31 January 2009

Central Asian Migrant Workers Trapped in Russia

Radio Free Europe reports that one hundred Tajik migrant workers may be trapped in Russia without money to return home:

The migrant workers called RFE/RL's Tajik Service on January 27 and said they are in the main market of the Russian city Mytishi without employment or money -- some claiming that their employers have not paid their wages for several months.

Others said that police took their passports and demanded a bribe before they will be returned.

The Tajiks said that special police (OMON) come to the market at night and force some migrants to work without pay, sometimes cleaning streets, chopping firewood, or cooking at a prison.
RFE states that possibly thousands more Central Asians are in a similar predicament, an account lent credence by an article in Polit.Ru that claims that, according to Russia’s Federal Migration Service (FMS), failure to pay migrant wages is widespread.

The same day that this news hit, regnum.ru announced that the FMS will begin using drone planes to search for undocumented migrant workers.