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  • Mainstreaming Migration Into National Development Strategies Country Overview

Country Overview

Kyrgyzstan

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The migration phenomenon in Kyrgyzstan is characterized by its dynamism and large-scale occurrence. The migratory movements in recent years are both internal and external. Labour migration remains the most significant of the types of migration. Currently, one million of two and a half million of people of working age (of a total population of six million) are seasonal labour migrants, mostly in neighbouring Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation, according to various estimates. Official statistics are significantly lower: As of April 2016, the number of Kyrgyz migrants in Russia is reported to be as many as 574,194 (61 percent men and 39 percent women), according to the Migration Department of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation (formerly the Federal Migration Service). The report released by the State Migration Service of the Kyrgyz Republic in January 2016 declared the number of Kyrgyz migrants in Kazakhstan to be 113,000. Labour migration is characterized by significant financial flows into the country through remittances. External labour migrants are financial sources for family budgets through remittances. Hence, migration acts as a dynamically evolving phenomenon; it continuously has a substantial impact on the socio-economic situation in Kyrgyzstan.

Poor governance and persistent corruption in the country has resulted in increased unemployment being a main push behind large population emigration from Kyrgyzstan. This is due mostly to the outflow of youth and the working-age population.

There are continuous debates on how to improve and expand opportunities for Kyrgyz migrants, and the Government has launched studies toanalyse the gaps in the protection of migrants’ rights. Recent accession of Kyrgyzstan to the Eurasian Economic Union, established by the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Belarus in 2015, will change the parameters of the migration process, given that the majority of migration flows are concentrated in those countries. The implementation of the joint programme in Kyrgyzstan is key to ensuring migration leads to development in the country.

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