From Tajikistan to St. Petersburg: export of labour – presentation of a human rights report

On November 9th, 2011 at 3:00 pm in the press-club “Zelyonaya Lampa” (Green Lamp) (3 Bankovsky per.), the experts’ club will hold a meeting, dedicated to questions of protection of the rights of Tajik labour migrants.

Every year hundreds of thousands of citizens of Tajikistan leave the country in search of jobs abroad, and the majority of them end up in Russia. Tajik labour migrants also work in St. Petersburg – mostly in construction, trade, housing and public utilities sphere as well as in repair services. According to experts, the money transferred by migrants to their relatives make 40-50% of the country’s GDP. Such a large-scale migration of labour has great influence on the socio-economic situation in Tajikistan, and not always a positive one.

According to the views of independent experts, in St. Petersburg as well as in other regions of Russia, the rights of Tajik labour migrants are constantly violated: employers mercilessly exploit the migrants, often do not give them a full salary or do not pay at all. Sometimes they even take away their passports. The mediator agencies, through which most migrant workers get jobs, do not give them written contracts. Tajik migrants are often vulnerable to xenophobic attacks, become victims of extortion. Moreover, the consular protection of the citizens of Tajikistan is clearly not enough.

ADC “Memorial” is in charge of several cases in St. Petersburg related to the protection of rights of Tajiks – victims of dishonest employers (for example, firms “Pyatachok-ambifiya”), forced labour (lumber mill in Sosnovy Bor), abuse from the police (the assault of Tajiks in the store “Narodny”), and racist attacks (informed about a tragic incident of thebeating of Firdavs Yusupov in December, 2010).

The result of a research mission by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and ADC “Memorial,” with support from the Bureau of Human Rights in Tajikistan, was a human rights report “Tajikistan: Export of labour – at what price?” The authors of the report call for an increased protection of the rights of Tajik labour migrants and address key recommendations to the governments of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Russian Federation.

What measures should be taken to prevent the violations of the rights of the citizens of Tajikistan in Russia and in St. Petersburg? What is done by the authorities of Tajikistan and the Russian Federation to protect the human rights of Tajik citizens? How to be more effective to oppose human trafficking and the practice of using private firms engaged in forced labour of migrants? How to conquer the discrimination of non-citizens in St. Petersburg?

The following will participate in the discussion:

-Represenative of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH);

-Stefaniya Kulaeva, programme director of ADC «Memorial»;

-Nargis Zokirova, the director of the Bureau of Human Rights and Rule of Law (Tajikistan);

-Zul’fikor Zamonov, chairman of the Supervisory Council of the Bureau of Human Rights and Rule of Law (Tajikistan).

The following are also invited to participate in the discussion: the honourable consul of Tajikistan in St. Petersburg, representatives of Tajik organisations and labour unions in the Russian Federation and Tajik labour migrants.

The event will be broadcasted live on the press-club’s website (www.greenlamp.spb.ru) in the Video section.

Information and accreditation of the Media can be obtained by calling (812)-406-93-86 or:

Elena Lihanova – gl@greenlamp.spb.ru, phone +7921-954-66-90

Elena Kustova – info@greenlamp.spb.ru, phone +7921-323-60-15

Эта запись так же доступна на: Russian