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Survey Shows Not All Post-Soviet Labor Migrants See Benefit

A migrant worker sleeps on top of a shelter outside Moscow.
Nearly four out of 10 labor migrants in the former Soviet Union say their work abroad did not improve the lives of their families back home.

That's according to a new survey released on December 27 by the Gallup polling agency, which interviewed 19,000 migrants from Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Moldova.

The survey shows greatest satisfaction among labor migrants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, where 66 percent of respondents said their work helped improve their families' economic situations.

Migrants in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova reported fewer financial benefits, with less than 40 percent saying their work abroad improved their professional qualifications and just under 20 percent saying the experience helped them find better jobs once they returned home.

Migrants generate billions of dollars in annual remittances to their home countries.