USAID Central Asia Exposure Page Features “Protect Yourself, Know Your Rights”
The USAID Safe Migration in Central Asia (SMICA) activity’s support to migrant workers stranded in transit or in destination countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic was featured on USAID’s Central Asia Exposure page, posted April 13, 2021.
“Protect Yourself, Know Your Rights,” tells the story of Ikram, a migrant from Uzbekistan working in Kazakhstan, and one of thousands of Central Asian migrants receiving assistance through SMICA, implemented by Winrock International. The pandemic has created a humanitarian and financial crisis for millions of migrants in Central Asia, many of whom, like Ikram, lost their jobs suddenly, leaving them stranded outside their home countries and vulnerable to human trafficking and other rights abuses.
“When an immigrant hands in their documents to someone, it’s like they are handing over their destiny. In our conversations with them we try to deliver one message: you can protect yourself if you understand your rights,” said Bekhzod Tulayev, a lawyer with a Kazakhstani legal aid organization partnering with SMICA.