Employment centres to facilitate labour migration from Kyrgyzstan
- Responsible Organisations: International Organization for Migration (IOM) (International Organisation); Government of Kyrgyzstan (Government)
- ILO Regions: Europe and Central Asia
- Country(ies): Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Russian Federation
- Thematic areas: Fair recruitment; Policy coherence
- MLFLM: 13.; 1.(a),(b); 2.; 4.; 5.; 7.; 12.; 15.
Due to open borders, migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan can easily travel to Kazakhstan and Russia in search of employment. Limited channels for facilitated labour migration leave the majority of migrant workers outside of the legal framework subjecting them to various kinds of human rights violations and abuse. In 2008, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organised a study visit for Kyrgyz Government officials to learn about labour migration regulation in the Philippines. As a result of this study visit and following several years of institutional reforms, IOM and the Kyrgyz Government established an information resource centre in the capital Bishkek that was later transformed into a fully-fledged employment centre providing employment services to migrant workers. Though the birth rate in Kyrgyzstan is still positive and despite a labour surplus, the domestic labour market is already experiencing deficits in certain sectors. The Bishkek employment centre therefore operates under the principle that job seekers are first offered employment options within the local labour market before being referred for employment abroad. The centre was established with the support of the UK Government-funded Central Asia Regional Migration Programme, and was officially opened in 2012. The second phase of the Regional Migration Programme supported the establishment of another centre in the southern city of Osh due to a high number of workers needing assistance in finding work abroad. The employment centres also regulate the work of private recruitment agencies- if in 2010 there were only 5-8 companies working on employment abroad, today there are over 15 registered agencies and the numbers will continue growing.