Characteristic features of migrants' integration in present-day Belarus
Title: Characteristic features of migrants' integration in present-day Belarus
Series/Number: Migration Policy Centre; CARIM-East Research Report; 2013/30
The integration of migrants is becoming an increasingly important question in Belarus. As socio-economic cooperation between Belarus and other countries is developing the list of participants in the integration process of migrants is growing. For several decades, the traditional participants were citizens from neighboring countries: Russia, Ukraine and Poland. At the present there is also, though, rapid growth in migration flows from other areas, particularly from the south: Turkmenistan, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Turkey and the countries of South Asia including China and Vietnam. This paper presents a study of the scope and structure of the main participants in the integration process, in terms of country of birth and country of citizenship. The main data sources are the census, data on vital and education statistics. The results suggest that integration in Belarus is not a serious problem, being similar to other social processes. One of the key explanations for this is the influx of people from the former Soviet Union, above all, those who lived in Belarus themselves or had relatives there. The integration of migrants in Belarus is most evident in the labor market. The most common areas of integration for labor migrants from the older migrant nations are in industry, agriculture and trade. Citizens from the new areas are, on the other hand, concentrated in trade, health and education. The new migrants include more young males with higher-level skills. Among these, more than half are professionals. The vast majority of the new migrants come to Belarus to pursue higher education or under the guise of education. The old trends mean greater integration dispersion in terms of employment, skill levels and education, but also in terms of age. The study emphasizes the need for a special policy for the adaptation and integration of migrants, something particularly important for citizens from unusual areas due to differences in culture, language and religion. Special attention should be paid to the knowledge of Russian and Belarusian, the possibility of buying or renting housing, the use of free education and health care services, etc. At this point in Belarus there are no obstacles for migrants wishing to integrate, but there are no authorities specifically allocated for that purpose. Self-integration for these migrants is a problem which will take a good deal of time to work itself out.
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Type of Access: openAccess