IOM Tajikistan Today
Mission Overview & Challenges
Two years after independence from the former Soviet Union, Tajikistan became an observer state of the IOM (in Autumn 1992) and immediately after IOM opened a representation in Dushanbe to begin its country operations.
Throughout the Tajik civil war that lead to the displacement of over 700,000 persons, IOM Dushanbe provided instrumental assistance to both Migrants and Government Officials to facilitate the return of refugees and other displaced populations. In recognition of IOM's contribution, Tajikistan requested and became a full member State of the IOM on 29 November 1994.
Since then, on the basis of its achievements IOM Dushanbe has endeavoured to pursue its activities with the following aims:
- Contribute to reform public administration in the area of migration
- Enhance the well being of migrants
- Enhance the capacity of the Government of Tajikistan to manage migration processes and combat trafficking in migrants
- Foster durable peace
Tajikistan has a poor, rural and landlocked economy endowed with young and mobile population. It is isolated in a geo-political context that undermines regional integration. The combination of these factors including poverty, isolation and mobile manpower suggest that the spell of Tajikistan's equitable well-being will depend on its ability to foster secure movement of human and trade resources in and out of the country to promote sustainable development.
Tajikistan, given its isolation, has very few immigrants. However, with one in every four households having family members regularly seeking jobs abroad, Tajik migrant workers, if prepared and informed on realities of foreign employment, have the potential of learning and acquiring invaluable experiences and bring back money and ideas that can act as the driving force for change and economic development. Based on present political commitment for reform, governmental institutions and unrealistic and regulatory frameworks vulnerable to corruption and meant to inspect the entry and exit of human resources can be overhauled and replaced by a secure simple and flexible set-up enabling Tajikistan to make the most of migration flows.
Continued analysis of migration challenges through research publications and debates and promotion of partnerships between government educational institutions, private sector, media and civil society to enhance migrants' capacity, and leveraging of good migration management at the government level will therefore constitute the basis of IOM's in-country operations. This framework strategy will include the following programme interventions:
- Enhancing awareness and skills of labour migrants in compliance with migration and employment laws and labour market demands of transit and destination countries
- Developing a proactive policy and institutional framework to promote regular foreign employment
- Reforming border management
- Enhancing capacity of law enforcement and judges to investigate, prosecute and judge human traffickers and protect their victims
- Stimulating the investment of migrant remittances into the development of small businesses
- Mitigation of migration induced by natural disasters in a mountain country particularly vulnerable to seismic hazards
- Research on migration trends
- In cooperation with UNHCR, voluntary repatriation and resettlement services for Afghan refugees and stranded migrants
The Operational Strategy 2012-2015 identifies the key thematic challenges and priorities guiding IOM's programmatic interventions in Tajikistan in the upcoming years.