Labour migration in Tajikistan

For the fourth MIEUX+ Action in Tajikistan, experts and team members are collaborating with the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment (MoLMEP) and three NGOs (Gurdofarid, Surkhrob, TWNPlus Network) on a project on legal and labour migration. It aims at enhancing the capacity of the Tajik government to effectively regulate, monitor and coordinate with private employment agencies (PEAs) and NGO partners, and to raise awareness on ethical recruitment and migrants’ rights.

It is in this context that MIEUX+ conducted a mission in Dushanbe in March/April 2022 to assess the partners’ capacities and training needs as well as meet with relevant stakeholders. The mission served as the starting point for the development of guidelines for partners on good practices of coordinating, regulating and monitoring with private employment agencies.

Labour migration in Tajikistan

Since declaring independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Tajikistan has become one of the largest exporters of labour migrants in the world. It is estimated that the total number of labour migrants from the country represents 10 – 20% of the total population. Russia is by far the most important labour market for the country, where Tajik workers are mainly employed in the lower skilled and informal sector in agriculture, construction, trade and communal services.

Mission in Dushanbe to assess partners’ needs

During this first activity, the MIEUX+ team and experts met with relevant Ministries and NGOs to connect with the partners and gather the necessary information for the assessment. The mission was also an opportunity to strengthen synergies between MIEUX+ and other ICMPD projects and showcase how the ongoing Action will build on the work done by the ICMPD Migrant Resource Centre Team in Dushanbe.

During these meetings, partners discussed the specific roles of the various departments and ministries involved in coordinating support for labour migrants, including pre-departure training, the licensing process of PEAs and the need for strengthened standards. The partners are motivated to adapt policies and procedures in order to respond to current challenges affecting labour migration, including the impact of COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Next steps

Equipped with the information from these exchanges, the MIEUX+ experts that participated in this mission will draft an assessment report. This report will feed and help with the development of guidelines for the the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment on good practices of coordination with private employment agencies and information materials on the instruments and policies of fair recruitment.

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