Should I Stay or Should I Go?MuizMamadsaidovAmericanUniversity of Central Asia Should I Stay or Should I Go?RussianFederation has become a great donor for labor migrants from Central Asia. Lowsalaries and unemployment in Central Asian countries make people to travel tothe capital of the former USSR – inwhich these nations were connected by the same language and history, shared oneland and had not frontiers between each other. Nowadays, these states havebecome independent since the collapse of the USSR, that they belonged to, manyyears ago. Currently, Russian Federation is facing a big demographical crisis,especially the declining of the working-age people. Thus, there is a need toinvolve a cheap working class from abroad. Due to having a visa-free regimebetween those states, the Russian state is easily accessible for the citizensof Central Asia.
However, the immigrants should always extend and their stayingin order to obtain the right to work in Russia. Some experts on demographic andmigration trends of Russian Federation claim that there is a need for labormigration, however, these views are not always supported by Russians. Accordingto Myhre (2012), the migration corridor that is formed between Russia and thecitizens of Central Asian countries is assumed one of the biggest in our worldand among them Tajikistan is the second from the point of the amount ofcitizens residing in Russia (p.12). The Tajik labor migrants that strive tomigrate for Russia to find a new life, always have a bad economic situation intheir home country that causes for unemployment, salaries and poverty, whichmakes them dissatisfied with a state and authority itself. Although economicproblems remain the main reason for migration, some migrate for political andenvironmental reasons, too. The economicsituation that causes many issues in a country, such as lack of jobs, low wagesand poverty, remains the main reason for leaving Tajikistan.
Therefore, if wetalk about the migrants that come for the economic reasons, we should use theterm – economic migration. In economic migration, the migrant is usually ayoung man or a young female in search of a temporary job and intending toreturn home once certain savings have been reached. (Myhre, 2012, p.16)Furthermore, they are convinced that in their home country these conveniencesare seen less. The economic factors of Tajikistan have not been stable for morethan 20 years already. During these years it has not reached its zenith even indecreasing of one of these problems.
On the one hand, the government is notable to contribute toward its unstable factors of economy that the populationcould be engaged in making them better. On the other hand, Russia provides themigrants with more opportunities and believes that they serve to make thecountry more attractive. Therefore, the state’s contribution to the economy andits 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 thecountries of Central Asia.
Many Tajik migrants complain of not having a goodenvironment 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 youthin the country. Encouraging the Tajik government to create jobs for its youthis highly unrealistic, because most men that migrate from the country are youngpeople with well reasoning skills. In 2016, Tajikistan had the highestunemployment rate in the region at 12.6 % and the number of unemployed citizensreached 243,000 in Tajikistan, however these numbers were increasing over time(Ryazantsev, 2016, p.3).
Russia as a developed country, for their part, has aneed in many economic and social sectors of its regions. Only by having differentsort of jobs with higher salaries and a better standard for living, Russia attractsmore young labor migrants of Tajikistan. That is why, many unemployed fromdeveloping countries move to any developed countries in order to find a betterjob and a potential for employment. Findinga job in Russia will probably lead Tajik migrants to have a higher salary and amodern working environment. Nevertheless, if a country might succeedin dealing with a high rate of jobshortages and creates enough jobs, it does not imply that the citizens will gethigh salaries. Low wages are another issue that worsens the economic situationand causes many residents to migrate for Russia.
In terms of numbers,Tajikistan offers the lowest average monthly wage at just $85 and it reportedlyhas the lowest average rate among the CIS (Commonwealth of IndependentStates) nations (Ryazantsev,2016, p.4). Not all professions inthe state have a regular salary, except those who work in the school or ashealth workers. Most regular jobs in Tajikistan do not have highsalaries, but in comparison to other countries the cost of living in Tajikistanis usually quite low. The average of peoples’ salary should be enough to coverthe costs of food and accommodation, but there will not be some money left overfor travel, leisure and running a new business.
That is what keeps most elderpeople to stay in their land, however the young generation seems not sharingthis notion and strives to make their lives better by making greater affluence.Therefore, Tajikistan’s economic conditions are not able to overcome thisproblem at the moment, because it takes more time. As a result, Tajik migrantsstill will be more attracted in high salaries of Russian state.Tajikistanremains one of the poorest and the most economically broken countries among theother states of commonwealth. Poverty is the most considerable problem thatforce Tajik people to move for another parts of the world to find more fittinglife 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 achallenge. The big amount of rural residents suffer from poverty, due to theirphysical remoteness and the lack of transportation between their communitiesand employment centers. Remote rural areas provide themselves even withouthaving regular jobs by living on the livestock, vegetables and fruits theygrow. However, these seasonal jobs do not satisfy all the residents of thevillages.
The lack of jobs in a given area and a high rate of poverty promptsmany citizens to search for job in nearby country. Following the Civil Warperiod (1992-1997), Tajikistan is succeeded in decreasing the decent amount ofpoverty in the country, though it is hard to call Tajikistan as an economicallyviable nation-state, providing sustainable development for its citizens(Ryazantsev, 2016, p.4). Consequently, the poverty in Tajikistan remains one ofthe main reasons for the citizens to leave their land.
The environmentalreason that force Tajik population to leave their land seems rare nowadays,however, the moment that any disaster and flooding occur, there will increasemore demand for leaving a country. Tajikistan is a mountainous country havingmany lakes and rivers in it, which always goes in favor of making people’slives better, however, sometimes it makes hurt the citizen’s properties as well.Myhre’s (2012) study found the following: Challenges that Tajikistan’senvironment brings up hamper its development and affect the health of thepopulation in a gruesome way (Myhre, 2012, p.20). Therefore, the agriculturalactor of the state will be unsuccessful on feeding the population, although theagriculture is the main sector both for development and industrializing of thecountry.
Statistics by Ryzantsev (2016) support the issue, which determinesthat the migrants that leave Tajikistan are always the population from ruraland mountainous areas, which believe the conditions that they have to live arenot satisfying them anymore. Therefore, the environmental issue which alwayshave seemed regular in Tajikistan compel its citizens to leave their land forbetter opportunities of living. Althougheconomic and environmental problems seemed obvious reasons for migration, somemigrate for political reasons, too. Tajikistan has been an independent statefor over 25 years and shared always its democratic ideologies in the world’sview. However, according to Myhre, Tajikistan being a democratic country forsome 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 isstill supports the authoritarian views on developing the country, which makesno sense in real conditions where Tajikistan is right now. The youth whichstrive to change something in the country are always under the supervision ofgovernmental organization. Furthermore, stating Myhre’s observation, young menoften leave straight after finishing school to avoid conscription, fearing abuseand the risk of being sent to conflicts like those in Khorog during the summerof 2012 (Myhre, 2012, p.
21). Nevertheless, Tajikistan’s central power seemsimitating some other countries, such as Russia, by not allowing its citizens tobe responsible for their actions and having free views in public. Does it notseem that, Tajikistan is dependent on Russia, for such actions? Yes, there isstill the influence of Russia on Tajikistan, which are partly shared by Tajikcitizens. Those people, which support the views, “old views”, strive to migrateto be closer to the donor country for its opportunities. However, mostyoungsters have to travel to find the safe shelter to express their thoughtsand views, even though remotely. Therefore, the political situation which doesnot seem an obvious reason for migration from the foreign point of views,however, still remains a challenging barrier on developing the country andindeed, it forces some people to leave home in order to find a better life withgreater opportunities. In conclusion, collecting everythingthat has been already discussed, Tajikistan remains a huge country that fillsthe unstable sectors of Russian Federation with its labor migrants. The reasonsthat labor migrants leave their home for the coming new life, can be findeither in politics or a place that they live in.
But the main reason thatcauses to leave the land remains the economy that seems weak in Tajikistan.Furthermore, creating new opportunities for the youth also can make a bigcontribution toward altering the labor migration. The environment of Tajikistanis being improper for running many businesses does not make it worse, but makesa vision to develop a specific sector on those opportunities. Therefore, thesereasons and issues, hopefully, will be discussed in a bigger manner of speechand will have their proper solutions on making a stable economy, a democratizedpolitics and a safe environmental conditions. ReferencesFIDH – International Federationfor Human Rights, (2014). From Tajikistanto Russia: Vulnerability and abuse of migrant workers and their families.
Paris, France: CBTMarthe Handå Myhre, (2012). Labour Migration from Central Asia to Russia- State Management of Migration. Oslo, Norway: Reprosentralen, Universityof Oslo Sergey Ryazantsev, (2016). Labour Migration from Central Asia to Russiain the Context of the Economic Crisis. Retrieved fromhttp://eng.globalaffairs.ru/valday/Labour-Migration-from-Central-Asia-to-Russia-in-the-Context-of-the-Economic-Crisis-18334