Should a great donor for labor migrants from Central

Should I Stay or Should I Go?


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University of Central Asia
















Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Federation has become a great donor for labor migrants from Central Asia. Low
salaries and unemployment in Central Asian countries make people to travel to
the capital of the former USSR –  in
which these nations were connected by the same language and history, shared one
land and had not frontiers between each other. Nowadays, these states have
become independent since the collapse of the USSR, that they belonged to, many
years ago. Currently, Russian Federation is facing a big demographical crisis,
especially the declining of the working-age people. Thus, there is a need to
involve a cheap working class from abroad. Due to having a visa-free regime
between those states, the Russian state is easily accessible for the citizens
of Central Asia. However, the immigrants should always extend and their staying
in order to obtain the right to work in Russia. Some experts on demographic and
migration trends of Russian Federation claim that there is a need for labor
migration, however, these views are not always supported by Russians. According
to Myhre (2012), the migration corridor that is formed between Russia and the
citizens of Central Asian countries is assumed one of the biggest in our world
and among them Tajikistan is the second from the point of the amount of
citizens residing in Russia (p.12). The Tajik labor migrants that strive to
migrate for Russia to find a new life, always have a bad economic situation in
their home country that causes for unemployment, salaries and poverty, which
makes them dissatisfied with a state and authority itself. Although economic
problems remain the main reason for migration, some migrate for political and
environmental reasons, too.  

The economic
situation that causes many issues in a country, such as lack of jobs, low wages
and poverty, remains the main reason for leaving Tajikistan. Therefore, if we
talk about the migrants that come for the economic reasons, we should use the
term – economic migration. In economic migration, the migrant is usually a
young man or a young female in search of a temporary job and intending to
return home once certain savings have been reached. (Myhre, 2012, p.16)
Furthermore, they are convinced that in their home country these conveniences
are seen less. The economic factors of Tajikistan have not been stable for more
than 20 years already. During these years it has not reached its zenith even in
decreasing of one of these problems. On the one hand, the government is not
able to contribute toward its unstable factors of economy that the population
could be engaged in making them better. On the other hand, Russia provides the
migrants with more opportunities and believes that they serve to make the
country more attractive. Therefore, the state’s contribution to the economy and
its issues might go in favor of reducing the unemployment and poverty.

In Tajikistan,
there are a lot of unemployment because the lacking of work sphere.
Unemployment is considered a major problem not only in Tajikistan, but the
countries of Central Asia. Many Tajik migrants complain of not having a good
environment to work in their job fields or having a little salary for doing so.
Tajik government does not create reliable work fields especially for the youth
in the country. Encouraging the Tajik government to create jobs for its youth
is highly unrealistic, because most men that migrate from the country are young
people with well reasoning skills. In 2016, Tajikistan had the highest
unemployment rate in the region at 12.6 % and the number of unemployed citizens
reached 243,000 in Tajikistan, however these numbers were increasing over time
(Ryazantsev, 2016, p.3). Russia as a developed country, for their part, has a
need in many economic and social sectors of its regions. Only by having different
sort of jobs with higher salaries and a better standard for living, Russia attracts
more young labor migrants of Tajikistan. That is why, many unemployed from
developing countries move to any developed countries in order to find a better
job and a potential for employment. Finding
a job in Russia will probably lead Tajik migrants to have a higher salary and a
modern working environment. 

Nevertheless, if a country might succeed
in dealing with a high rate of job
shortages and creates enough jobs, it does not imply that the citizens will get
high salaries. Low wages are another issue that worsens the economic situation
and causes many residents to migrate for Russia. In terms of numbers,
Tajikistan offers the lowest average monthly wage at just $85 and it reportedly
has the lowest average rate among the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent
States) nations (Ryazantsev,
2016, p.4). Not all professions in
the state have a regular salary, except those who work in the school or as
health workers. Most regular jobs in Tajikistan do not have high
salaries, but in comparison to other countries the cost of living in Tajikistan
is usually quite low. The average of peoples’ salary should be enough to cover
the costs of food and accommodation, but there will not be some money left over
for travel, leisure and running a new business. That is what keeps most elder
people to stay in their land, however the young generation seems not sharing
this notion and strives to make their lives better by making greater affluence.
Therefore, Tajikistan’s economic conditions are not able to overcome this
problem at the moment, because it takes more time. As a result, Tajik migrants
still will be more attracted in high salaries of Russian state.

remains one of the poorest and the most economically broken countries among the
other states of commonwealth. Poverty is the most considerable problem that
force Tajik people to move for another parts of the world to find more fitting
life conditions. Almost 45% of the citizens of Tajikistan live with $3 a day
(Ryazantsev, 2016, p.4). Poor infrastructure stagnates the state’s economy,
because Tajikistan is a mountainous country and it makes transportation a
challenge. The big amount of rural residents suffer from poverty, due to their
physical remoteness and the lack of transportation between their communities
and employment centers. Remote rural areas provide themselves even without
having regular jobs by living on the livestock, vegetables and fruits they
grow. However, these seasonal jobs do not satisfy all the residents of the
villages. The lack of jobs in a given area and a high rate of poverty prompts
many citizens to search for job in nearby country. Following the Civil War
period (1992-1997), Tajikistan is succeeded in decreasing the decent amount of
poverty in the country, though it is hard to call Tajikistan as an economically
viable nation-state, providing sustainable development for its citizens
(Ryazantsev, 2016, p.4). Consequently, the poverty in Tajikistan remains one of
the main reasons for the citizens to leave their land.

The environmental
reason that force Tajik population to leave their land seems rare nowadays,
however, the moment that any disaster and flooding occur, there will increase
more demand for leaving a country. Tajikistan is a mountainous country having
many lakes and rivers in it, which always goes in favor of making people’s
lives better, however, sometimes it makes hurt the citizen’s properties as well.
Myhre’s (2012) study found the following: Challenges that Tajikistan’s
environment brings up hamper its development and affect the health of the
population in a gruesome way (Myhre, 2012, p.20). Therefore, the agricultural
actor of the state will be unsuccessful on feeding the population, although the
agriculture is the main sector both for development and industrializing of the
country. Statistics by Ryzantsev (2016) support the issue, which determines
that the migrants that leave Tajikistan are always the population from rural
and mountainous areas, which believe the conditions that they have to live are
not satisfying them anymore. Therefore, the environmental issue which always
have seemed regular in Tajikistan compel its citizens to leave their land for
better opportunities of living.   

economic and environmental problems seemed obvious reasons for migration, some
migrate for political reasons, too. Tajikistan has been an independent state
for over 25 years and shared always its democratic ideologies in the world’s
view. However, according to Myhre, Tajikistan being a democratic country for
some years still lacks the views that every democratic country should have,
such as free press and speech, which create a stable democracy (Myhre, 2012,
p.20). That is being said, the conclusion can be analyzed that Tajikistan is
still supports the authoritarian views on developing the country, which makes
no sense in real conditions where Tajikistan is right now. The youth which
strive to change something in the country are always under the supervision of
governmental organization. Furthermore, stating Myhre’s observation, young men
often leave straight after finishing school to avoid conscription, fearing abuse
and the risk of being sent to conflicts like those in Khorog during the summer
of 2012 (Myhre, 2012, p.21). Nevertheless, Tajikistan’s central power seems
imitating some other countries, such as Russia, by not allowing its citizens to
be responsible for their actions and having free views in public. Does it not
seem that, Tajikistan is dependent on Russia, for such actions? Yes, there is
still the influence of Russia on Tajikistan, which are partly shared by Tajik
citizens. Those people, which support the views, “old views”, strive to migrate
to be closer to the donor country for its opportunities. However, most
youngsters have to travel to find the safe shelter to express their thoughts
and views, even though remotely. Therefore, the political situation which does
not seem an obvious reason for migration from the foreign point of views,
however, still remains a challenging barrier on developing the country and
indeed, it forces some people to leave home in order to find a better life with
greater opportunities.

            In conclusion, collecting everything
that has been already discussed, Tajikistan remains a huge country that fills
the unstable sectors of Russian Federation with its labor migrants. The reasons
that labor migrants leave their home for the coming new life, can be find
either in politics or a place that they live in. But the main reason that
causes to leave the land remains the economy that seems weak in Tajikistan.
Furthermore, creating new opportunities for the youth also can make a big
contribution toward altering the labor migration. The environment of Tajikistan
is being improper for running many businesses does not make it worse, but makes
a vision to develop a specific sector on those opportunities. Therefore, these
reasons and issues, hopefully, will be discussed in a bigger manner of speech
and will have their proper solutions on making a stable economy, a democratized
politics and a safe environmental conditions.     















FIDH – International Federation
for Human Rights, (2014). From Tajikistan
to Russia: Vulnerability and abuse of migrant workers and their families.
Paris, France: CBT

Marthe Handå Myhre, (2012). Labour Migration from Central Asia to Russia
– State Management of Migration. Oslo, Norway: Reprosentralen, University
of Oslo

Sergey Ryazantsev, (2016). Labour Migration from Central Asia to Russia
in the Context of the Economic Crisis. Retrieved from