Tajik immigrants in Russia are an important pillar of household economy in the country and at the same time the most vulnerable segment. In the 30 years of independence, Tajikistan has not been able to increase the number of host countries for Tajik immigrants and find a suitable solution to protect its labor resources abroad.
Anis (name changed), a 37-year-old citizen of Tajikistan, spent 17 years of his life as a plumber in exile. At the beginning of 2023, following a police raid in Moscow, he was arrested and deported to the country by court order.
“I have three children, parents, brother and sister, whose financial support is on my shoulders. For this reason, I could not get a Russian passport for many years. After my deportation, the family was deprived of the main financial source,” says Anis.
In recent years, Tajik immigrants in Russia have experienced unprecedented pressure. Attacks on places of stay of immigrants, group arrests and deportations, pro-immigration conversations of Russian politicians, officials and media have become a part of the life of the society of this country. According to Tajik immigrants, in such a situation they cannot hope for their country.
Economists say that immigrants’ money provides the financial strength of Tajik households, promotes the development of business and the banking system, and saves people from extreme poverty. Currently, the money of immigrants has reached more than 40 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of Tajikistan in different years.
Behind the scenes negotiations?
However, critics of the government say that, despite all the benefits, the government, parliament and other state institutions of Tajikistan cannot adequately protect their immigrants.
“The work of the state, especially the Tajik embassy in Russia, is not effective. All immigrants in Russia are very vulnerable, but Tajik immigrants are twice as affected. When the embassy cannot protect its immigrants in small problems, then in the course of major operations against immigrants he can’t do anything,” says political activist Farhod Odinaev, who has lived in Russia for many years.
According to him, “if the representatives of the embassy were more active like their Uzbek and Kyrgyz counterparts, perhaps the rights of Tajik immigrants would be violated less”.
Saidjaafar Usmonzoda, the leader of the Democratic Party and a member of the Tajik Parliament, does not agree with this view. According to him, in such cases, talks are held between the governments, but there is not much media coverage.
“We cooperate at the level of the parliaments of Tajikistan and Russia. The issue is discussed and the recommendations of the representatives are heard… We are also citizens of this country. How can we ignore this problem?” — says Usmonzoda.
This representative of Majlis believes that the increase in the control of the Russian authorities is understandable “because this country is in a state of war and is trying to reduce the threat of terrorism and extremism.”
Efforts of the authorities
The authorities of Tajikistan also say that this year they have expressed their concern at the widespread detention of their citizens several times at the official level.
Ramazan Rahimzoda, the Minister of Internal Affairs, asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Kolokolsev in May of this year to take control of the case of harassment and suffering of Tajik students by law enforcement agencies. Later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan warned Semen Grigorev, the Russian ambassador to Tajikistan, and expressed his concern about the widespread detention of Tajik citizens.
Emomali Rahmon constantly asks for amnesty and simplification of legal procedures for citizens of Tajikistan during meetings with official representatives of Russia.
However, the pressure on migrants and the tightening of control over their stay on the territory of Russia is increasing. Especially after in October 2022, the Security Council of Russia announced the reform of the migration policy and the need to tighten control over migrants.
What is the way out?
Karim Aliyev, an expert on migration issues, says that the tightening of control over immigrants in Russia and the competition for jobs in this country are likely to increase due to increased isolation. Therefore, countries such as Tajikistan that export labor must find other ways of migration.
“In order not to face dependence, the Tajik authorities should find other ways of emigration. In order to implement this order, they should create a legal basis. Most importantly, they prepared skilled and professional immigrants with demanding jobs. Welders, fence workers, crane workers and professional plumbers. “Such specialists have buyers not only in Russia, but everywhere. The more migration routes there are, the better the state can protect its independence and defend its citizens,” Aliyev believes.
The main route of migration of citizens of Tajikistan is Russia. Then Kazakhstan, Turkey, Persian Gulf countries, South Korea and others.
In recent years, seasonal migrants have been going to Britain, whose immigration system is considered good. Besides this, a significant number of citizens of Tajikistan go to America.
Source : Радио Озоди