CARMP activities in Kyrgyzstan

Output I: Polices for managing migration are evidence-based and effectively implemented.

Support the collection and sharing of gender-disaggregated data on migration.

CARMP supports the State Registration Agency to collect a minimum set of gender-disaggregated indicators on migration, integrate them into its database, and share the data with relevant authorities, particularly the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Migration (MOLEM). CARMP supported inter-ministerial group ensures the development and implementation of an effective data sharing mechanism.

CARMP trains at least 60 government employees directly involved on migration data collection and use mechanisms. The training is done based on the developed training modules and material. Data is collected not only at headquarters level, but also at provincial level. Therefore, training on data collection and use is conducted for government employees at both central and local level.

Promote adoption of evidence-based policies and effective legislation.

CARMP provides information about international standards and practices, as well as expert advice on specific aspects of migration management to ensure that informed policy choices are made.

CARMP commissioned experts analyze data and prepare analytical notes with gender sensitive recommendations for improvements to secondary legislation, by-laws and other normative acts, which contribute to improving mechanisms for managing labour migration processes, which will better respond to the needs of the national economy, respect international standards on protection of migrants’ rights, and reduce irregular migration.

Expert groups analyze the most important aspects of migration policy and propose amendments to laws and regulations, which are discussed with a range of stakeholders (Ministry of Labour, Employment and Migration, representatives of other relevant government agencies, Parliament, local authorities, and NGOs) and subsequently submitted to the Kyrgyz Government for adoption.

When amending and developing polices and regulations, CARMP ensures that these documents are gender mainstreamed, i.e. men’s and women’s rights and interests are equally addressed.

Particular attention is given to how environmental issues, such as areas continuously affected by natural disasters, act as ‘push’ factors and force the population into migrating to other regions within the country or abroad.

Train stakeholders involved in developing and implementing labour migration policies.

CARMP assists the newly reorganized government structures in charge of migration in establishing a sustainable training system for its staff, both at the national and provincial level. In this sense, CARMP equips a training classroom provided by the Ministry and train a group of trainers that will ensure effective sharing of knowledge.

First of all training needs are assessed: what topics of labour migration management need to be addressed most, how much training is needed, at what level, etc. Based on this, experts develop a training methodology and material.

After a successful training of trainers series of training events are conducted for government officials at decision-making level; specialists; service-providers throughout the Kyrgyz Republic: Osh, Batken, Jalal-Abad, Talas, Issyk-Kul, Naryn and Chuy oblasts.

Output II: Improved regional partnerships, dialogue and coordination on selected migration issues.

CARMP provides specialized expert advice to Migration Service to prepare and follow up on EurAsEC high level and expert group meetings. Topics for briefing notes are agreed and include gender issues.

Output III: Labour migrants and their families benefit from a broader range of gender sensitive services provided throughout migration cycle.

CARMP provides assistance to the newly established Centre for Employment Abroad of MOLEM, the Ministry’s unit that is responsible for providing services to labour migrants. In cooperation with this Centre and CARMP NGO partners conduct an information campaign throughout the country.

Support government to pilot the Centre for Employment Abroad.

The Centre is the only state agency that has a mandate to provide direct services to labour migrants and their families. The Centre assists not only labour migrants, but also serves as a focal point for networking among other actors involved in labour migration process such as Private Recruitment Agencies, NGOs running hotlines and others. The Centre also maintains close communication with Migrant Resource Centres abroad, Diaspora Centres located in Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation, and labour attaches protecting rights and interests of labour migrants during employment stage.

The establishment of this Centre is a pilot initiative and its success will determine the future of labour migration management in the country. If this Centre succeeds in what it intends to achieve, the Ministry will have a live example of a successful agency which could be mirrored in other cities and towns of Kyrgyzstan. The Centre’s success could be used by the Ministry as a justification in requesting funds from the Parliament for replicating this model in other areas of the country.

CARMP provides technical assistance to the MOLEM on the necessary organizational and functional structures of the Centre and developes rules and regulations for the operation of the Centre. The first floor of the Centre is designed to provide services based on simplified procedures, a so called one-stop-shop where labour migrants can receive all necessary services.

The Centre’s staff receives training on service delivery for labour migrants. Pre-departure and pre-employment orientation material are disseminated in hard copies, broadcasted in the form of videos via TV screens at the Centre and Internet.

Information campaign with NGOs partners.

The distribution of information is one of the most efficient tools in informing labour migrants about their rights.

CARMP supports the development of information material then work with 11 NGO partners for distribution. The information material include booklets, leaflets and brochures containing information on how to obtain employment abroad legally, how to protect migrants’ rights, which offices to approach if rights are violated, with detailed contact information of such offices in the Kyrgyz Republic and destination countries.

IOM has 35 NGO partners spread out geographically throughout the country with whom IOM implements projects, as well as utilising their capcity to reach out to the population living in remote areas of the country. Ten NGO partners are selected to conduct CARMP. The programme conducts migration training for these NGO partners, focusing on the pre-employment stage of the labour migration process.

The selected NGO partners are provided with grants for conducting information campaigns during the period of this project. They are provided with information materials disseminated in small villages, towns and cities. At least 40,000 information products are disseminated and 132 information seminars are conducted throughout the Kyrgyz Republic.

Output IV: Families of labour migrants in the sending countries enhance their skills and knowledge to improve their livelihoods.

CARMP activities under output four aim to enhance skills and knowledge to improve livelihoods in Kyrgyzstan. Within this output, the project will focus on enhancing the capacity of labour migrants’ families through self-help and self-reliance to contribute to increasing well-being and sustainable livelihoods.

CARMP supports to the members of families of labour migrants to organise in self-help groups to enhanced the economic self-reliance of those families; and,

CARMP also establishes partnership with civil society organizations, community activists and religious leaders to promote the rights of women within labour migrant families: mandatory observance of official registration of marriages (guaranteed property rights in case of divorce); measures for ensuring civic registration of women (a growing number of rural women do not have passports); measures for reducing domestic violence.

The following activities are conducted in Kyrgyzstan:

Defining the villages/towns for mobilization.

In Kyrgyzstan the initial identification of the sites is done in 30 villages where in accordance to UNIFEM village profiles the number of families of labour migrants is close to 3,600 families. The target is to support 1,500 families of labour migrants, but through consultation with UNDP and IOM the project may consider other provinces.

CARMP intends to reinforce the ongoing initiatives on local development by assisting labour migrants families’ economic self-reliance and thus contributing to the poverty reduction at local level.

Facilitate the process of formation of labour migrants families’ self help groups (SHG).

There is a wealth of experience on how to mobilize poor people for self-help initiatives. UN Women’s main partnership in Kyrgyzstan - Community Development Alliance holds a vast experience and expertise on self-help group mobilization and leads on this output.

The mobilization process includes several stages:

a series of meetings with the families of labour migrants during which the purpose of SHG is explained, including the opportunities provided by the membership in SHG;

self-selection of members is applied, i.e. group must be formed by members who are willing to work (based on mutual interest);

facilitation of the process of forming the group, electing group-governing body (leaders, treasures, etc.), establishing of group rules, etc; and,

village animators prepare a household profile of each member of SHG, which will form the baseline for family’s livelihoods level at the outset of the project.

Facilitate the process of strengthening the SHGs.

Once a group is formed, the village animators facilitate the process of establishing a leadership and management system, drafting the SHG codes, reflecting rights-based rules and procedures, and establishing good communication and cooperation between members of the SHG. To ensure positive group dynamics the animator provides training for SHGs (both jointly with other SHGs and on an individual basis) and continuous support to ensure group cohesion, solidarity and capacity to resolve members’ problems. The training programme is developed based on the capacity needs assessment of the members of SHGs. The families of labour migrants jointly learn how to start small scale economic activities; get access and master their knowledge and skills in business planning, book-keeping, savings. SHG members can jointly access to agricultural extension services and seeds programmes. Solidarity and mutual trust fostered within the group helps them to get access to non-collateral micro-credit schemes, etc.

Mapping of micro credit/business development/agricultural extension services /seed programmes.

One of major constraints preventing families of labour migrants from running sustainable economic activities is lack of awareness on existing opportunities to relevant programmes. To address this gap, CARMP conducts a mapping of services. In Kyrgyzstan micro-credit agencies exist in every oblast. Based on the findings of the mapping CARMP defines the most suitable Micro Finance Initiative (MFI) for the families of labour migrants.

CARMP establishes a partnership with the selected MFI and at the same time works to establish a relationship with the National Bank, which is responsible for overall oversight and formulation of standards for MFI operations. The aim is to ensure that the MFIs are aware of the particular situation of migrants' families.

CARMP also conduct a mapping of existing business development /agricultural extension services. A formal arrangement is drafted between the project and the selected service provider to ensure that families of migrants are targeted by the different services.

Support to members of SHGs to get access to micro-credit and effectively manage their business.

SHGs are provided with information on how to access micro-credit schemes, business development programmes and agricultural extension services identified through the mapping. The members of SHGs receive information on the rules/procedures of the micro-credit scheme and prepare business plans for credit application. CARMP assists the SHGs in establishing good working relationships with micro-crediting officers, who provides support to the members of SHGs in the process of the preparation of business plans, and then during the monitoring of credit repayment. While CARMP provides information to SHGs on existing micro-crediting schemes and assists in linking SHGs to MFIs, it is planned that SHGs gradually take responsibility for maintaining good working relationships for subsequent and regular access to credit.

Facilitate SHG networking at district level for sharing experience and for sharing experience and for mutual assistance.