Number of Tajik labor migrants grows in Kazakhstan

The economic situation in Russia after Western sanctions due to the invasion of Ukraine forced some Tajik migrants to seek work in Kazakhstan. Migrants say that they earn less in Kazakhstan than in Russia, but they feel safe here, according to the material of the Aziyanews portal.

Dozens of Tajik migrants work at the Sharyn wholesale market in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

Khamza Boboev, 35, has recently arrived in Astana to work, selling fruits at the market and sometimes working as a loader. “I used to go to work in Sochi. There are good wages. In Kazakhstan, I earn less, but here police officers rarely find fault with visitors. And in Russia, even those migrants who have everything in order with their documents are detained and delivered to the police department,” the source of the portal said. According to him, in Russia he earned up to 70 thousand rubles a month, in Astana his earnings do not exceed 40 thousand rubles.

“We arrived in Astana a little earlier. Local police officers also detain migrants, but they let them go right away, or ask them to put their documents in order,” says Olimjon Kamolov, a Tajik migrant.

According to Tajik migrants, unlike the situation in Russia, hate crimes and xenophobic crimes are rare in Kazakhstan.

But from Kazakhstan, just like from Russia, a large number of foreigners who have violated the migration laws are deported every year. In 2017, the government of Kazakhstan approved the rules for expelling foreigners or stateless persons from the country. The decision to expel foreigners from the country is made by the court. The foreigner is obliged to leave Kazakhstan within the period specified by the court. In the summer of 2022, 48 citizens of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were deported from Kazakhstan, who were collecting medicinal ferula in the steppe regions.

Tajik migrants also work on construction sites in Astana. Some of them, like Komron Rajabzoda, came to Kazakhstan after being deported from Russia and banned from entering the country for five years.

“Russia is a more developed country than Kazakhstan, you can earn a lot there. We were deported from Russia due to lack of registration. We were forced to come to work in Kazakhstan,” said Komron Rajabzoda.

Tajik migrants in Astana try to communicate with each other more often, including through groups created on social networks. “We are doing our best to ensure that our compatriots are not alone with their problems,” says one of the activists, Abduvakhkhob Tojiev.

The exact number of Tajik migrants working in Astana is unknown. The Migration Service of the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment of the Population of Tajikistan reported in July this year that 10.5 thousand Tajiks are currently working in Kazakhstan. According to the interlocutors of the portal, the number of Tajik migrants in this Central Asian country is steadily growing.

Nov. 3, 2022