IOM Hands Over Migrant Resource Centre to Armenian Government Authorities
The Ministry of Labour and Social Issues (MLSI) of the Republic of
Armenia (RA) and its State Employment Service (SESA), formally took
over operation of a Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) this week in the
Armenia capital, Yerevan, with support from IOM and the Italian
From 2006 through 2008, IOM operated the MRC as a mobile service
providing in-person and phone consultations to inform, orient, and
train labour migrants in preparation for employment and stay
The IOM service, which operated in Yerevan and three other
regions of the country, also established a client database used to
identify migration trends and to prepare guides on the major
destination countries for Armenian migrants.
The newly inaugurated MRC, housed in the Erebuni-Nubarashen
District Employment Centre, is part of a pilot project connecting
migrant labour to state employment services and opportunities. The
SESA was selected to administer the programme given its 51
employment centres throughout Armenia.
In addition to its traditional role of preparing migrants for
employment abroad, the new MRC will also provide services for the
reintegration of returning migrants. According to the MLSI, any
additional centres established by SESA will be based on the IOM MRC
"The transfer of MRC operations represents an expansion of
services for Armenian migrants while ensuring the sustainability of
these services by building up national capacities," notes IOM
Armenia Chief of Mission Ilona Ter-Minasyan.
Armenia is primarily a labour migrant producing country due to
limited job opportunities nationally. Data from the most
recent survey in the country shows that from 2005 to 2006 between 3
per cent and 3.8 per cent of Armenia's population (96,000 to
122,000 people), went to work abroad with approximately 90 per
cent of these going to the Russian Federation.
As part of the transition of MRC operations to the State
Employment Service, IOM and the Italian Embassy in Yerevan provided
the Centre with updated computer and office equipment with IOM also
providing job training to MRC staff.
IOM will continue to provide technical assistance and support to
the new MRC, including for the production of country guides
containing information on immigration legislation, procedures for
obtaining visas, employment opportunities, and web-based migrant
resources. IOM will also provide assistance to the Armenian
government on bilateral labour agreements with other states.
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