On April 16, 2019, the United Nations Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW) published its concluding remarks and recommendations following consideration of the 2nd periodic report of Tajikistan at its 30th session (April 1-4, 2019).
Recommendations of the Committee reflected on a number of important issues raised in the alternative report of the Anti-Discrimination Centre (ADC) “Memorial” on the situation of migrant workers from Tajikistan and the members of their families in the Russian Federation. In particular, the Committee spoke about gross violations of the rights of labor migrants in the Russian Federation and the ineffective work of the consular offices of the Republic of Tajikistan there, the absence of effective assistance and protection of labor migrants, including those held in detention centers for foreign citizens and awaiting expulsion. UN CMW recommended the authorities of Tajikistan to increase state funding, as well as to expand the staff of its embassies and consulates, to provide systematic training for its staff on the application of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and other international human rights treaties.
The Committee paid particular attention to the absence of measures for protection of the rights of migrant children, who face discrimination in education, risk of illegal detentions and separation from parents. The case of the tragic death of a five-month-old child Umarali Nazarov, who had died in 2015 in St. Petersburg after having been separated from his mother during an anti-immigration raid, was also mentioned. Referring to the joint general comments of the UN CMW and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on children within the context of international migration (2017), the Committee recommended that the Republic of Tadjikistan take all necessary measures to ensure the full protection of the rights of migrant children, including putting an end to the practice of separation of children from their families and detention of children based on their migration status or the migration status of their parents. The Committee called on the authorities of Tajikistan to step up interaction with the national authorities, human rights institutions and civil society actors in the countries of residence of Tajik migrants.
The Committee was also concerned by other problems raised in the report of the ADC “Memorial”, in particular the order of the national bank of Tajikistan, which obliges all monetary operations carried out within the country after transferring funds from Russia to be made only in the national currency of Tajikistan, which leads to the loss of significant amounts of money both by the sending party and the recipients due to the unfavorable official exchange rate; unresolved issues of social security, pensions and access to medical care for labor migrants working in the Russian Federation; lack of access to the protection of the rights of stateless persons and undocumented citizens of Tajikistan (which include representatives of Mughat ethnic minority, a Central Asian Romani group, in migration) and some others.
The Committee expressed its regret that the law on migration, which had been drafted in Tajikistan since 2012 and which featured many changes and improvements, which have taken into account the previous recommendations of the Committee, has not adopted yet. The Committee’s priority recommendations, on the implementation of which Tajikistan should report in 2021, include the adoption of a law on migration and the conclusion of bilateral agreements with the host countries of migrant workers.
The next periodic report of Tajikistan is to be submitted to the UN CMW by May 2024.