IOM Launches Regional Project “IOM Labour Migration Programme – Central Asia”, Phase I

Astana, 10 October 2022 – Since June 2022 IOM has been implementing a regional project “Labour Migration Programme – Central Asia” (Phase I), with financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). 

The regional project aims at contributing to improved management of labour migration and harnessing human mobility for development in both countries of origin and destination. The project activities will take place with the collective action of four countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  The project brings together stakeholders involved in labour recruitment processes, including governments, public and private employment agencies, the private sector and international organisations both in Central Asia and in each project country.

The launch meeting on 10 October was attended (both offline and online) by more than 70 partners of the initiative: representatives from governments, national banks, civil society, the business community, academia and international organisations.   Welcoming remarks were made by representatives of IOM, governmental authorities and the donor, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). 

In his speech, Zeynal Hajiyev, Coordinator for Central Asia, Chief of IOM Mission in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, underlined that the main objective of IOM is to support the development and implementation of labour migration policies and programmes that will enhance the contribution of migration to sustainable development. He noted that labour migration plays a key role in the economic development of Central Asia. Kazakhstan is gaining its popularity as a destination country for migrants in Central Asia, as its increasing rate of economic growth and relatively high level of wealth and higher incomes make it more attractive for migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Governments in the region are increasingly aware of the need to develop the recruitment industry and diversify destination countries to create better opportunities for workers and reduce dependence on the Russian economy and labour market as a source of employment and remittances.

The project envisages activities aimed at improving the management of labour migration in order to better respond to the needs of employers and the labour market, while protecting migrant workers and enhancing development impact in both origin and destination countries of migration. The project timeframe is 48 months.

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities