Technical Meeting to Discuss the Engagement of Tajik Diaspora in Development

On November 18, IOM Tajikistan organized a technical meeting, which brought together an array of relevant sectors to discuss the engagement of diaspora in development as well as other issues pertaining to the regulation of migration processes.

The Deputy Minister of Labour, Migration and Population Employment (MLMPE) highlighted that diaspora involvement remains a key portion of the government’s agenda especially with the adoption of the 2011 “Engagement of Tajik Diaspora as Development Partners” action plan describing some major activities accomplished between 2011 and 2014. The new action plan for 2015-2020 has already been developed by the Inter-ministerial Commission with the support of IOM and its adoption by the government is expected by the end of 2014.

In her speech, IOM Tajikistan Chief of Mission Tajma Kurt discussed the ways in which the Tajik diaspora can help development efforts beyond sending remittances. She stressed that the meetings, forums, and trainings conducted by IOM provide a good platform for dialogue between the government and diaspora organizations.

The meeting also featured presentations by the Head of MLMPE’s Population Migration Department (PMD); IOM’s Regional Labour Migration and Human Development Specialist; and a representative of “Peshraft”, the UK diaspora organization. 

The Head of PMD explained the details of the 2011-2014 plan and actions required by various agencies to implement the new 2015-2020 plan of action. IOM’s Regional Labour Migration and Human Development Specialist shared effective practices from other countries on how to engage diaspora organizations.

The representative of “Peshraft” introduced participants to the mission and activities of the organization and explained the importance of government support for such organizations abroad, especially in countries other than Russia. According to him, Peshraft builds effective partnerships with Tajik citizens living in the UK and it uses fundraising to run projects on education, charity, arts, sports and career development.  

The meeting included a question and answer session that focused on matters such as the status of diaspora children born abroad; obtaining citizenship in destination countries; and effectively engaging the diaspora in Tajikistan’s development.

It is planned that recommendations presented by participants at the technical meeting will be reviewed at the next inter-ministerial commission to improve implementation of the 2015-2020 action plan.

The day after the technical meeting, IOM conducted a session for MLMPE’s Migration Service (MS) staff. Participants improved their knowledge of diaspora capacity and of cooperation with diaspora, which can be used for the development of economic, educational, and social spheres. MS staff members received information about worldwide experience engaging diaspora, with a focus on countries in the region such as Armenia, Moldova, and Afghanistan. Special attention was given to activities using new technology that can help compile information on diaspora and compatriot capacity, skills, and knowledge.