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UNICEF report details negative impact of labour migration on Tajik families

Article / Review by on December 13, 2011 – 10:51 pmNo Comments

UNICEF report details negative impact of labour migration on Tajik families

UNICEF report details negative impact of labour migration on Tajik families

A new report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on labour migration from Tajikistan shows that many children left behind are exposed to bullying and suffer from depression as well as increased aggression and rebellion.

The report, released today, looks at the impact on health, education, well-being and economic activity of labour migration in Tajikistan, where dramatic social and economic changes since the end of the Soviet Union and national independence have led to widespread migration.

Remittances from Tajik migrants living in other countries have become vital to boosting economic growth and reducing poverty, UNICEF said, noting in a press release that the report sheds light on many of the downsides of migration.

A third of migrant families interviewed for the report describe the overall impact as “negative,” and almost the same amount are “neutral,” with just over a third “very positive” or “positive.”

Some 48 per cent of non-migrant households also describe the impact as negative, with abandoned family members back in Tajikistan among those least likely to see a positive impact.

“A significant number” of migrant parents also say they are unhappy about having to migrate, despite the additional earnings they usually acquire in another country, which helps to pay for improved health care, education, nutrition and housing.

Many children in the study were found to have been strongly affected by their parents’ migration, exhibiting symptoms of depression, withdrawal, increased aggression and greater rebelliousness.

The children were also more likely to exposed to bullying because of the lack of protective parental figures and teased by others as “forgotten.”

Laylee Moshiri, UNICEF’s representative in Tajikistan, said the report’s policy recommendations are aimed at lessening the social impact of migration on children left behind.

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UNICEF launches report on the impact of labour migration on children left behind in Tajikistan

DUSHANBE, 13 December 2011 – A UNICEF report launched today sheds light on the negative impact of labour migration on many children who are left behind in Tajikistan.

Despite the benefit of additional earnings, a significant number of migrant parents said that they were unhappy about being forced to migrate in order to sustain their families.

The report said that families who were questioned said the overall impact of migration as ‘very positive’ or ‘positive’ , but 30 per cent describe it as neutral and 33 per cent as negative.

Some 48 per cent of non-migrant households described the impact of migration on families as negative. Extra income is the largest advantage because it helps pay for better health, education, nutrition and housing. Abandoned family members see no positive impact from migration.

Labour migration in Tajikistan reflects the complex history of the country and the dramatic economic and social changes in recent years. Various studies have identified remittances as a key factor supporting economic growth and poverty reduction.

There are very few studies on the effect of migration on household dynamics and children left behind. This report addresses these gaps by examining how migration impacts aspects of children’s lives including health, education, economic activity and psycho-social well-being.

“The study has revealed the mixed positive and negative impacts of migration on children and women depending on whether they belong to migrant, non-migrant or abandoned households,” said Ms. Laylee Moshiri, UNICEF Representative in Tajikistan.

“The policy recommendations provided in the report are intended to enhance the debate on lessening the negative social effects of migration on children left behind,” she added.

The report said many children in the study were strongly affected by their parent’s migration, showing symptoms of withdrawal and depression and increased aggressiveness and rebelliousness. Children reported being teased as forgotten and exposed to more bullying because of the lack of a protective fatherly protective figure.

The report says the impact of migration on the education of children left behind depends on various factors. The research supported the hypothesis that migration status does not impact school enrolment because this is mandatory, enforced and free up to the age of 16.

The report sees a need for a coherent national social protection policy not solely focused on poverty reduction but also to protect vulnerable people, including children left behind.

Read the full report at: http://www.unicef.org/tajikistan/resources_18660.html

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About UNICEF
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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> United Nations (UN).

The General Assembly in session. Photo credit: UN / Eskinder Debebe The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.

When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:

  • to maintain international peace and security;
  • to develop friendly relations among nations;
  • to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
  • and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

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* The above story is adapted from materials provided by United Nations (UN)
** More information at United Nations (UN)

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