© Helvetas

Improving the well-being of labour migrants and their families

© Helvetas

Tajikistan’s economy is heavily dependent on labour migration. With little prospect for income generation at home, Tajik men, and increasingly women, set their hopes on foreign employment resulting in greater risk of forced labour and exploitation as well as violations of their economic and social rights. That is why it is important to strengthen access to pre-departure information for prospective labour migrants and their families, and empowering them to take an informed decision.

  • Project Name
    Improving the well-being of labour migrants and their families in Tajikistan
  • Project Phase
    2019 to 2021
  • Funding
    Funded through the Silk Routes Facility, a component of the project “Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes Countries”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the ICMPD
  • Thematic focus
    Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion
    Education and Vocational Skills
    Gender & Social Equity

The lack of structured, reliable and easily accessible information on organized and regular labour migration puts Tajik migrants at multiple risks: this include extortion at the borders, difficult living conditions, lack of social and legal protection, lack of access to medical treatment, lack of contracts, delays in salary payments  as well as xenophobic and police violence. While a governance framework for labour migration from Tajikistan is in place, the relevant state bodies have limited capacities and constraints at reaching out to labour migrants and their families outside of regional offices.

Through the provision of paralegal services, easily accessible and practical information and awareness raising campaigns, Helvetas Germany aims to contribute to improved conditions for migration and mobility of Tajik migrants and their families in Kanibadam and Isfara districts (Sughd region) to maximise the benefits and minimize the risks of labour migration. A particular focus lies on the long-term improvement of well-being of young prospective and returning migrants and the families left behind in Tajikistan, since the challenges and risks of migration are exacerbated for these groups.

Helvetas Germany works directly at the grassroots level through, local public association of citizens, the Mahalla Committees. People are familiar with them, trust them and can easily reach out to them. Through capacity development and training, the Mahalla Committees will improve their knowledge of migration legislation to provide quality pre-departure advice and assistance for potential migrants.

Meeting with Lawyers and Paralegas in Konibodom | © Helvetas
Meeting with the Lawyers and Paralegals in Konibodom © Helvetas
Meeting with the Mahalla Committees Leaders in Isfara
March 2020 | © Helvetas
1st multilateral dialogue on "improving the well-being of labour migrants and their families in Tajikistan" in Khujand city © Helvetas
Group Picture March 2020 | © Helvetas
At the 1st multilateral dialogue, led by Helvetas, the project was presented to stakeholders and partner organizations, experiences were exchanged and an expert advisory group created © Helvetas

The development of a Migration App and a Safe Labour Migration Information Guide, in cooperation with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), is another approach to support migrants in getting acquainted with various kinds of information around the migration cycle.  Topics include regular migration and the required procedures, rights in destination countries, do’s and don’ts when migrating, remittances management, etc. This ensures a triple win - for the labour migrants and their families, for the country of origin, and for the country of destination.

Addressing the problem of reduced financial resources and reduced social status as well as discrimination, Helvetas Germany also supports the families left behind to better manage their financial resources and to mitigate the social impact of migration through financial literacy training and tailored paralegal services.

This project is funded through the Silk Routes Facility, a component of the project “Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes Countries”. This project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). More information about the Silk Routes Facility can be found here: https://www.budapestprocess.org//silkroutesfacility.

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