Labor migrant rights is the most important aspect of the relations between the Russian Federation and the countries from whence the millions of labor migrants it receives originate. This theme should be at the top of the agenda at any governmental meetings or negotiations between the migrants’ countries of origin and destination. The Presidents of Russia and Kyrgyzstan had such an opportunity when they met in St. Petersburg on March 16, especially as Kyrgyzstan will join the Eurasian Economic Union by May 9, according to President Almazbek Atambaev, and trade and economic relations between the two countries will thereafter develop on a new footing.
ADC Memorial is unaware whether the rights of labor migrants were a subject of negotiations between the heads of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, but with more than 500,000 Kyrgyz citizens living and working in the Russian Federation, a multitude of problems exist. The alternative report submitted by ADC Memorial and “Human Rights Movement: Bir Duino –Kyrgyzstan” contains an analysis of the violations of the rights of labor migrants by employers and recruitment agencies, as well as the violation of the rights of the labor migrants’ children to life in a family and to an education. In addition, the report examines the phenomenon of ethnic Uzbek “hidden asylum seekers,” who cannot obtain refugee status or be legalized in the context of labor migration, as well as the status of minority rights in southern Kyrgyzstan.
These pressing issues require the attention of governmental authorities and international organizations, and will be the topic examined by the United Nations Committee on Migrant Workers in the fall of 2015.