International Organizations and Regional Migration Management: Reacting to Changes in Labour Migration in the Russian Federation
Daniel Stefanik | BIG Research Reports | #65
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation has emerged as a prominent destination for prospective migrants of the former Soviet republics, particularly from Central Asia. However, a substantial proportion of Central Asian labour migrants continue to remain undocumented despite previous efforts of policy reform implemented by the Russian government. As a result, this migratory phenomenon raises inquiry into the role played by international organizations (IOs) in managing and facilitating the labour migration process. An analysis of existing policies implemented by the Russian state, including the imposition of quotas on working permits and limiting the working capacity of NGOs and IOs, suggests that these efforts have failed to curtail the incentives or demand of prospective labour migrants. Furthermore, while the holding of knowledge-based activities by international organizations such as studies, conferences and information sessions have shed light on the problems affecting migration in the region, they have arguably taken for granted the level of absorptive capacity of the institutions and individuals with whom they are dealing. The current economic crisis is likely to produce similar results to those of 2008 global economic crisis, whereby an ailing Russian economy signifies more labourers returning to their country of origin, as well as increasing impetus for protectionist measures, despite the fact that the demographic and labour market issues in Russia persist. In this regard, IOs can play an important role in terms of policy implementation and coordination between countries, securing safe channels for remittances and ensuring their developmental potential is maximized, as well supporting measures to increase social tolerance that national actors alone might neither have the interest or the authority to pursue.