quid pro quo

by Nathan Hamm on 10/18/2004

One must wonder if Tajikistan’s decision to offer a base to Russia was less a calculus based on great power rivalry than it was one of self-interest. As part of a whole package of deals, Russia has granted legal status to Tajik migrant workers.

Between 200,000 and a million migrants have made the long, hard journey, many with no proper papers, to find work in bazaars and on building sites.

Most make it – their remittances may now be about equal to the national budget, supporting huge families and even whole villages.

But life can be extremely harsh, and the Tajiks are constantly harassed by the authorities.

Police in the Urals this week arrested more than 100 Tajik men in a funeral cortege.

They had been going to bury the body of a friend who had died, they said, because no doctor would treat him.

Under the new accord, all migrants will have legal status and medical insurance – both existing workers and those to come.


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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