18 December 2020 - On this International Migrants Day, we reflect on a year in which, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions upon millions of people have experienced the pain of separation from friends and family, the uncertainty of employment and the need to adapt to a new and unfamiliar reality.
These are emotions felt by migrants around the world every day.
Across this challenging year, we have also come to appreciate our dependence on those who are too often invisible within our communities. Migrants have played an outsized role on the frontlines of responding to the crisis – from caring for the sick and elderly to ensuring food supplies during lockdowns – highlighting their broader contributions to societies around the world.
Just as migrants are integral to our societies, they should remain central to our recovery.
We must ensure that migrants, irrespective of their legal status, are included in every country’s pandemic response, particularly in health and vaccination programming. We must reject hate speech and acts of xenophobia. And we must find solutions for those migrants who have been left stranded, without income or legal status, and without means to return home.
On this International Migrants Day, let us seize the opportunity of the recovery from the pandemic to implement the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, reimagine human mobility, enable migrants to reignite economies at home and abroad and build more inclusive and resilient societies.
In December 2019, IOM Tajikistan together with AFEW International (www.afew.org) and AFEW Kyrgyzstan launched the project “Improving migrants’ access to HIV services in Tajikistan”. Aim of this project is to raise awareness among outgoing migrants on safe migration and to promote health seeking behaviour relating Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV through peer networks.
Alisher (name is changed) is one of the activists of the union of the people with disability in Tajikistan. When he left Tajikistan for a job in the Russian Federation several years ago, he never thought that his life would dramatically change. He worked in the construction like thousands of other Tajiks in Russia. But one day, the elevator he used in at the job fell down and Alisher got a spinal injury…
Dushanbe, 25 November 2020. Today, on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Government of Tajikistan, the United Nations and the European Union partnered on an event launching in Tajikistan the global campaign for the 16 Days of Activism on gender-based violence, also known as the “Orange campaign.”
Picture of IOM Tajikistan HIV outreach to migrants.
Lack of cross border cooperation between sending and receiving countries is making migrants with HIV more vulnerable, the International Organization for Migration claimed at a major regional dialogue on HIV and Migration run online yesterday from the Tajik capital Dushanbe.
Lack of access to services can also lead to increased stigma and discrimination of HIV positive migrants across the vast Central Asian region, yesterday’s (12/11) event was told.
On 16 October, IOM continued direct assistance to vulnerable migrants in difficult life situation due to COVID-19. IOM in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan cooperated with the governments to send stranded migrants to home.
For the second time in September, IOM and the Government of Tajikistan jointly facilitated the return home of about 300 Tajik migrants who had been stranded at the Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan border.
IOM in cooperation with national partners from Central Asia and the Russian Federation has launched a regional initiative "Mitigating Socio-Economic Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Migrants and Communities in Central Asia and the Russian Federation".