The impact of COVID -19 pandemic on migration and migration governance in Kyrgyzstan

The impact of COVID -19 pandemic on migration and migration governance in Kyrgyzstan
14 April, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically altered labor migration dynamics in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. As a result of multiple lockdowns both in sending and receiving countries, and continuing travel restrictions, thousands of migrants from the region got trapped in host countries without proper access to health facilities and job security and with significant social isolation. Those who were able to return home faced even bleaker conditions, with crippled national economies and in the case of Kyrgyzstan, dramatic political turmoil. The consequences of the pandemic on Kyrgyz and Central Asian migrants still largely remain unknown.

This webinar aims to discuss the consequences and implications of the pandemic on labor migrants and migration governance in Kyrgyzstan. The webinar is organized within the framework of the OSCE Academy’s AGRUMIG project (“Leaving something behind” – Migration governance and agricultural and rural change in “home” communities: Comparative experience from Europe, Asia, and Africa), supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. The project looks at the issues of rural migrants, impact of migration on agriculture and the migration governance policy in Kyrgyzstan.

The OSCE Academy in Bishkek invites policy stakeholders, researchers, experts, representatives of international organizations, NGOs and civil society and everyone who is interested in the migration issues in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia to our online webinar and discussion. The webinar features perspectives of the experts and the researchers in the field:

Date of the conference: 14 April 2020
Time: 15.00 – 17.00 (zoom)
Venue: Zoom (link will be shared by e-mail)
Language: English, Russian

Registration Link


Moderator: Rashid Gabdulhakov, Research Fellow of the OSCE Academy and Ph.D. Candidate and Lecturer of Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands

15:00 Welcome speech
Dr. Alexander Wolters, Director, OSCE Academy

15:05 Welcome speech
Raimonds Vingris, Head of Political Section at the European Union Delegation in the Kyrgyz Republic

15:10 Video Presentation of AGRUMIG Project
Rethinking the meaning of migration for rural Kyrgyzstan; Lessons from Covid-19
Dr. Asel Murzakulova, Researcher, University of Central Asia

15:25 The precarity of transnational migration and the COVID-19 pandemic: addressing female return migration in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
Nodira Kholmatova, Ph.D. Candidate, European University Institute, Italy

15:35 Impact of the COVID19 pandemic on migrants remaining in the host country
Mahabat Tynarbekova, Chief Specialist, State Agency for Migration in Kyrgyzstan

15:45 The view from Russia, working towards a post-COVID-19 return to normal migration
Dr. Caress Schenk, Associate Professor, Nazarbaev University, Kazakhstan

16:00 Q&A Session


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