IOM’s Regional Director visits Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek and Osh- Regional Director for the IOM Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia in Vienna, Manfred Profazi visits Kyrgyzstan on 12-13 September 2023.

Besides bilateral meetings with the acting Minister of Labour, Social Protection, and Migration, the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President in Osh oblast, the UN Resident Coordinator and NGO partners, the Regional Director met with a returnee from the United Kingdom’s (UK) Seasonal Worker Scheme, Mr. Cholpon Sulaimanov. Mr. Sulaimanov received a matching grant within IOM’s project on Supporting safe and orderly migration from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the UK. He worked in the UK for 6 months and decided to invest his earnings into a sewing shop business. The main criterion for the matching grant support was the 50% commitment of migrant’s own funds.

Starting from a small business, this sewing shop in Kyrgyzstan can now produce up to five types of clothing in large quantities. With the help of IOM, the grant was used to purchase sewing equipment to update the fleet of outdated equipment. The IOM-supported business also contributes to the local economy, as the business produces up to 3,000 products a week and employs 7 on-site seamstresses, 7 home workers, one technologist, a manager, and one handyman. There are plans to open an additional workshop with accommodation/residence for female citizens of neighboring Uzbekistan for 20 job positions. Riding with high momentum, the project is saving up capital to open a new shop.

"Today we have a task to start working on the reintegration of migrants, on creating conditions for employment of returned compatriots. We also plan to develop a Migration Code or a unified law on migration." - noted Gulnara Baatyrova, the acting Minister of Labour, Social Protection, and Migration.

Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Edil Baisalov and Manfred Profazi discussed social protection of Kyrgyz migrants, need for a modern system of labor migration management, and effective policies and strategies to stop the “brain drain” and labor resources.

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 5 - Gender Equality