KHUJAND, November 15, Asia-Plus - Labor migrants are a critical component in the economy of Tajikistan.  Remittances keep many families at home above the poverty line.

Homid Jamolov, the head of the Sughd migration service, told journalists in Khujand on November 14 that over the first ten months of this year, an estimated 129,201 seasonal workers from the northern province of Sughd have traveled abroad seeking better employment opportunities.

Last year, 110,872 labor migrants from Sughd traveled abroad, according to him.

Jamolov noted that in January-October 2006, the labor migrants remitted to banks in the Sughd province US$247 million, which is US$60 million more compared to the same period of last year (in 2005, the Sughd seasonal workers remitted to their families and relatives US$187 million).   

The Sughd migration service head noted that men constitute 87.1 percent (112,463) of the Sughd labor migrants and women 12.9 percent (16,747).  “The Sughd labor migrants have been working primarily in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), 95.4 percent (123,231 people) of them are staying in the Russian Federation, 1.5 percent or 1,942 people in Kazakhstan, 0.65 percent or 841 people in Kyrgyzstan, 0.53 percent or 686 people in Ukraine and 1.51 percent or 1,949 people in other CIS states,” Jamolov said, noting 0.42 percent (552 people) of the Sughd labor migrants are staying in the far abroad countries.  

According to him, five organizations in northern Tajikistan deal with sending local people abroad for seasonal work: Sughd branch of Tojikkhorijakor; Voluntary Labor of Youth, Rustam, branch of Russia’s company Medias and Office of Legal Support for Migrants.  “Over the past ten months, these companies have sent only 967 people abroad for seasonally work,” the Sughd migration service head noted.