STATEMENT OF THE COALITION TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF LABOUR MIGRANTS IN RUSSIA August 13, 2013 London - Paris, We the undersigned, representing the civil society of Uzbekistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, express our deep concern over the recent actions of the Russian authorities towards migrant workers from Central Asia.
In recent weeks the following actions have been reported: raids targeting people of foreign appearance in Moscow, which have seen more than one thousand people arrested; the creation of a supposedly temporary camp in Golyanovo for these detained migrants; and an announcement by the Federal Migration Service on a plan to set up 83 such camps for illegal migrants.
We consider these actions to be unlawful, and motivated by political populism rather than by any intention to to find a real solution to the problem of the labour migration from Central Asia to Russia.
We express our regret that such actions on the part of the Russian authorities are taking place amidst continuous racial and xenophobic attacks on labour migrants, attacks to which law enforcement agents regularly turn a blind eye.
In light of these actions, we representatives of the home countries of most of Russia’s labour migrants have resolved to unite our efforts to protect our compatriots, initially through the establishment of a Coalition To Protect the Rights of Labour Migrants in Russia. The Coalition consists of the following organizations: international human rights association “Fiery Hearts Club» (Association Internationale de Dèfense des Droits de I’homme "Club des Coeurs Ardents" (Uzbekistan/France); student movement "Flaming Hearts", (France); anti-discrinmination centre Memorial (Russia); the Turkmen Helsinki Foundation (Turkmenistan/Bulgaria); non-govenrmental organisation “Bir Dunyo” (Kyrgyzstan); сentre for human rights protection “Kilim Shami” (Kyrgyzstan); and non-governmental organisation “Justice” (Kyrgyztan). The work of the Coalition is coordinated by Shahida Yakub and also includes Marina Yakovleva (the Editor-in-Chief of Internet website http://jarayon.com), Marina Pikulina -coordinator of the international organisation «1000 Women for Peace», journalist Gulnara Ravshan, and civil society activist Mokhira Ortikova. All these organisations consist mainly of women and relatedly, the Coalition will pay special attention to the protection of the rights of female migrant workers and their children. The goals of the coalition are as follows: • To monitor the situation regarding labour migration from Central Asia to Russia • To protect the human rights of illegal labour migrants • To promote a public campaign for protection of the human rights of labour migrants and against racism and xenophobia • To work on recommendations to the Government of the Russian Federation as well as the governments of Central Asian states on ways to mitigate the problems associated with labour migration. Our Coalition is an active participant in the public action to support labour migrants organized by the Russian non-governmental organization, Committee “Grazhdanskoe Sodeistvie,” taking place on August 13th, 2013.
We believe that by uniting we can contribute to the fight against the abuse migrant workers face not only from the Russian authorities but also from the authorities of their home countries, which in many cases turn a blind eye to the dire conditions of their countrymen who face grave risks as they strive to earn money to feed their families back home. We are ready to cooperate with all organizations and individuals who share our views, and we call upon the Russian media, and the of other countries of the former Soviet Union countries, to support the Coalition’s work.
The coordinators of the Coalition:
Mutabar Tadjibayeva, email: email@example.com, mob: +33679233927; ofice +33950147243 Shahida Yakub, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: +447809545909
Organising Committee of the Coalition:
1. Mutabar Tadjibayeva, international human rights association “Fiery Hearts Club» (Association Internationale de Dèfense des Droits de I’homme "Club des Coeurs Ardents" (Uzbekistan/France);
2. Shahida Yakub, journalist, Uzbekistan/UK
3. Maryna Lebedeva, student movement "Flaming Hearts", France
4. Stephania Kulaeva, anti-discrimination centre «Memorial», Russia
5. Tajigul Begmedova, Turkmenistan Helsinki Fond, Turkmenistan/Bulgaria
6. Tolekan Ismailova, human rights centre «Bir Dunyo», Kyrgyzstan
7. Aziza Abdurasulova, centre for human rights «Kilim Shami», Kyrgyzstan
8. Valentina Gritzenko, human rights organisation «Justice», Kyrgyzstan
9. Marina Pikulina, coordinator of the international organisation «1000 Women for Peace»
10. Marina Yakovleva, Chief editor of the Web site http://jarayon.com
11. Gulnara Ravshan, independent journalist
12. Mokhira Ortikova, civil society activist