Should I Stay or Should I Go?MuizMamadsaidovAmericanUniversity of Central Asia Should I Stay or Should I Go?Russia hasbecome a huge donor for labor migrants from Central Asia. Low wages andunemployment in Central Asian countries make people to travel to the capital ofthe former USSR – in which these nationswere connected by the same language and history, shared one land and had notfrontiers between each other. Nowadays, these states have become independentsince the collapse of the USSR, that they belonged to, many years ago.Currently, Russian Federation is facing a big demographical crisis, especiallythe declining of the working-age group. Thus, there is a need to involve acheap working class from abroad. Due to having a visa-free regime between thosestates, the Russian state is easily accessible for the citizens of Central Asia.
However, the immigrants should always extend and their staying in order toobtain the right to work in Russia. Some experts on demographic and migrationtrends of Russian Federation claim that there is a need for labor migration,however, these views are not always shared by Russian citizens in general.According to Myhre (2012), the migration corridor that is formed between Russiaand the citizens of Central Asian countries is assumed one of the biggest inour world and among them Tajikistan is the second from the point of the amountof citizens residing in Russia (p.
12). The Tajik labor migrants that strive tomigrate for Russia to find a new life, always have a bad economic situation intheir home country that causes for unemployment, salaries and poverty, whichmakes them dissatisfied with a state and authority itself. Although economicproblems remain the main reason for migration, some migrate for political andenvironmental reasons, too. The economicsituation that causes many issues in a country, such as lack of jobs, low wagesand poverty, remains the main reason for leaving Tajikistan. Therefore, if wetalk about the migrants that come for the economic reasons, we should use theterm – economic migration. In economic migration, the migrant is usually ayoung man or a young female in search of a temporary job and intending toreturn home once certain savings have been reached. (Myhre, 2012, p.16)Furthermore, they are convinced that in their home country these conveniencesare seen less.
The economic factors of Tajikistan have not been stable for morethan 20 years already. During these years it has not reached its zenith even indecreasing of one of these problems. On the one hand, the government is notable to contribute toward its unstable factors of economy that the populationcould be engaged in making them better. On the other hand, Russia provides themigrants with more opportunities and believes that they serve to make thecountry more attractive.
Therefore, the state’s contribution to the economy andits issues might go in favor of reducing the unemployment and poverty. In Tajikistan,there are a lot of unemployment because the lacking of work sphere.Unemployment is considered a major problem not only in Tajikistan, but thecountries of Central Asia. Many Tajik migrants complain of not having a goodenvironment to work in their job fields or having a little salary for doing so.
Tajik government does not create reliable work fields especially for the youthin the country. Encouraging the Tajik government to create jobs for its youthis highly unrealistic, because most men that migrate from the country are youngpeople with well reasoning skills. In 2016, Tajikistan had the highestunemployment rate in the region at 12.6 % and the number of unemployed citizensreached 243,000 in Tajikistan, however these numbers were increasing over time(Ryazantsev, 2016, p.3). Russia as a developed country, for their part, has aneed in many economic and social sectors of its regions.
Only by having differentsort of jobs with higher salaries and a better standard for living, Russia attractsmore young labor migrants of Tajikistan. That is why, many unemployed fromdeveloping countries move to any developed countries in order to find a betterjob and a potential for employment. Findinga job in Russia will probably lead Tajik migrants to have a higher salary and amodern working environment. Nevertheless, if a country might succeedin dealing with a high rate of jobshortages and creates enough jobs, it does not imply that the citizens will gethigh salaries. Low wages are another issue that worsens the economic situationand causes many residents to migrate for Russia. In terms of numbers,Tajikistan offers the lowest average monthly wage at just $85 and it reportedlyhas the lowest average rate among the CIS (Commonwealth of IndependentStates) nations (Ryazantsev,2016, p.4).
Not all professions inthe state have a regular salary, except those who work in the school or ashealth workers. Most regular jobs in Tajikistan do not have highsalaries, but in comparison to other countries the cost of living in Tajikistanis usually quite low. The average of peoples’ salary should be enough to coverthe costs of food and accommodation, but there will not be some money left overfor travel, leisure and running a new business. That is what keeps most elderpeople to stay in their land, however the young generation seems not sharingthis notion and strives to make their lives better by making greater affluence.Therefore, Tajikistan’s economic conditions are not able to overcome thisproblem at the moment, because it takes more time. As a result, Tajik migrantsstill will be more attracted in high salaries of Russian state.
Tajikistanremains one of the poorest and the most economically fragile countries amongthe other states of commonwealth. Poverty is the most considerable problem thatforce Tajik people to move for another parts of the world to find more fittinglife conditions. Almost 50% of the population lives below the poverty line,with $2 a day (Ryazantsev, 2016, p.
4). Poor infrastructure stagnates the state’seconomy, because Tajikistan is a mountainous country and it makestransportation a challenge. The big amount of rural residents suffer frompoverty, due to their physical remoteness and the lack of transportationbetween their communities and employment centers.
Remote rural areas providethemselves even without having regular jobs by living on the livestock,vegetables and fruits they grow. However, these seasonal jobs do not satisfyall the residents of the villages. The lack of jobs in a given area and a highrate of poverty prompts many citizens to search for job in nearby country.
Followingthe Civil War period (1992-1997), Tajikistan is succeeded in decreasing thedecent amount of poverty in the country, though it is hard to call Tajikistanas an economically viable nation-state, providing sustainable development forits citizens (Ryazantsev, 2016, p.4). Consequently, the poverty in Tajikistanremains one of the main reasons for the citizens to leave their land. Theenvironmental reason that force Tajik population to leave their land seems rarenowadays, however, the moment that any disaster and flooding occur, there willincrease more demand for leaving a country. Tajikistan is a mountainous countryhaving many lakes and rivers in it, which always goes in favor of makingpeople’s lives better, however, sometimes it makes hurt the citizen’sproperties as well. Myhre’s (2012) study found the following: Challenges thatTajikistan’s environment brings up hamper its development and affect the healthof the population in a gruesome way (Myhre, 2012, p.
20). Therefore, theagricultural actor of the state will be unsuccessful on feeding the population,although the agriculture is the main sector both for development andindustrializing of the country. Statistics by Ryzantsev (2016) support theissue, which determines that the migrants that leave Tajikistan are always thepopulation from rural and mountainous areas, which believe the conditions thatthey have to live are not satisfying them anymore. Therefore, the environmentalissue which always have seemed regular in Tajikistan compel its citizens toleave their land for better opportunities of living.
Althougheconomic and environmental problems seemed obvious reasons for migration, somemigrate for political reasons, too. Tajikistan has been an independent statefor over 25 years and shared always its democratic ideologies in the world’sview. However, according to Myhre, Tajikistan being a democratic country forsome years still lacks the views that every democratic country should have,such as free press and speech, which create a stable democracy (Myhre, 2012,p.20).
That is being said, the conclusion can be analyzed that Tajikistan isstill supports the authoritarian views on developing the country, which makesno sense in real conditions where Tajikistan is right now. The youth whichstrive to change something in the country are always under the supervision ofgovernmental organization. Furthermore, stating Myhre’s observation, young menoften leave straight after finishing school to avoid conscription, fearingabuse and the risk of being sent to conflicts like those in Khorog during thesummer of 2012 (Myhre, 2012, p.21).
Nevertheless, Tajikistan’s central powerseems imitating some other countries, such as Russia, by not allowing itscitizens to be responsible for their actions and having free views in public.Does it not seem that, Tajikistan is dependent on Russia, for such actions? Yes,there is still the influence of Russia on Tajikistan, which are partly sharedby Tajik citizens. Those people, which support the views, “old views”, striveto migrate to be closer to the donor country for its opportunities.
However,most youngsters have to travel to find the safe shelter to express theirthoughts and views, even though remotely. Therefore, the political situationwhich does not seem an obvious reason for migration from the foreign point ofviews, however, still remains a challenging barrier on developing the countryand indeed, it forces some people to leave home in order to find a better lifewith greater opportunities. In conclusion, collecting everythingthat has been already discussed, Tajikistan remains a huge country that fillsthe unstable sectors of Russian Federation with its labor migrants. The reasonsthat labor migrants leave their home for the coming new life, can be findeither in politics or a place that they live in. But the main reason thatcauses to leave the land remains the economy that seems weak in Tajikistan.
Furthermore, creating new opportunities for the youth also can make a bigcontribution toward altering the labor migration. The environment of Tajikistanis being improper for running many businesses does not make it worse, but makesa vision to develop a specific sector on those opportunities. Therefore, thesereasons and issues, hopefully, will be discussed in a bigger manner of speechand will have their proper solutions on making a stable economy, a democratizedpolitics and a safe environmental conditions. ReferencesFIDH – International Federationfor Human Rights, (2014). From Tajikistanto Russia: Vulnerability and abuse of migrant workers and their families.Paris, France: CBTMarthe Handå Myhre, (2012). Labour Migration from Central Asia to Russia- State Management of Migration. Oslo, Norway: Reprosentralen, Universityof Oslo Sergey Ryazantsev, (2016).
Labour Migration from Central Asia to Russiain the Context of the Economic Crisis. Retrieved fromhttp://eng.globalaffairs.ru/valday/Labour-Migration-from-Central-Asia-to-Russia-in-the-Context-of-the-Economic-Crisis-18334