Tajikistan: Exporting The Workforce – At what price?

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Tajikistan is recognized to be the most unfavorable states in the CIS. Social and economic situation in Tajikistan is extremely difficult. Corruption is a crucial issue; workers’ minimum wage is not enough to provide an adequate standard of living. Exports report not only about low wages but also about the unprecedented unemployment reaching almost 50- 80% of the active proportion of the population; therefore Tajiks prefer going to Russia in order to survive and maintain their families.
It is well known that Russia is a powerful country with a great economic potential that has huge reserve of natural resources. Therefore it needs immense and cheap manpower, and the work is done by citizens of the CIS countries especially by Tajiks. Tajiks migrant workers are unaware of the place where they go to, they don’t have any idea of which documents they will need and what type of job they will do, they simply go to look for a better job. All migrant workers who come to Russia, must get a migration card, those who violate the law for the first time get fined, for the second time get deported. Majority of the Tajik people mainly work as loaders, cart pullers, building sites, fruit sellers and so on. They face police raids at the workplace; the police detains, takes money and if unpaid they can easily shut their businesses. They face problems with deception, injustice and vulnerability. Furthermore, Tajiks often get exploited by the Russian employers, where companies turning to the service of intermediary firms. Those firms are based on the “brigade arrangement” between employer and employee and the payment is divided among all workers, but in this type arrangement, rights of migrant workers often get violated. For instance employers refuse to pay, confiscate passports and detain migrants at the workplace. Thus, majority of Tajik workers are deprived from their salaries and forced to work without any pay. Similarly, access to housing is limited; they may live on construction sites or in single rooms with no gas, water or glass in the windows and crumbling walls. Tajiks are definitely losers; they leave their country to find better jobs, but do the dirtiest and low paid work and treated like slaves.

http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/taj_report-2.pdf

Madina Orazakynova (Dubai Campus)

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