This programme concerns labour migration and is a logical continuation of Central Asia Regional Migration Programme (CARM) implemented by IOM, UN Women and the World Bank with a support of UK Aid (DFID) between 2010 and 2013. As such RMP builds on the results of CARM and is designed to ensure longer term sustainability of the CARM/RMP intervention.

This programme aims to contribute to better protection of rights and enhancing social and economic opportunities of migrant men, women and their families. This is to be achieved through improving the capacity of government and other stakeholders for policy making and service implementation (Output 1 – implemented by IOM and the WB); Improving the services available for migrant workers and their families (Output 2 - implemented by IOM). Support to women and children left behind in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (Output 3 - implemented by UN Women).


Labour migration is a widespread phenomenon in Central Asia when migrant workers from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan search for employment opportunities in Russia and Kazakhstan.

The majority of migrant workers working in the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan were forced to migrate because their income was not enough, even for basic needs. Facing the need to earn the means to ensure the survival of their families, migrant workers often see no alternative to working under irregular and exploitative conditions. Labour migration, in its turn, provides them a vital source of income and, in some cases, builds up their autonomy, self- confidence and social status.

Due to unregulated situation with management of labour migration processes, labour migration is overwhelmingly a spontaneous, irregular process with limited opportunities for legal employment. Because of this vast majority of migrant workers’ rights are not protected and migrants being vulnerable and exposed to risk of labour exploitation, human trafficking.

Constantly changing migration policies in two target countries are a challenge and so is limited capacity of respective structures to manage migration. At the same time the potential of civil society and private sector is not utilized. There is a need to foster cooperation mechanism between state structures and civil society as well as to further develop an infrastructure in the field of labour migration, adaptation and integration of migrants, which included collaboration within tri-partite public-civic-private partnerships.

To maximize gains from migration, for development of CIS region, the governments acknowledge a need to develop common and agreed approaches to managing migration flows, facilitation of exchange of labour resources and enhancing effectiveness of inter-governmental cooperation in the field of migration management.

Overall Goal and Programme Purpose

Overall objective of the programme is to contribute to poverty reduction in Central Asia through the improved livelihoods of migrant men and women.

Specific programme purpose is to protect the rights and enhance the social and economic opportunities of migrant men, women and their families.


Examples of some of the key results to be delivered by this programme are:

Output 1: Improved capacity of government and other stakeholders to make policy and implement services in sending and receiving countries

  • Over 500 government officials and non-state partners in four countries increased understanding and skills on issues around labour migration and development and capacitated to work on policy improvements and provision of services to migrants;
  • At least 10 developments introduced pertaining to policy changes, new structures and referral mechanisms created amongst state, public and private stakeholders;
  • 5 analytical pieces (policy outputs) produced.

Output 2: Improved services provided throughout the migration cycle to migrant workers in sending (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan) and receiving countries (Russia, Kazakhstan).

  • Information/Support Centres for migrants in four countries provide effective legal and other specific advice to approximately 200 000 migrant workers ( 30% women) to enable them to make more informed decisions about their migration processes;
  • Over 100 migrant workers participated in a pilot organized recruitment and 25 supported with vocational training;
  • About 1 mln people, employers and migrants reached by publicity campaign in four countries to be equipped with the knowledge about how to migrate and work legally and where to turn for assistance.

Output 3: Improved services provided to vulnerable individuals and families in targeted communities in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan

  • 2800 women gained access to legal aid assistance to protect their rights;
  • 7600 vulnerable families assisted gained access to services that aim to improve their livelihoods and income in targeted communities in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
  • Number of households reporting generating income increased.


The following actions will be taken under each of the outputs to contribute to the overall objective and programme purpose:

  • Output 1: Enhancing capacity at the central and local level of key state institutions to make policies and provide services; strengthening multi-stakeholder cooperation between government and civil society on service delivery and policy development.
  • Output 2: Legal counseling and support to migrant workers and their families to increase awareness and knowledge on legal procedures of migration, risks, rights and responsibilities; Increasing the knowledge and skills of migrants; Facilitating and piloting organized recruitment and professional training; Increasing awareness of population on migration-related issues through information campaign and outreach
  • Output 3: Improving access of vulnerable women to free legal services; Empowering vulnerable local communities to improve their economic and social opportunity; Strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations and religious leaders to address and respond to the social consequences of labour migration on women’s rights.

Programmatic approach

  • Expert support and policy advice
  • Regional networking
  • Technical cooperation and capacity building
  • Awareness raising
  • Protection and direct assistance
  • Community work

Programme Partner Organizations

  • IOM
  • World Bank
  • DFID


  • Government of Tajikistan
  • Government of Kyrgyzstan
  • Government of Kazakhstan
  • Government of Russia
  • Parliaments
  • NGOs and other service providers
  • Community based organizations
  • Media

Management Framework

The project will be administered by IOM Moscow, WB Moscow, UN WOMEN Almaty, DFID Dushanbe.


January 2014 - March 2015