The latest initiatives of Kazakhstan are the implementation of the housing program, the strategy of industrial-innovative development, the task to become one of the 50 most competitive economies in the world, and others. - they will necessarily require the attraction of qualified labor force to the republic. The presence of common borders with countries with a huge migration potential (primarily Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan), participation in international projects such as the Eurasian Economic Community, the CES, and the forthcoming republic’s entry into the WTO sets the country with tasks that need to maintain a balance of interests such as Kazakhstan, and other countries.
Indicators of the professionalism of the media in covering these topics should be populizatsii really necessary increase in the influx of migrant workers on the one hand and the overcoming of various phobias and intolerance among the population before the inevitable large “invasion” on the other. In the meantime, the propaganda of government decisions and the position of many media in relation to labor migrants, especially illegal migrants, are concepts that are directly opposed and often incompatible.
In February of this year, the Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Kazakhstan, Gulzhan Karagusova, expressed concern about the lack of elementary working professions in the implementation of the State Housing Program. The reason - the loss of vocational schools for the preparation of working specialties. As a result, more and more construction companies are forced to hire foreign specialists.
Recently, the problem of a shortage of workers from the mouth of the minister was continued. According to Ms. Karagusova, to cover and implement the strategy of industrial-innovative development, Kazakhstan will need one million imported workers.
Official statistics on attracting foreign labor shows an annual increase in the volume of attracted foreign citizens.
So, if in 2001 10,720 foreign specialists were attracted, in 2005, 24,760, and the quota adjusted in 2006, would attract more than 50,000 foreign specialists. At the same time, according to Serik Abdenov, director of the department of labor and employment of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Kazakhstan: “Despite a significant simplification of the procedure for issuing permits, a significant part of labor migrants employed in seasonal jobs work illegally. A study of the situation showed that part of the labor migrants lack identification documents. In addition, due to the negligence of individual employers, labor relations with migrant workers are not always properly formalized. ”
As for illegal migrants, then, as with any unofficial statistics, the number of their presence in the republic ranges from 300 thousand to 1 million according to the most optimistic forecasts (in the light of the above). The bulk of the visiting workers are citizens (in descending order) of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. However, only with Kyrgyzstan signed documents regulating migration processes. On the contrary, Uzbekistan refuses to recognize the fact of illegal labor migration altogether, although according to Elena Sadovskaya, an expert of the Research Council on Migration in the CIS and Baltic countries, Uzbekistan is the main exporter of labor in Kazakhstan - up to 700 thousand people annually.
Some more weighty arguments on the need to attract labor resources from outside to the Kazakhstani economy ...
First, the replacement migration. Highly skilled workers from North and West Kazakhstan go to work in Russia. Every year, up to 30 thousand workers from the border areas worked in the Russian neighboring areas, where wages are still significantly higher.
Secondly, the working component of the population of Kazakhstan is rapidly aging - the average age of a worker has exceeded 50 years. Young people, inspired by numerous examples of successful careers, do not aspire to factories and plants.
Third, the "imbalance" in Kazakhstan's education led to the fact that today there are six trained specialists with higher education per one skilled worker. For example, in world practice, the ideal ratio of workers and managers is considered five to one in favor of the workers.
At the same time, society has developed a rather stable distrust of migrants, especially illegal immigrants, from the neighboring Central Asian republics. A set of complaints about visitors is unpretentious - “they have come to the right”, “they occupy other people's jobs”, “spread diseases”, “increase crime” - the summary “to deport everyone”.
In many ways, such an assessment, often completely unintentionally, is formed by the media, which appeal to reports of security forces, where migrants act as carriers of all kinds of violators of the law. At the same time, it is the mass media that should play a key role in overcoming the prejudices and negative stereotypes in the field of migration prevailing in society. Ambassador Ivar Wiki, the head of the OSCE Center in Almaty, said:
“Although migration is a widespread phenomenon that can play a positive role in economic and social development, it is often misunderstood and poorly understood. There are prejudices and stereotypes that need to be overcome, and journalists can play a key role in this process. ” According to Sadovskaya, the main problem today is the knowledge and competence of the journalists themselves, since mass migration is a new and superficial phenomenon for Kazakhstan and, often, one-sided media coverage of this problem cannot have a positive impact on the population’s multi-polarity problem.
“The role of the media is to raise the need to develop legislation and ratify international instruments for the protection of immigrant workers. I believe that the media should pay more attention to the problem, work more with the staff of the Ministry of the Interior, cover positive examples of their actions, ”the expert believes.
Recently, such an example has been identified. From August 1 of this year, Kazakhstan launched a program to legalize labor migrants who arrived before June 1, 2006. According to it, any illegal migrant can legally legalize, legally work, pay taxes and hope for state assistance in resolving conflicts. So, only in the city of Almaty it is planned to legalize 21 thousand illegal immigrants. The program will run until the end of this year. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan predicts that up to 100 thousand labor migrants will be legalized within the framework of this action. What measures will be taken in relation to the remaining illegal immigrants has not yet been announced. Simple arithmetic - the number of legalized migrants, in any optimistic scenario, will at times exceed the remaining illegal migrants, who will always find a place in criminal and protest journalistic materials.