Roundtable discussions on the problems of migrant workers coming from neighboring countries were held on May 30, 2016 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, as part of the project of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). The discussion was attended by activists of NGOs from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, ADC “Memorial” (as a membership organization of the FIDH), as well as representatives of Kazakhstan’s state bodies, including the Migration Police Department of the Ministry of Interior, Department for social and migration policy and development of the state bodies of the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Agriculture and the embassy of Kyrgyzstan in Kazakhstan.
Representatives of civil society spoke about the problems faced by migrant workers in Kazakhstan, which include the absence of possibilities for the legalization of migrants from countries non-members of the EAEC (such as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), who de facto work en masse in construction, agriculture and markets in Kazakhstan, poor protection of domestic workers, vulnerability of children, who are often exploited and lack access to education, difficult access to health care for migrants, especially women, arbitrary interpretation of laws and regulations by local public authorities.
Representatives of FIDH and different NGOs involved in the project spoke about the results of the studies of situation of women and children from Kyrgyzstan involved in the migration processes. The human rights report, a preliminary version of which was presented at this round table, features various recommendations, including recommendations to the authorities of Kazakhstan.
The problem of proper documents for migrants, including stateless persons, remains sensitive in the Central Asian region. Expert ADC “Memorial” presented a recently released report on the problems of stateless persons and migrants in the Russian Federation.