in this direction. Russia has achieved more in this issue than Kazakhstan. But your country is open for the cooperation and do everything so that we together move in this direction.  One of the biggest problems is the illumination of migration processes in the media. It is very difficult to work with journalists they sometimes escalate the situation, which lead to incitement of ethnic hatred. Shymkent is a platform for the exchange of experience. I think that it is good for everybody.”

Khadicha Abysheva – the President of Legal Center for Women's Initiatives "Sana Sezim", The women- labor migrants have more difficulties than men.  If she is in the reproductive age she should appeal to the Department of Health, there is a possibility of her pregnancy and childbirth. But, unfortunately they do not have official access to such services.  However, I know that our health care is within our capacity. One more problem is education. The Children of seasonal workers do not have access to it.   Now we begin to work actively in this direction.”