Following massive displacement of people in the course of civil war (1992-1997), Tajikistan is now faced with an exodus of people, most of them men, in search for work abroad. Women and children are left behind and often lack sufficient income to cover basic needs. Remittances from migrant workers are, however, a major source of income in Tajikistan, and a large proportion is used to cover basic consumption needs. At the same time, many Tajik migrant workers face serious human rights abuses and insecurities abroad, including forced labour and human trafficking. The Government and social partners of Tajikistan are committed to promoting employment and safe migration.
The proposed project aims to improve the overall security situation in Tajikistan with particular emphasis on socio-economic and personal security needs of people on the move and of women who were left behind without income. It is based on a two-pronged strategy: 1) empowering people and communities through income-generating activities, training and awareness raising; and 2) assuring the protection of Tajik migrant workers and their families through better migration management. The main beneficiaries of this project are potential migrant workers (most of them men) as well as disadvantaged women and young people from the Rasht valley.
The ILO with its tripartite structure and competence on labour market issues is ideally placed to implement a labour market based strategy against discrimination and poverty in close collaboration with international and national partners. UNDP will be the UN partner in the implementation of this project, and its expertise on local governance will greatly contribute to the empowerment of communities and people. The project will be firmly linked to the National Development Strategy. The project team will be based in Dushanbe (Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, MLSP) and Gharm (UNDP Office) to ensure efficient implementation of local activities while at the same time assisting the Government in Dushanbe with the legal and policy reform process linked to migration and poverty reduction.