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STRATEGIC RESEARCH CENTER UNDER THE PRESIDENT OF TAJIKISTAN

 

OUR STRATEGY ON NATIONAL SECURITY, NATIONAL UNITY, THE PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS AND NATIONAL CULTURE, TAJIKISTAN AND ECONOMIC GROWTH BASED ON THIS WELFARE.

EMOMALI RAHMON

PROBLEMS OF EMIGRATION PROCESS IN INDEPENDENT TAJIKISTAN

02.01.2018

In the well-known reasons, in the 90-th of the last century on the political map of the world appeared 15 new national, independent countries, one of which was the Republic of Tajikistan. It would seem that the mass migration in the former Soviet space was an obvious phenomenon. People, who ethnically belonged to one of the newly formed countries and residing in another, would want to return and become a citizen of their homeland or leave the country to become a citizen of another country. However, each post-Soviet migrants in the 90-th of the last century had their own reasons to emigrate.

Migration is a complex phenomenon with multidimensional structure, causing an ambiguous change in the economic, social, demographic and ethnic processes. In contrast to other newly formed countries where the migration process seemed logical after the collapse of the Soviet system, the process in Tajikistan has been forced because of beginning political instability.

The political instability claimed the lives of many famous scientists and cultural figures, prominent politicians, journalists, and public figures.

Because of the threat to life, not only the indigenous population left the country, but other nationalities living at that time in Tajikistan. According to the population census of Tajikistan in 1989, before the collapse of the USSR, the share of population was as famous: Tajiks – 62,29%, Uzbeks – 23,52%, Russians – 7,63%, Kyrgyz - 1,25%, Tatars – 1,42% and a lot of other peoples which numbers amounted to several thousand people, but less than one percent of the total population.

After gaining independence and the beginning of the political instability, the country's population emigrated to neighbouring and CIS countries, Pakistan, Iran, European countries, North American countries and others. The migration process was not only external but also internal. Citizens living in regions of hostilities had left their homes and migrated to the Northern regions of the country. In the first place, educated and intellectual population left the country. Happened the process of "brain drain" that has left a negative imprint in the development of the country after the signing of the inter-Tajik peace agreement in 1997. The issue of repatriation of refugees, the government was considered in 1992. On the historic XVI Session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Tajikistan was also discussed the issues of returning of refugees. In that Session, Emomali Rahmon, where he was elected as a Chairman, said: "In the name of establishing peace in Tajikistan and the returning of refugees I am ready to sacrifice myself." After signing the peace agreements, in the post-conflict period, with the assistance of international organizations, was returned approximately 800 thousand Tajik refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and CIS countries to Tajikistan. According to the population census from 2000 in the peace period, the share of population in Tajikistan was: Tajiks - 79,94%, Uzbeks - 16,59%, Kyrgyz - 1,07%, Russians - of 1.11% and other nationalities numbering less than one percent of the total population. Comparing the population census in 1989 and 2000, we can observe the dynamics of reducing the number of other nationalities from a few thousand to a few dozen people. Most of the ethnic minorities that fled Tajikistan never came back.

If from 1992 to 1997, the main reason of emigration from Tajikistan was a political instability, after the political instability the remaining population and refugees who were returned home faced with the consequences of the political instability. The number of economically active population at the end of 1997 totaled 1839,7 thousands, or 30,4% of the total population. Destroyed economy, infrastructure, looted and destroyed factories, severe shortage of jobs and skilled workforce, mass unemployment and high rate of population growth. All of this became the cause of the forced labor migration of the population of Tajikistan. Because of understanding Russian language and common history, the citizens mostly emigrated to Russia and other CIS countries. At this stage to the labour migration largely served low-skilled segments of the population ("loss of muscles"), and those who possessed foreign languages or were highly skilled, still emigrated to North American and Europe countries. The peak of emigration from Tajikistan was in the early and mid 90-th of XX century (political instability), which resulted in the formation of the large Tajik Diaspora in Russia, USA, Canada, Europe and other countries near and far abroad. In the late 90-th of the twentieth century the rate of emigration from Tajikistan decreased because of signing of the inter-Tajik peace agreement and strengthening control over immigration flows in the CIS countries.

For Tajikistan, labour migration in the late twentieth early twenty-first centuries has had a positive effect. On the one hand, the money sent by migrant workers to their families, reduce social tension in the country. By sending money home, migrant workers provide for their families shelter and food, and for children education.

There is a new increase of labour migration with the primary direction to the Russian Federation, from 2005 to 2013. According to the Agency for statistics under the President of Tajikistan in 2005 outside the country (based on migration cards) to labor migration, left 412123 citizens of the Republic, and in 2013 their number amounted to 799698. Labor migration from Tajikistan regulates by Migration service of Tajikistan. Representatives of the Migration Service of Tajikistan are in Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Samara and Krasnodar. There is a growing interest among youth of Tajikistan in education abroad in the new century. They prefer such countries as Russia and other CIS countries, European countries, USA, Canada, China, Australia etc. Educational emigration of citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan for the country has both positive and negative effect. A positive effect is observed in obtaining high-quality international higher education by citizens of Tajikistan. The negative side is that after graduation, the Tajik graduates in most cases do not return home. There are many young Tajik specialists outside the country in engineering, medicine and other vital areas of Tajikistan at the moment. The number of Tajik students abroad is also steadily increasing. For example, in 2015 the number of students enrolled in universities of Belarus amounted to 300 people. Compared to the 2015 to 2017 their number increased almost in two times. And in universities of the Russian Federation studies more than 20 thousand students from Tajikistan. Annually to Russia goes to study about 4 thousand students.

To migration also affected the graduates of the universities within the country. This is due to poor preparation and issuance of qualified specialists, the number of which does not meet the needs of the labour market of Tajikistan. Every year universities produce more professionals in Humanities (International Relations, Law, Economics, Foreign Languages) than in the natural Sciences and Engineering. In 2016, a large influx of students was observed in the cluster "social Sciences and law" and "Medicine, biology and sport". The number of applicants to education for the professions included in these clusters exceeds the norm by 2-2,5 times. Stiff competition, scarce jobs, lack of professional experience required by employers (usually at least 1 to 3 years of professional experience with a record in the workbook), low wages, forcing graduates either find jobs outside the profession, or emigrate. The average monthly nominal wage in Tajikistan according to the Interstate Statistical Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States from January to June 2017 amounted to 1141,9 somoni. In the era of globalization using the world wide web, potential emigrants can easily find suitable conditions overseas for emigration. These resources are mostly used by the youth of the country for education outside the Republic, or to go to labor migration. For example, all overseas universities have their pages in Facebook with scholarship information for foreign citizens.

Pursuing multicultural policies, nowadays, most developed countries offer a variety of state relocation program to attract foreign professionals in their countries. Among them special role is played by the Russian State program on rendering assistance to voluntary resettlement to Russian Federation of compatriots living abroad. In recent years, an increasing emigration under this program, citizens of various strata of society, in particular citizens with highly qualified medical education. Over the past four years more than 12 thousand Tajik citizens received certificates of a participant of this program.

Resume:

In general, in the history of independent Tajikistan, migration processes can be viewed by following dynamics:

1. 1991 – 1997 – Forced mass emigration. The main reason is the political instability. This stage is the peak of emigration processes.

2. 1997 – 2005 – Forced labor migration. The main reason is the consequences of the political instability. There is a decrease in the rate of migration processes at this stage.

3. 2005 – 2013 – New increase in the rate of labour migration. The main reason is population growth and limited jobs. There is also an increasing emigration of young people to obtain education abroad at this stage.

4. 2013 – Present – decrease in the rate of emigration by low-qualified workers and new growth of emigration by highly qualified citizens (including graduates of foreign universities opting to remain outside the country). The main reason is the relatively low wages for highly qualified personnel in the Republic of Tajikistan and increasing the level of control over low-skilled immigration flow of the recipient countries.

Shukurov Sino,