USAID Kyrgyz Republic Features: “Sharing Knowledge, Empowering Migrants”
The USAID Safe Migration in Central Asia (SMICA) activity’s work with the non-governmental organization (NGO) partner Migrants Trade Union (MTU) was featured in a USAID Exposure piece published on Jan. 10, 2022.
The article showcases the success story of Nursultan, a labor migrant from Kyrgyzstan who contacted the MTU seeking assistance after his employer at a coffee shop in Moscow refused to pay his wages. Through contact with Ijabat Ganiyeva, an active member who spent years as a labor migrant in Moscow, herself, Nursultan received the help he needed, and his full salary was paid.
“When we write letters to employers who violated migrants’ rights, we explain that their actions are illegal and refer to the law that they are breaking. In most cases it helps,” Ganiyeva said.
She is one of 30 union members who participated in trainings organized by SMICA, where she learned about migrant rights and regulations governing migration in destination countries. Now back home, she shares that information with fellow community members, helping them to become better prepared and informed before they depart from labor migration. So far, she has organized information sessions for over 170 participants.
The USAID-funded SMICA activity is implemented by Winrock in the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It uses evidence-based practices and cross-border connections to strengthen the mutual accountability and effectiveness of governments, NGOs, and the private sector to prevent trafficking-in-persons, protect survivors, and promote safe migration. The activity works in close cooperation with local governments, civil society, and the private sector to improve migration practices and prevent exploitation.