1 February 2020 — 30 April 2022

Part of the project “Strengthening Social Cohesion in Central Asia” aimed to strengthen social cohesion between labour migrants, their families, peers, and communities.


Labour migration is a critical area of the socio-economic policy of Central Asia. For instance, Kyrgyzstan’s GDP is dependent on the remittances of labour migrants, that make up more than 30% of the republic’s GDP. In Kyrgyzstan, labour migration has affected almost every second family. The main destinations of labour migration from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are Russia and Kazakhstan. In 2019, 1.64 million Kyrgyz were recorded as labour migrants in Russia, representing almost 25% of the general population of Kyrgyzstan. Uzbeks working in Russia make up 14.5% of the general population of Uzbekistan.
Labour migration is fraught with difficulties, from finding sound opportunities and a support system in the destination country to being accepted and reintegrated into the home community upon return. When lacking the necessary pre-departure preparation, labour migrants are vulnerable to many risks, including becoming victims of human trafficking, fraud and deceit. The challenges of labour migration extend to the families of the migrants, with children often left under the care of an elderly family member.

How was this objective pursued?

Through conducting a community assessment in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on communication and relationship patterns between labour migrants, their families, peers, and foremen in destination countries

Trough provision of migrant-oriented services in employment and education institutions to increase of the migrant’s skills value

Through establishing a Stakeholders’ Platform on Safe Labour Migration in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and providing capacity-building and legal support to labour migrants

Trough people-to-people campaign to stimulate social cohesion among labour migrants and their families

Through training courses for social workers, social pedagogues, local self-government bodies, and civil society representatives on principles of effective social work and case management with labour migrants and their families

Results achieved through labour migration related activities

The creation of a Stakeholders’ Platform on Safe Labour Migration improved information exchange and dialogue between relevant migration stakeholders. This ultimately strengthened the effectiveness and coordination of community stakeholders working to support labour migrants and their families.

3 series of training have been organised both in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to build capacities within communities to support labour migrants. These 3 series of training focused on:

  • The provision of pre-departure orientation to labour migrants
  • The provision of legal counsel to reduce the risks of illegal migration and promote safe labour migration
  • Vulnerability assessment, support, case management, and the use of social media for closer connection within families and between communities.

Conducting a people-to-people media campaign stimulated social cohesion among labour migrants and their families in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.  Community members who experienced migration developed story-telling products emphasising different aspects of their life in the country of migration and after returning to their home country. They reflected on their experience and the challenges encountered, sharing both their achievements and failures. A professional documentary photographer and filmmaker taught migrants how to shoot a video and write documentary scripts. In total, 14 video stories have been produced and shared through social media, reaching an audience of 20,100 people on Instagram and Facebook.


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