Some migrants receive salaries in envelopes and are not treated in any way

Some migrants receive salaries in envelopes and are not treated in any way

A labor migrant from Central Asia earns an average of 54.5 thousand rubles in Moscow. per month. This was found out in the office of the capital's ombudsman after conducting a survey of workers from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. At the same time, more than half of the visitors receive a salary in envelopes, live a little less, renting housing by sharing an average of four people in one room, and almost a quarter do not receive treatment “at all.” The Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights draws attention to a “serious shortage of migration statistics” among the government departments responsible for this, which complicates monitoring and forecasting the development of the situation on the labor market.

The study “Labor migration from Central Asia in modern Moscow” was presented at the Moscow Parliamentary Center by the capital’s Ombudsman Tatyana Potyaeva. It is based on a survey in September 2023 of 900 labor migrants (in equal proportions from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) aged 18 to 60 years. It follows from the document that 54.4% of respondents receive their salary “in cash without statement” in envelopes (and about 30% - on a bank card) - on average this is 54.5 thousand rubles. per month. Among citizens of Uzbekistan, the most popular job is in construction (about a quarter of respondents answered this), and among visitors from Tajikistan - in dry cleaners, hairdressers and “other” service industries (31.8% of respondents; this apparently includes delivery). Whereas, for example, only 5% of visitors from Uzbekistan and 12% each from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are employed in trade.

More than half of the respondents work without a written contract (explaining this in approximately equal parts by the employer’s refusal to conclude one and the lack of need for a document). 44% of foreigners rent an apartment by sharing (on average four people in one room), and only 4.3% of respondents have their own housing. Half of the respondents admitted that they “informally pay” for registration at their place of residence. Only 3.7% of migrants have paid health insurance, about half of the respondents go to doctors only when “urgently necessary,” and almost a quarter receive “no treatment at all.” Three quarters of those surveyed said that their existing knowledge of the Russian language is “quite enough” for communication at work, and 70% - at home. At the same time, about 44% of survey participants noted that the local population treats migrants “good”, and only 5% are “hostile”.

Migrants from Central Asia are a constant component of the Moscow labor market in niches where competition with Muscovites is low, the study says. According to Ms. Potyaeva, the survey showed a shortage of migration statistics among the government departments responsible for this. “This complicates monitoring and forecasting the development of the situation on the labor market,” the study says. The Ombudsman's Office notes changes in the market, highlighting the rapid growth of the courier delivery segment and the associated shortage of couriers and their strikes last winter. RAPSI, citing the authors of the study, provides information about a “morally outdated registration system” as the main obstacle to the legalization of migrants.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, in the first half of 2023, 9.1 million documents were issued to foreigners for registration (including 1.6 million to citizens of Uzbekistan, 960 thousand to Tajikistan and 400 thousand to Kyrgyzstan). At the same time, in November 2023, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, which previously published monthly statistics on migration, announced to Vedomosti about the transition to quarterly reports. However, in the report on the department’s website for 2023, for example, there is no data on the number of documents issued to foreigners for registration. In 2022, according to the police department, foreigners were issued 16.8 million documents for registration (in 2021 - 13.3 million) and 2 million patents (in 2021 - 2.2 million).

The text of the Ombudsman's study states that problems with the adaptation of foreigners can be solved by “improving awareness of their rights and responsibilities,” using Moscow migration centers and QR codes on patents with links to relevant leaflets. The authors of the study note the “rather strong attitudes” of respondents towards obtaining Russian citizenship, stipulating that three-quarters of migrants need it to simplify employment and legalization.

President of the international alliance “Labor Migration” Nikolai Kurdyumov calls the situation bleak “from the point of view of the ability to regulate the flow of migrants”: “They do not cover the need for labor in the most important areas for the economy. It turned out that the vast majority of migrants find work through friends and relatives, and not through official recruitment agencies and employment services.” The head of the research group on migration and ethnicity at RANEPA, Evgeniy Varshaver, has questions about the research methodology: “It is not clear from the description how and by what procedure the data was collected. And given the fact that, apparently, the data was collected exclusively in Russian, which is nonsense for modern migration studies, significant shifts can be expected.”

Alexander Voronov, Emilia Gabdullina

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