During 2007-2008, migration trends in Russia were shaped by a continuing demographic decline and considerable economic growth, which resulted in an increasing demand for labour force. One of IOM's priorities is to sustain its activities supporting the harmonization of labour migration policies in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region. The need to enhance the systems of return and reintegration management in conjunction with the return of Russian nationals and the signing of the Readmission Agreement between the Russian Federation and the European Union (EU) in May 2006 is being addressed by IOM within the framework of the initiative funded by the European Commission (EC).
As for internal migration, focused effort has been underway to provide state support to those forcibly resettled as a result of the conflict in Ossetia-Ingushetia. Despite the reported steady decline in irregular migration, expert estimates of the number of irregular migrants in Russia range between five and six million. The need remains to enhance practical mechanisms to enforce compliance with the rules of entry and stay in Russia, as well as to ensure control over associated criminal activities (trafficking in humans, smuggling of migrants, etc.). Hence another focus of IOM is on programmes of technical cooperation in migration management and combating trafficking in human beings.
- US Department of State
- Canadian Ministry for Citizenship and Immigration
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- National Governments of EU Member States
- European Return Fund
- Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior
IOM Moscow engages in providing assistance in the voluntary resettlement of migrants and refugees to the United States, including representatives of religious minorities from the former Soviet Union and third-country refugees referred for resettlement by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Further, IOM Moscow assists foreign citizens currently residing in Russia and registered with UNHCR as asylum seekers in voluntary resettlement to Canada or voluntary return to their countries of origin.
Russian nationals without a legal status in European Union countries receive support in voluntary return and reintegration in Russia.
- US Refugees Admissions Programme
- Refugee Resettlement to Canada
- Voluntary Repatriation from the Russian Federation
- Programmes of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Citizens of the Russian Federation without Legal Status in European Countries
- Assistance for the Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Returnees to the Russian Federation/The Chechen Republic (AVRR)
IOM Migration Health Division (MHD) Moscow provides health assessments of migrants applying for entry visa and refugees approved for permanent resettlement to the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, which includes standardized medical examinations, immunization, treatment of communicable diseases, group and individual medical escorting to final destination, health documents processing and coordinating health information for beneficiaries from Russia and countries of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region. Within this activity, IOM Moscow conducts TB screening and responsible for treatment of applicants providing technical assistance and training to the personnel engaged in local clinical network.
Apart from this IOM MHD compiles and analyzes data on migrants' health, which is reviewed in scientific conferences and used as a basis for developing projects focused on health needs of mobile populations.
- Health Assessment for Resettlement of Refugees from the Former Soviet Union
- Health Assessment for the Canadian Warrant Programme
- Self-Payer Health Assessment Programmes for Visa Applicants to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Other Countries
- Tackling the HIV Challenge among Mobile Populations in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region - planned
As the expert estimates of the number of irregular migrants in Russia range between 5 and 6 million, IOM Moscow continues to focus on programmes of technical cooperation in migration management and combating cross-border crime. These activities are aimed at reducing the rates of irregular migration in, through and from Russia; enhancing the inter-agency mechanism of combating irregular forms of migration; upgrading the immigration control system; and preventing and counteracting associated criminal activities, such as the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings.
- Support to Implementation of the EU Readmission Agreements with the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine: Facilitation of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration
- Analysis of Russian Migration Legislation and Law Enforcement Practices in the Area of Labour Migration
- Preventing and Counter-Acting Trafficking in Human Beings in the Russian Federation
Over the past 15 years the varying rates of economic, social and political development in the CIS countries have generated large economic migration flows towards Russia. According to official statistics, CIS nationals account for 89 per cent of the total number of migrants coming to seek employment in Russia. Therefore, one of the current governmental priorities, shared by IOM, is to sustain the process of harmonizing the legislation and policies regulating labour migration in Russia and the CIS region. It is equally important to promote organized legitimate forms of labour migration as an alternative to irregular migration channels.
- Central Asia Regional Migration Programme
- Comparative Analysis of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Countries’ Legislation in the Area of Combating Illegal Migration and Prevention of Human Trafficking (Its Compliance with the International Legal Instruments)
- Expert Assistance to the Government of the Russian Federation in Labour Migration Management
- Eurasian Bank for Development
- IOM funds
Of relevance to effective labour migration management is the collection of data and analysis of the labour market and dynamics of migration flows. These are essential for the Russian authorities to adequately estimate the demand for external labour resources and redistribute the labour migration flows in accordance with the regional needs. IOM's expertise in systematizing the collection and exchange of migration-related data and monitoring labour mobility trends is particularly relevant in the wake of the global financial crisis.
- Assessment of Economic Effect, Institutional and Legal Consequences of the Agreements on Common Economic Space in the Area of Labour Migration for the Member States of the Customs’ Union (Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia)
Main text: November 2011
Facts and figures: September 2014