On June 2-3, 2014 International forum “Cooperation in defending the rights of labor migrants through human rights mechanisms” has taken place in Issyk-Kul region in Kyrgyzstan. The forum was organized by the Civic Platform Partnership “Central Asia in Motion” with the participation of “Center for assisting international defense” from Osh and human rights movement “Bir Duyno Kyrgyzstan” from Bishkek.
Civic Platform Partnership “Central Asia in Motion” consists of 26 NGOs from Kyrgyzstan and Tadzhikistan, which specialize in defending the rights of labor migrants, including assistance to potential migrants and members of their families, raising their awareness of legal issues, promoting equal rights for internal labor migrants in Kyrgyzstan and defending the rights of labor migrants in Russia and Kazakhstan, which are main destinations of labor migration.
ADC “Memorial” is a partner of the Platform. As part of the ongoing cooperation ADC “Memorial” has prepared report on the situation of children in vulnerable positions in the Russian Federation, which was provided to the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child in January 2014. Special attention was paid to violations of the rights of children from migrant families, including families coming from Central Asia.
Olga Abramenko, expert of ADC “Memorial”, reported to the forum on our experience in advocating the rights of immigrants at both national and international level, including the existing mechanisms of the United Nations Organization. For example, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child considered the problem of discriminatory legislation in the Russian Federation concerning children from immigrant families and recommended to abolish the requirement that limits the period of stay in Russia with 90 days out 180 possible and is not linked to the period of stay of their parents in Russia. This recommendation can now be used for defense of the rights of immigrant children in Russian courts. Abramenko also proposed to the partners of ADC “Memorial” from Central Asian countries to consider the rights of children to be one of the main priorities and implement some joint projects aimed at improving the situation of children in vulnerable situations, who are part of the migration flows in the region. Children from Central Asian countries, including Roma children coming from this region, face not only restrictions on access to social, medical assistance and education in Russia, but also suffer from the practice of being deported from Russia separately from their parents.
Colleagues from the “Center for assistance for international defense” proposed to pay more attention to the problems, which had always accompanied migration, but which were often silenced – that of human trafficking, labor and sexual slavery – and make it one of the priorities.
As a result of the forum memorandum on further cooperation in defending the rights of migrants was signed. Participants of the meeting expect that colleagues from Uzbekistan, a country of origin for the majority of labor immigrants in the Russian Federation, will soon join the Civic Platform Partnership.