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Labour Migration




Central Asia Regional Migration Programme







Central Asia Regional Migration Programme (CARMP) is a complex programme in the field of labour migration and joins the efforts of IOM, UN Women and the World Bank with financial support of UK Government (UKAID/DFID) to reduce poverty in Central Asia.


CARMP concerns labour migration, which has played a key part in reducing poverty levels in Central Asia. This is particularly so in the two poorest countries: the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan. Most communities in rural areas in these countries are affected by migration, mainly to the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan.


CARMPs view is that voluntary migration brings positive benefits to the developing countries because it can provide better economic and social opportunities for migrants: whether it is high skilled migration or internal one where rural population moves to urban territories. Furthermore, CARMP shares the view that migration should be viewed more as an important part of the development agenda. The main focus is to allow migrants to maximize the benefits and not make migration the only choice to survive.


Due to the complex nature of the labour migration this programme takes on comprehensive and holistic measures to promote policies and institutional procedures to respect, protect and fulfil labour migrants rights throughout the migration cycle.


The overall goal of CARMP is to contribute to poverty reduction in Central Asia through the improved livelihoods of migrant men and women.


CARMP purpose is to protect the rights and enhance the social and economic opportunities of migrant men, women and their families.



The CARMP programmatic intervention focuses on the following five Outputs:


Output 1: Policies for managing labour migration are evidence-based and effectively implemented. Support for the consistent collection of and sharing of gender disaggregated data is one of the key steps towards proper management of migration.


Output 2: Improved regional partnerships, dialogue and coordination on selected migration issues. An effective way to address the developmental aspects of labour migration, including poverty reduction and gender issues, is better policy coordination and implementation of relevant policies across all countries. Read more...


Output 3: Labour migrants and their families benefit from a broader range of gender sensitive services provided throughout migration cycle. This will result in a reduction of irregular (illegal) migration and for foreign labour to end up working in less exploitative conditions.


Output 4: Families of labour migrants in the sending countries enhance their skills and knowledge to improve their livelihoods. Families of poor labour migrants will see their economic and social status improved and will have a direct impact on poverty reduction.


Output 5: Increased capacity of civil society organisations to support measures to increase social tolerance of labour migrants and reduce xenophobia in destination countries. Media organizations will develop a more positive image of labour migrants, and the NGOs will ensure governments lead in developing social integration strategies for labour migrants.



The main programme partners all have extensive experience of migration issues in the region and the programme has been designed following thorough consultations with stakeholders at all levels, governmental, non-governmental and migrants themselves.


The programme works closely with the regional organization - the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) - which coordinates regional dialogue on labour migration matters at high levels of government.



Examples of some key expected results of the CARMP are:


Output 1: Policies for managing migration are evidence-based and effectively implemented in the four countries:

Gender-disaggregated data on migration is collected and shared between national stakeholders on a regular basis. Government officials are trained in data collection and use.


Target government officials are trained on the links between gender, migration and poverty, plus are up to date on new policies and laws.


A lower number of irregular and exploited workers through the training of 50 employers in the Russia Federation on the application of regulations and best practices on recruitment of foreign labour.

Output 2: Improved regional partnerships, dialogue and coordination on selected migration issues:

Better dialogue and coordination between the governments of the region on key regional issues of migration (data sharing; gender; access to health and social protection) produces better inter-governmental agreements.


Senior government officials and Parliamentarians from the four countries have an increased understanding and skill level on issues around labour migration, and are able to have a more informative discussion at regional level.


Existing bilateral agreements are effectively implemented and feed experiences into regional dialogue (between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan; and Tajikistan and Russia).

Output 3: Target labour migrants and their families benefit from broader range of gender sensitive services provided throughout the migration cycle:

Information Centres run by NGOs in four countries (new and currently running) provide effective legal and specific advice to 50,000 labour migrants (30% women) to enable them to make more informed decisions about their migration processes.


674,000 people, employers, and potential migrants reached in the four countries and equipped with knowledge about how to migrate legally and hence how to avoid exploitation and discrimination.

Output 4: Families of target labour migrants in the sending countries enhance their skills and knowledge to improve their livelihoods:

3,000 families of poorest labour migrants in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan received information and gain skills and knowledge on agro-businesses and to get access to micro-credits facilities.


Religious leaders, local government officials and community based organizations equipped with increased knowledge about women humans rights which results in increased support for abandoned wives and their children in labour migrant families.

Output 5: Increase capacity of civil society organizations to support measures to increase social tolerance of labour migrants in destination countries:

Social integration strategies for labour migrants are in place in four pilot oblast (regional) governments in Kazakhstan and Russia.


Increase in positive media portraits of women and men labour migrants. This should include the promotion of integration and respect for their rights.

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