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Country Reports

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Country Reports

In terms of multicultural environment the children find themselves in the turn of the cultures facing very important issues: maintenance of cultural identity and distinctiveness on the one hand, and adaptation in the multicultural environment on the other. Nowadays, we see spontaneous concentrations of migrants in the biggest industrial centers and cities. Such processes are not always characterized by strengthening the ties between children from various cultures. Too much complicated and riddled with technical flaws requirements related to registration and gaining a status by the migrants contribute to the development of informal economy and often result in corruption and voluntary actions by law enforcement agencies. It significantly impedes the adaptation of children creating cultural and social distance and revealing distinctive features like social status, race, culture, language, religion. There is a lack of advanced adaptational programs for migrant families with children. The society in the receiving cities and regions often become refusing, humiliating and discriminating resulting in psychoemotional disorders. Also, a language issue still exists.

Key Issues and Trends

There has been an increase in the number of smaller families who are likely to have none or one child. This might result in significant drops in population every 25 years. At the same time the migrant flows are less regulated. More and

There is a lack of abortion laws and policies and still no adequate crisis pregnancy service in Russia, while abortion prevention is one of the key enablers of demographic improvements helping to maintain good reproductive health and family stability.

In spite of fantastic technological and scientific advancement the state regional programs aimed to infertility treatment are underdeveloped and don’t prove to be effective. The treatment procedures remain very expensive, but government support could make them affordable for families desperate to have babies.

There is no comprehensive government support to the young families. Young people willing to start a family are facing a lot of problems and need additional motivation for reproduction like welfare assistance, raise in salaries, special bank credit offers, opportunities to work from home, etc. The information support and family lifestyle promotion - a full family with three-four children as a model to follow - is underdeveloped.

Self-generation of migrants in big industrial centers and cities often is not characterized by augmenting ties between children from different cultures. Permanent and temporary migration flows form in the cities requiring not only employment assistance, but also a set of measures for social arrangements, education and cultural integration of children. Although the role of migration is increasing in terms of maintenance of human population, the governments do not make progress in developing roadmaps aimed to find solutions for a great deal of associated issues.

Some migrant communities are exceptionally closed, hence very difficult for studying. They exist as a specific system of formal and informal ties, life strategies and practices based on the common background and the attempts to maintain regular lifestyle of a national minority. Their life is not smooth and internal tension often results in outright conflicts. However, the regulatory agencies often do not receive the information about many processes and phenomena by reason of its closed nature, or such information is incomplete and controversial. It significantly impedes the monitoring of children’s rights observance in such communities.

Exceptionally complicated, controversial and often changing systems and rules of registration is another important issue. In many regions this results in expanded informal economy, as well as facilitates voluntary actions in regard to the migrants and corruption in law enforcement and other regulatory agencies. Such processes significantly impede adaptation of children creating cultural and social distance and discriminating features like social status, race, culture, language, religion, etc.

The migrants often face difficulties with finding a job. Once employed, they may start looking for a permanent home. However, in many cases one can find a job only upon existence of a registration document and housing. It is very difficult and sometimes even impossible for migrants to find a good job in accordance with education and level of competence. It stimulates “shadow” employment and removes families with children from legal environment.

Adaptation programs for families with children are underdeveloped. Assimilation that should encourage new behavioral models is loosely controlled. This might result in criminal or half-criminal actions in attempts to earn, sometimes involving children. The migrants often can’t fill the need for quality food, clothes, housing, healthcare services and education.

The migrant children often have psychoemotional disturbances as the new society may become rejecting, humiliating and discriminating environment. There is a wide range of symptoms including indifference, oppression, depression, impatience, aggression and uncontrolled bursts of anger. Anxiety and inflammability are growing with rapid changes in mood and phobic reactions. The majority of migrant children have sleep disorders like insomnia, nightmares, etc.

Another important issue is a language barrier. Language is a form of expression for different cultures, not only a communication vehicle. The cultures of migrant and local families are too much different resulting in cultural distance between language groups. Ignorance of the local language encourages misunderstanding. First of all a migrant children requires assistance in learning the local language.

In practice:

Sometimes it is difficult to solve crimes as they are committed by migrants. There were 212 050 crimes registered in Moscow in 2009, and 49 150 crimes registered in Q12010. Almost 40% of crimes have been committed by migrants.

Medical checkup of migrants conducted by St. Petersburg authorities revealed shocking results - typhoid fever in St. Petersburg has Central Asian origin. Thus virus has been brought and expanded by the migrants. The migrants often may be a source of HIV and tuberculosis.

“There are two opposite approaches towards migration in the society – conservative that practically means negative attitude to the influx of migrants, and a liberal one calling for building new society friendly to everyone”.

“The policy of the previous mayor of Moscow was geared towards reduction of migrant flows providing the following rational: only those migrant specialists are welcomed that are needed by the city… New mayor Sergey Sobyanin has not formulated his own vision yet”.

By law an employer must offer jobs to the Russian citizens first and then if necessary apply for a quota for migrants. Unfortunately it is easy to avoid law in this sphere – the employer offers invariably low salaries and since none of the Russian specialists are willing to accept such job offers, the employer declares the intention to hire workers from Ukraine or Uzbekistan. As a result the Russian skilled workers can’t find jobs as those are occupied by migrants from Central Asia, less qualified but ready to work for lower salaries.

“According to the Moscow officials the attempts to set up civilized procedures to accept migrants have been made several times, although faced non-cooperation from the employers.

The number of people receiving higher education and not willing to do unskilled work is increasing in all countries. The lower level of social pyramid is mowing up being replaced by migrants from poor countries.

Agenda:

Russia’s demographic policy should be augmented by other measures in addition to financial incentives aimed to increase a birth rate. It is very important to make the country attractive for quality migration due to higher living standards, opportunities for career and social growth, etc. Such an approach would provide an impetus for an array of opportunities for children. To achieve these goals it would be necessary to do the following:

  • Understand the demand for children, design and roll out information campaigns aimed to facilitate demographic development in the regions augmented by active promotion of traditional family values.
  • Introduce obstetric aid programs augmented by highly qualified workforces.
  • Set up effectiveness evaluation criteria for such obstetric aid programs; abortions shall be carried out by special institutions not participating in the obstetric aid programs.
  • Implement government and public programs aimed to prevent/treat infertility and decrease the number of abortions.
  • Roll out information campaigns against abortions. Prohibit ads for abortions or related services. Instruct the medical personnel to inform the patients about negative consequences of abortions.
  • The training system of medical professionals including obstetricians and gynaecologists must be based on biomedical ethics, humanism as well as scientific data proving the human status of a prenatal baby.
  • It is necessary to build a system of psychological support for pregnant women.
  • It is important to create ethnocultural schools, develop specialized curricular and supplementary educational courses for teachers and social workers that would facilitate adaptation of migrant children and teach them to respect the country they live in. The most of the children attending such schools are of the same nationality, and the culture classes are obligatory for everyone. The children should understand that to live in the new culture and be successful they need to know the local language and the local ethnic norms.
  • Trainings, seminars and workshops aimed to raise tolerance towards migrants are necessary for migrant service and law enforcement officers, social workers and local citizens. Such classes are aimed to destroy negative stereotypes that might exist in some regions. It is also important to set up trainings for migrants.
  • Science institutions should carry out research and monitoring of migration issues specifically focused on input of migration into development of the local communities, as well as adaptation of migrant children and observance of their rights.

Mass media should comprehensively cover the whole range issues associated with migration and prevent from incitement of ethnic hatred and incitement to violence against migrants.