• KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 26

The Geography of Labor: Where Do Central Asian Migrants Travel To?

Since February 2022, international observers have been predicting changes in labor migration in Central Asia. It is no secret that for 30 years Russia was the main attraction for labor resources in the region, and in the "noughties," Kazakhstan joined as a viable alternative. Over the past two years, the geography of labor migration from Central Asia has expanded somewhat, but still not to the extent that one could say that the region is slipping away from Moscow's economic influence. In Russia itself, despite growing anti-migrant sentiment after the terrorist attack at the Crocus City concert hall, the country's leadership has no intention of refusing to accept migrants from Central Asia. The current phase of Russia's economic development requires a constant inflow of labor resources, so Moscow is even talking about expanding the geography of sources of labor on an industrial scale, particularly to African countries. However, the movement of labor resources from Central Asia to the outside world is a process that benefits both the countries of origin of migrants and those who receive them. The region's countries shed their excess population, thus avoiding possible social explosions, while the receiving countries get workers willing to do low-paid and low-skilled labor. This is true for three of the five Central Asian countries. We do not consider Turkmenistan -- a republic closed to the outside world -- but labor migration from Kazakhstan is more like a "brain drain," which puts it on a par with Russia, which is experiencing similar problems. In the Central Asian republics, the topic of labor migration is still victimized, and the pejorative term "gastarbeiters" remains in common use. Thus, research on these processes is not permanent, which makes it difficult to work with statistical data. And since the largest receiving country is Russia, where chaos reigns regarding labor migration, we can only operate with approximate data. Uzbekistan Let us start with Uzbekistan, the most populous republic in Central Asia. Uzbekistan does not have the same opportunities as Kazakhstan with mineral resources, primarily oil. In Uzbekistan, the rate of labor migration abroad remains the fastest; only the pandemic has been able to affect it. Before the pandemic, in 2019, according to official data, more than 2.5 million Uzbek citizens were listed as labor migrants. In 2021, this number dropped to 1.67 million people, but now, the number of those who left for work has recovered. The main labor migration flows come from Russia - 71%, Kazakhstan - 12%, South Korea - 4% and Turkey - 3%. In the first quarter of 2024, cross-border remittances to Uzbekistan increased from $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion. Russia's share dropped to 68% (78-87% in previous years). Kyrgyzstan Russia, Turkey, and Kazakhstan are also the main destinations for migrants from Kyrgyzstan. South Korea and the UK have been added to the list recently. According to open-source data, in 2022, 1.2 million labor migrants from Kyrgyzstan were registered in Russia, with about 30,000 in Turkey and Kazakhstan. In Kyrgyzstan, labor migration has become important...

World Bank to Help Uzbekistan Improve Social Protection

Uzbekistan will receive $100 million from the World Bank to improve its social services. The funds will also be used to set up 50 social service centers, train professionals to work with vulnerable people, and employ people with disabilities. Under the 'Inson' project, various vulnerable groups will be able to receive more social services. There will be an additional $2 million grant to assess the impact of services on the wellbeing of vulnerable children. "The project will assist in developing the legal and institutional framework for the 'care economy' sector in Uzbekistan. It will also help improve access to demanded social services that are still inaccessible to thousands of people, including elderly citizens, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and socially vulnerable children," said the World Bank's country manager for Uzbekistan Marco Mantovanelli. The 50 social service centers are expected to facilitate targeted outreach to those in need, including the creation of a legal framework to improve the quality standards of social services. It is planned to train 1,200 people with disabilities in crafts and vocational skills, half of them young people aged 15-24. The project will also provide quality legal, medical, psychological, and other assistance to female victims of violence. They will be allowed to learn computer and financial literacy and a profession. It is envisaged to create an adaptive system of social protection for vulnerable people during emergencies and due to climate change. For 100,000 poor citizens in rural areas, the program will provide seeds for climate-resistant crops, agricultural tools, and training in farming under changing climatic conditions.

Authorities in Turkmenistan Using Cab Drivers As Informants to Identify “Unreliable” Citizens

Turkmen authorities are forcing cab drivers to denounce and identify citizens they consider "unreliable". This is being reported by Radio Azatlyk. Ministry of Homeland Security (MHS) officers are reportedly forcing cab drivers to ask passengers various questions to find out their attitudes toward events in the country, and the overall situation. "MHS officers are using cab drivers in the capital as informants. They try to incentivize these cab drivers with promises to help them if they are stopped by traffic police officers to extort bribes," one of the capital's cab drivers said, on condition of anonymity. In an attempt to recruit cab drivers as informants, MHS officials hint that if the drivers agree to cooperate and provide information of interest to the authorities, their cooperation may also be rewarded financially. "Security officials instruct drivers who agree to cooperate to ask certain questions. The questions should mostly be put to passengers who are coming from the airport, railway station, shopping centers and bazaars," said another cab driver. According to him, in order to strike up a conversation, the MHS officers tell drivers to ask a certain list of questions to gauge their passengers' opinions and attitudes. "In this way, they say, they are trying to identify 'unreliable people'. Some drivers are agreeing to participate in these dirty games," said a driver from Ashgabat. Azatlyk is reporting that in recent months the Turkmen authorities have increased control over the country's citizens. Earlier this year it reported that security agencies were questioning the parents of schoolchildren who used VPN services to visit sites disapproved by the authorities, and that these families were included in the lists of "unreliable families".

Another Uzbek Citizen Convicted of Insulting Mirziyoyev

A court in Uzbekistan has sentenced a 28-year-old Almalyk resident to correctional labor for insulting the country's president Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The man said he wrote insulting comments on the internet during a fit of anger because he had received several fines from the tax office. According to the case, the married father of two, an owner of a pharmacy, left insulting comments under four videos and photographs of Mirziyoyev between May 2 and August 31 last year, The defendant pleaded guilty and expressed regret for his actions. He said that while running his pharmacy, in the Tashkent region, tax inspection officers had fined him several times, and when he saw the photos and videos on Instagram he left derogatory comments in a fit of anger. Local media has reported that "The court took into account the man's admission of guilt and sentenced him to correctional work for two years and six months with the recovery of 20% of his salary to be given to the state. Also, the court imposed on the Ministry of Digital Technologies to restrict access to the account of the man on Instagram, and also decided to recover the phone Samsung Galaxy A53 in favor of the state". In March 2021 an article was added to Uzbekistan's Criminal Code establishing liability for public insult or slander against Mirziyoyev using telecommunications networks or the internet. This crime is punishable by corrective labor of up to three years, restriction of freedom from two to five years, or imprisonment of up to five years. In October 2023 a court sentenced a 19-year-old resident of Kattakurgan district (Samarkand region) to two years and six months in prison for insulting comments about Mirziyoyev on Instagram. In March this year a court sentenced a 27-year-old resident of Namangan, who had recently returned from Iran, to five years in prison for insulting and defamatory comments about Mirziyoyev on Facebook.

NGOs in Kyrgyzstan Have Two Months to Register as “Foreign Agents”

Kyrgyzstan's Ministry of Justice has approved the creation of a register for "non-governmental organizations performing the functions of a foreign representative", which gives authorities the right to inspect their activities. All non-profit agencies that receive foreign funding have been given two months from 16 May to submit documents to the ministry. Kyrgyz president Sadyr Zhaparov signed the law "on Foreign Representatives" on April 2, despite over 100 organizations and civil society figures appealing for him not to do so. Zhaparov made assurances at the time that non-governmental organizations would not be persecuted. Local NGOs funded from abroad that are engaged in political activities in Kyrgyzstan are now recognized as "performing the functions of a foreign representative", and are placed in a separate register. Organizations included in this register -- so-called 'foreign agents' -- may be subjected to various unscheduled inspections. Several international organizations, as well as the United States and certain countries in the European Union, have voiced criticisms of the new law. After it came into force, the Soros-Kyrgyzstan Foundation announced that it would be terminating its activities in Kyrgyzstan.

A Demographic Phenomenon in Kazakhstan — the Population is Rapidly Getting Younger

Kazakhstan stands out sharply on the demographic map of the world, according to Alexei Raksha, a Russian demographer. The republic's government supports high birth rates, which not only bring significant benefits but can also be a source of risk. Independent demographer Raksha has repeatedly said that Kazakhstan does not fit into global fertility trends. By all parameters (relatively high GDP, rising living standards, urbanization, etc.), the republic belongs to countries that should have already completed the first demographic transition. This term means a decline in mortality and fertility due to improved nutrition and medicine, resulting in simple generational replacement. That is, women no longer give birth to 10-15 children, hoping that two or three of them will survive. The first demographic transition has ended almost everywhere except in Africa, scientists believe. Nevertheless, according to Raksha, Kazakhstan -- along with Israel -- shows other indicators. In both countries, both religion and the desire for some kind of historical justice play a role. However, the demographer emphasizes that Kazakhstan's fertility figures are unevenly distributed regionally and ethnically. The fertile southern and western regions contrast sharply with the north, where the population is aging. Raksha recently commented on Kazakhstan's birth rate by women's ethnicity in 2022-2024. "If Kazakhs, Uzbeks and Uyghur women have birth rates at 2.9 to 4.2 children per woman, then representatives of European nations have an average of 1.3-1.5 children (average European level). It is obvious that there is a deep difference in cultural attitudes, both in the degree of social conservatism and in the level of religiosity," he wrote online. According to his data, in recent years, Kazakhstan has been steadily overtaking Uzbekistan, formerly considered the regional leader in population "production". This is confirmed by the data of the study of the leading medical journal The Lancet "Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation" (IHME) on fertility in 204 countries and territories in the period from 1950 to 2021 with forecasts up to 2100. According to the report, Kazakhstan has surpassed all its neighbors in Central Asia and all countries in the Northern Hemisphere in terms of fertility over 70 years. For contrast, Raksha constantly cites data on prolonged depopulation in Europe, North America, China, Korea, and Japan. Countries whose population is inexorably aging and whose birth rate is below the level of simple reproduction (less than two children per woman) are doomed to attract labor migrants, the expert believes. In addition, the SWO plays a destructive role in the post-Soviet space. Russia has faced precisely unrecorded but obvious demographic losses, while Ukraine is on the verge of social catastrophe. Kazakhstan will not face the fate of an endangered country in the coming generations. In late April, the Bureau of National Statistics of Kazakhstan reported that the total fertility rate in 2023 amounted to 19.52 per 1000 people. In 2022 it was at the level of 20.57 births per 1000 people. The highest birth rates are noted in Mangistau region (26.74 people per 1000 people), Turkestan region (26.18) and Shymkent...