IOM TCC, with the support of the US Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), has recently published the report on "Migration Perspectives in Eastern Europe and Central Asia". The report provides an innovative collection of migration articles, focusing on migration trends, future priorities and migration challenges in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan and should serve as a reference tool for the EECA governments, migration authorities, donors and scholars.
The steady decrease of flows out of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) in recent years has not affected the dynamism and complexity of migration processes within the region. Whereas in the 1990s migration was the result of crises, military conflicts, and the repatriation of populations.
Disparities in levels of economic development and in demographic trends characterize the region. While the populations of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine are shrinking due to ageing and low birth rates, Azerbaijan and the Central Asian states are still experiencing relatively high population growth. The major destination country in the region, Russia, is second only to the United States in terms of foreign-born residents, many of whom come from other EECA countries (UNHCR, 2004).
A number of other factors and emerging trends influence the complex migration picture in the EECA region: the lack of reliable statistics on migration in general and on labour migration in particular, the pull factor of diaspora networks, some populations’ dependency on the remittances of migrant workers, the feminization of labour migration, the transformation of ethnic migration flows into labour migration, brain drain from the region, trafficking in persons, and the role of globalization and regional economic organizations in fostering free flows of labour. Clearly, a more careful analysis is needed to understand how these elements affect migration flows and to identify appropriate policy responses.