Working Paper

Migrant Labour in Kazakhstan: A Cause for Concern?

Published 1 January 2009 / By Bridget Anderson, Blanka Hancilova

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Introduction

Kazakhstan, a country with relatively strong economic growth, significant natural resources and low population density, shares borders with countries of low economic growth, high poverty and unemployment. The lack of a coherent strategy for labour migration and a large informal sector has contributed towards a situation where large numbers of low skilled migrants are working in breach of Kazakhstan’s minimum labour standards. There is also evidence of significant incidence of unfree labour. This paper considers the living and working conditions of Central Asian migrants in Kazakhstan and the applicability of the trafficking framework to their situation. Keywords: Kazakhstan, labour migration, forced labour, trafficking, labour markets.

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