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Majlis Podcast: The Central Asian Migrant Laborers Who Are Not Going Home


Migrant workers wearing protective face masks line up outside a migration control center to prolong their stay in Russia amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in St. Petersburg on April 3.

For years, millions of citizens of Central Asia have been traveling to other countries to find employment that they cannot find at home.

Many of these people are now in limbo.

Governments, like the one in Russia where most of the Central Asian migrant laborers usually go, are ordering residents to stay inside. Plants, factories, construction sites, and many other workplaces have suspended operations.

Borders are closed and most flights, trains, and buses have been canceled.

For those who would like to go back to their homelands, there are few, if any, options. Suddenly unemployed, they are left far from home with no way to return.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager for South and Central Asia, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion that looks at what life is like for migrant laborers from Central Asia who are currently stuck in Russia.

This week's guests are, from Moscow, Damelia Aitkhozhina, a researcher for Human Rights Watch; from Istanbul, Aruuke Uran Kyzy, a journalist for TRT World who has reported extensively from Russia and who authored a recent report on this topic for The Diplomat; and from Prague, Tohir Safarov, a multimedia producer in RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Majlis Podcast: The Central Asian Migrant Laborers Who Are Not Going Home
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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