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“I won’t come to you anymore”

«Rabat» № 45, 10.11.2010

Rinat Khamidulin.

We can be proud! Kazakhstan is among ten countries that are attractive for labor migrants. At the same time a number of important international agreements related to labor migration have not been ratified in our country.

The typical story

Husan is lucky, he traveled to Kazakhstan. 23 years old citizen of Uzbekistan visited Shymkent, Atyrau, Kyzylorda, Saryagash and Lenger cities. He was travelling by train without a ticket in the corridor, and he moved by car with escort. So the trip did not bring him any pleasure. Quite contrary, in fact Husan is labor migrant.

Husan was recruited in Tashkent; there is one region which is called “Kulyuk”. The young man worked quite successfully in construction as a plasterers and he got salary 300-400 thousand som per month (about 30 thousand tenge). But he wanted to earn more money therefore he accepted his friends offer to go to work in Kazakhstan. He was promised that he would get for a “square” of plaster 500 tenge – It is big money for Uzbekistan.

It is not hard to imagine what happened to our hero then. In Kazakhstan future employer (his name is Husan, in any reason he doesn’t want to call his name, he is afraid of employer) selected the documents from three recruited plasterers. He said that it is for obtaining permits securities. And after three days being crossed the border Husan and eight of his countrymen went to Atyrau. As it is turned out, there was not any construction works.  Labor migrants poured concrete on the construction of hospital.  And then after two month Husan and his partner were sent to Shymkent. They were promised that there they would get salary and would be sent to their motherland. Again the train and corridor but they had to get off in Kyzylorda. The Conductor, who was acting the role of escort, handed over their documents to foreign driver of “Gazelle” who was driving to the South of Kazakhstan.  They were deceived again; they did not get their passports and money back.

Husan with colleagues visited several objects, they were engaged in the most dirty and difficult jobs. There was the impression that they were given to “lease”. Once, our hero was severely beaten. And soon he recognized from his first employer, that he paid money for Uzbek labor migrants and they must to work the money out.  

 “Travelling” around Kazakhstan ended in Lenger. Husan was lucky to meet a good man, the man allowed to use his mobile phone. Then Husan phoned home…

 We are in 9th place

"According to the World Bank, within record time - CIS countries formed one of the largest groups of migrants; representing one third of the migration in the developing world - said the national coordinator of UNIFEM Alia Ilyasova. Now Russia is the second after the United States by the number of migrants, and Kazakhstan is in the ninth place on the list”. According to the expert, the migrant workers from neighboring countries have found their niche in the Kazakhstan labor market. They are “out of competition”.The local residentsdo not want to workbecause oflow wages in a place where foreignersgo with pleasure.Besides labor force has a positive impact on the economy of the whole country! The vast majority of them work illegally. Employers prefer not to pay taxes and social security payments that is why the employment contracts are not concluded between employers and labor migrants. This implies the constant violation of human rights of non-regular labor migrants. Frequently they find themselves in difficult situations and find themselves without money or documents. Alia Ilyasova believes that it is necessary to change the attitude of our society to labor migrants...

Analyst and expert of UNIFEM Vadim Ni is well acquainted with the problems of labor migration in Kazakhstan.According to him, violation of rights of labor migrants should not be allowed. The reason is simple: in such circumstances, employers can run in situations which in further will be used against local personnel. This role should be played by the state, but so far no changes in legislation are observed.

"Kazakhstan has not ratified a number of international agreements on labor migrant - said the analyst - the basic principles of these agreements are: ensure them with basic human rights regardless of the legal status and availability of documents. These documents provide equal treatment for regular labor workers and citizens of wages, social benefits and many other things. "

It is high time for Kazakhstan to create the appropriate policy regarding labor migrants that meets international standards.


Khusan is lucky. His parents contacted the NGO that works with Kazakh NGO "Sana Sezim". Our human rights defenders immediately appealed to the Department for Combating with Organized Crime in South of Kazakhstan. Husan and his partner were released, now the issue on instituting the criminal case for the two employers is being decided. It is possible that it will qualify as a "Human Trafficking" and employers will try to resolve this case in the pretrial order: to  pay the due salary to Husan and come to an amicable agreement.

"This year, we have registered 35 cases related to the labor migrant who became the victims of human trafficking - said the Vice-President of NGO Shakhnoza KHasanova - we have helped to everyone to return the documents, some facts have been prosecuted. We provide accommodation to victims, support and we represent them in court ... "

Husan probably will never come to us. His words are full of pain and hurt, "You has never treated with me as a man ...".