A WORD PUT IN FOR LABOR MIGRANTS

A WORD PUT IN FOR LABOR MIGRANTS

The migration problem has become a serious concern for Azerbaijan over the past few years. Besides, a process of emigration dominates in Azerbaijan due to numerous reasons, evolving the economic migration of the workforce in search of better labor conditions and high payments.

However, in a strange country the migrants immediately turn out in the list of less protected people. A strange country, strange laws… A three-day international conference �Social Security of labor migrants in condition of globalization’ was held in Baku starting on 7 September to mull the issues concerning the social security of Azerbaijan citizens who left the motherland in search of better pie.

The growing demand for social security of migrants is a result of some manifestations linked with the globalization, and boom in migration processes Such manifestation actually date to the beginning of the industrialization in the 19th century and the number of such people grew from 700,000 a year to 800,000 a year from 1846 to 1932, and at present the annual figure reaches roughly 4 million people a year. Besides, the figure does not include illegal migration, which is estimated in the diapason from 700,000 to 2 million people in addition.

Salim Muslimov, the head of the State Fund of the Social Security of Azerbaijan (SFSS), said that the number of people who left the country in 1995-1999 was 64,500 people, and the number of those who arrived to the country was 29,700, which led to the negative balance of 34,800 persons.

In 2000-2004, when the accelerated economic development was observed, the number of people who left the country was 28,100 persons with 12,700 arrived in the country, and the negative balance reduced to 15,400 persons. Dynamics, showing reducing of migration indicates, that in 1995, 16,000 left the country and in 2004 this figure lowered to 2,800.

The system of economic indices, adequate to this dynamics formed in the country: if in 2000 the incomes of the population were 17,5 trillion AZM, in 2004 this figure reached 27,1 trillion AZM, the average monthly salary grew from $46 to $99,3, the volume of investments on all financial sources rose from $1,47 billion to $4,6 billion, the non-government share of the country’s GDP grew from 70% to 77%, the negative balance of the foreign trade turnover amounting to $199 million changed to $916 million of the positive balance, the inflation rate in this period was lower of 5%", - Muslimov noted.

According to him, by the State Statistics Committee data, in 1995-2004 from 92 636 persons, who left Azerbaijan 85 120 or 92% went to the CIS and Baltic countries, among them 71 856 persons or 84.4% are those who left for Russia. It should be taken into account there are legal labor migrants and illegal ones.

This is official data, while around 3 million Azerbaijani citizens reside only in Russia. Besides, the number of Azerbaijanis residing in Russian has increased 4.6 times over the past 16 years. As of results of general census, held in 2002, only 642,000 of them are Russian citizens.

If we take into consideration that the employers themselves do not accept positively legalization of the work force and the wages, then the number of illegal labor migrants is much more. In such conditions it is confirmed again how complicated the social security of the labor migrants and their pension security.

He also stressed, the problem of the pension security of labor migrants is a key problem for today. He noted the issue is planned to decide shortly, with Russia in particular.

В"In our opinion, to solve this problem the following things are to be taken into consideration:

-first, to join the World Convention and Charter of UNO, ILO and organizations on social security of labor migrants, as well as to specify the principal aspects of those Convention and Charter in the national legislation, characteristic of various countries;

-second, taking into account, that the main part of the labor migrants is formed at the regional labor fairs it is needed to harmonize with the social security system of those countries, the labor fair participants they are;

-third, the cooperation of the social security bodies of these countries in mutual administrative assistance and exchange of information is very important”, Muslimov noted.

In CIS problems of social security remain unresolved. A man returned from Russia after long activities in the Russian labor market will face with a problem of pension provision: which country should pay pension benefits?

Speakers to the conference said that Azerbaijan has taken definite steps in this direction. Thus, in 1998 the country joined the UN International Convention on protection of rights of all labor migrants and members of their families, while in the beginning of last year it ratified the reconsidered European Social Charter.

In 1994 Azerbaijan undersigned an agreement on cooperation in the sphere of labor migration and social security of the labor migrants, who are CIS citizens, adopted a resolution on adoption of Rules on fighting with illegal migration in the territory of CIS, on rules on exchange of information on illegal migrants and establishment of data base on illegal migrants. Relevant laws on labor migration and immigration, laws on legal status of the foreigners and people without citizenships were adopted.

However, the reflection of migrants’ rights in the papers is not the way out, while it is important to enforce them. For instance, the transition to the new pension system, based on the individual registration system, approximately similar to the Russian legislation would be more relevant.

As an Azerbaijani leaves for another country data on pension accounts are given to relevant bodies of the countries and further accumulation is continued there. The funds accumulated in Azerbaijan in his private account can be taken by him, or inherited by his progeny.

As to migrants’ families, they do not differ from other families, while their management is rather difficult due to spread of members in different countries, and emergence of problems with connecting the standard acts in different countries. The members of migrant families as a rule remain in their Motherland and use money transfers from abroad.

Nationwide, 25% of Azerbaijani families depend on money transferred from Russia, and the process somehow increases the financial stability in such families. According to an article published in the Moscow based daily Moskovskaya Pravda, wrote that every year 5 to 8bn dollars are transferred from Russia to Azerbaijan.

Thus, the key objective of the conference �Social Security of Labor Migrants in condition of globalization’ was to inform the participants about the existing means and concentration of major political issues in this sphere. Azerbaijan in this case is recommended to use means and ensure social security of our compatriots, who left the country in search of jobs rather the search of adventures.

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