В мире насчитывается примерно 281 млн. международных мигрантов — 3,6 процента населения мира
Женщины составляют 48% от общего числа мигрантов, около 38 миллионов — дети
85% женщин-мигрантов называют экономические причины основанием переезда в Россию
Женщины, чаще всего, работают уборщицами, сиделками, домработницами, а также в сфере строительства
Россия занимает седьмое место в мире по объему денежных переводов от мигрантов на родину, на первом месте — США
В 2020 году две трети всех международных мигрантов проживали всего в 20 странах. Больше всего - в России (12 мл), Германии (16 млн), США (51 млн)

Разбуди сочувствие
6 историй женщин-мигрантов в России
Помощь и поддержка
+7 922 209 20 70

In the pre-holiday hustle and bustle, walking through the shopping center, few people would pay attention to a flock of girls in stylish uniforms - these women with delicate looks like oriental princesses - employees of a cleaning company, crowded around a cosmetics store and discussed something cheerfully and noisily, laughing, mixing words of two languages. One of them was on the phone and was obviously helping someone find them, saying the name of the store several times. Suddenly they fell silent as they saw a man approaching. As he approached them, he threatened them with his fist, either jokingly or seriously, a gesture that was enough to make the girls scatter. The formidable man entered the store and talked about something with the guards and cashiers, gave some instructions....

What's the big deal? - you ask - What's the big deal?

You don't need to be a winner of the show "Intuition" to understand - the girls are migrants, they came to the metropolis from a country in Central Asia, they are cleaning in a shopping center, the stores of which they can't visit during their working shift. Apparently, there was some kind of promotion in the cosmetics store or some other excitement that made the young girls ask a friend who does not work here to buy for them, but then the foreman saw them and threatened them with punishment for disturbing the order. The punishment could be symbolic, but sometimes it was a fine, the amount of which could be a substantial part of a day's wages.

The growth of female migration from CIS countries is not only noted by experts; it is also evident to residents of Russia's megacities - the service, trade, catering and landscaping industries sometimes consist of foreign women workers and employees by more than half. If in the past women were afraid to come to Russia alone and more often came with their relatives, with their husband and children, then recently it is not uncommon for a woman to be ready to move to another country to earn money alone. Of course, both now and in the past, women do not go anywhere - as a rule, they either know for sure the future place of work and residence, or assume based on past experience. Such practices reduce the negative aspects of migration, but do not remove them completely. For women, the risk of involvement in shadow employment is higher - often men do not consider it necessary to obtain documents for their mothers, wives and daughters, not realizing or ignoring all the risks and consequences of their position as violators of the norms and requirements of migration legislation.

Zarifa K., a citizen of Uzbekistan, called the hotline*. She said that her employer took her passport, took away her phone and deprived her of the opportunity to leave her workplace (greenhouse farm); the woman called from the phone of an acquaintance who stopped by her greenhouse, but both of them could not give the exact address of their location. She also said that her harasser-employer was a compatriot whom she had met in her home country two months ago when he came to her village to visit his relatives and told her about the prospects of working in Russia - a big beautiful city, new opportunities and high salaries. Zarifa and other villagers listened to him and finally decided to go to Russia to earn money. It was not the first time this man had come and each time he did not leave alone. This time, apart from Zarifa, four people went with him - two women and two men. Hamza - that was the man's name - said he would provide accommodation and help with the paperwork, but most importantly he was ready to pay for the flight at once. Not suspecting anything unusual, the villagers could not refuse such a favorable offer.....

"Traffickers - recruiters and traffickers mislead and victimize both men and children, and while the most well-known form of exploitation is the sexual exploitation of women and girls, forced labour is just as much a form of slavery. Victims can be men, women and children of all ages, regardless of social status or place of residence. Most victims of trafficking are between 18 and 24 years of age" - Khadicha Abysheva, President of International Justice Organization Inc, expert INL, OSCE, UN Women.

Frequently encountered variants of forced labor do not look like "slavery" and are associated with exceeding the norms of working hours, failure to provide rest periods, delays and non-payment of wages. Interestingly, as a rule, the employment agents in such companies are most often compatriots. In such cases, the worker is not locked up with the employer and no one takes away his documents, but the following scheme works (most popular in the areas of employment of migrants - catering, trade, services): the worker is hired, unofficially, works for a month or two, receives a full salary, but then delays and non-payment or payment of only a small part of it begins. Making his situation worse, the worker continues to work - until the moment of non-payment he was satisfied with everything, he had already found a job and earnings were not bad either... the migrant continues to work, hoping to get his full pay, the debt accumulates to some critical amount, when finally the worker realizes that he was cheated, tries to get money from the employer, but most often he gets nothing and leaves with nothing. If their employment was illegal, there is no hope for justice - it is very difficult to prove the fact of their work, and employers as defendants are practically not held accountable, the focus of control is primarily on migrants - if their documents are even slightly out of order, they are immediately penalized for violations - subject to deportation or expulsion with a ban on entry into Russia, which is why migrants involved in shadow employment have practically no powerful tools to assert their rights in disputes.

Compatriots often act as recruiters, employment agents, and intermediaries to help process and obtain the necessary documents. A whole network operates on the other side of the world, where the risks of becoming a victim of the slave trade can arise in a multitude of situations. Diasporas play a dual role in this situation - on the one hand, helping their fellow citizens to navigate the legal, social and cultural space in a new place, and on the other hand, providing them with "crutches", rendering them unauthorized illegal services (helping them to pass the necessary language proficiency exam if they do not know the language, issuing a fictitious registration, or even a fictitious marriage...) and profiting from them. Such a bear service disables the migrant, affects his rights, making him a violator and a victim at the same time.

"The illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain looks like modern-day slavery. It can take many forms, including forced labor, sexual exploitation, domestic slavery, criminal exploitation and organ removal. Absolutely anyone can fall into slavery. The most popular way of recruiting people is through the Internet, advertising with the offer of a prestigious or highly paid job, the place of work is often in another city or country. Also with offers of marriage with foreigners" - Khadicha Abysheva, IJO.

Sexual physical exploitation, combined with the power of the Internet, continues to be a major part of what is known as modern-day slavery. The Polaris Network (https://polarisproject.org), a worldwide network of hundreds of organizations, professionals and experts, supports women around the world each year, telling the stories of women enslaved and the stories of their rescue.

"I was 17 years old when I met Robert for social purposes. It lasted about nine months, we lived in different hotels the whole time, and I don't even remember how many men there were. I ran away from home, I didn't have a permanent place to live, I was underage, I needed him to stay in hotels and get around town.

I had already been involved in prostitution since I was 15, and I don't think I even knew what was right or wrong or how I should be treated. In the end, he held me against my will as a hostage, forced me into prostitution, took all my money and just beat me severely.

The last time I saw him, he beat me again until he got tired. I was covered in bruises, my face was completely disfigured, I still feel the effects of that beating to this day - I have back problems because of the way he beat me and tortured me. That was probably the worst part. There was a client in the room and he was having problems with something I couldn't help - I was beaten for that. I didn't want anything, I wanted it to end and the client wanted his money back, while they were arguing I ran out of the room and somehow managed to run faster than he did.

I didn't say anything to anyone, I held on until I got a call from the FBI that he had been arrested for something else and asked if I would talk. Going along with everything and realizing how serious it was, I didn't realize it was that serious.

At the trial, I felt like I could look at him the whole time. Of course, it drove him crazy. After all, he can never touch me, but he got to look at me and listen to me - I felt satisfied.

The hardest part was realizing that I had to love myself somehow, to believe in my worth, because if I couldn't do it myself, no one could. My advice to other girls is to let people help you. It's not your fault, and you don't deserve it. No matter how bad your past was, it doesn't mean your future can't be successful, at least I believe that."

Laura, 21 years old

In modern conditions, sexual exploitation is taking on new forms - webcam is becoming not only a way to earn alternative income, but also super-exploitation, involving children - girls and boys of different ages, sometimes far from adulthood, and recently the police have described uncovered cases of elderly and disabled people being involved in online sexual exploitation. This exploitation causes damage to the individual - both physical and mental, which rescued /especially/ children cannot cope with on their own.  The civil sector reacted quickly - NGOs supporting the fight against all forms of slavery are developing methods to identify children involved in virtual sexual exploitation and to help them recover from their experiences, successful practices are being disseminated in networks of professionals, and social project managers are seeking funds to maintain the systematic nature of such work.

The international human rights community does not intend to abandon its efforts. Russian NCOs, NCOs from Central Asian countries, as well as from the United States, European countries and countries of the Middle East and Southeast Asia try to find and find each other when it is necessary to help their citizens abroad. In this way, networks are created that unite not only specialized NCOs, but also all organizations that work with migrants indirectly - as representatives of ethnic minorities or as people recently released from prison or HIV-positive, for example. Sometimes, NCO specialists from one country find an NCO they know personally or that they know in the desired country (where the request for assistance came from), and then a chain of contacts leads to a specialized NCO or specialist in the region to whom the request for assistance is addressed. Together, human rights defenders are able to recover and return victims of trafficking to their home countries.

"The Network brings together those organizations whose goal is to eradicate various types of violence as well as to counter trafficking in human beings. These are organizations that have extensive experience as well as tools of expertise on trafficking in human beings and the fight against it.

The initiator of the network was the International Organization for Migration, which in 2004 united such organizations on the basis of the fact that all of them provided assistance to those who suffered, those who found themselves in a difficult situation. At that time, the network included organizations only from Central Asian countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. But the practice of our work for many years forced us to expand the geography of interaction with NGOs from other countries - today the Network unites 51 non-governmental organizations from five Central Asian countries, as well as NGOs from Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, UAE, Turkey and USA, as well as more than 25 experts of international level. The significance of this network, its usefulness is precisely in its interaction - the very process of rendering assistance happens very quickly under the right circumstances, this is important - we provide assistance to those citizens who have had a difficult situation outside of our countries.

The organizations that are part of our network interact with governmental structures, with public organizations, as well as with other international organizations" - Khadicha Abysheva, IJO.

In organizing its work, the network uses the "Guidelines on Cooperation between Lawyers of Public Organizations of Central Asian Countries and the Russian Federation in the Field of Combating Human Trafficking and Providing Legal Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking". How is assistance organized? First of all, it is a complex activity - recovery from a difficult situation directly, as well as reintegration support - psychological, medical (sometimes), even assistance in employment.

"The assistance was especially important when after COVID-19 there was an increase in cases of domestic violence in the process of migration - violence against women, because now migration has become more diverse - families with children come to another country. And then the parents of the daughter call the women's aid organization and ask for help, saying that the daughter left with her husband and is now in a difficult situation of domestic violence. And so the work of our network makes it seemingly impossible to overcome borders, and we can coordinate the rescue of the victim, her return to her home country, and further support her from the very beginning" - Khadicha Abysheva, IJO.

"Marital" migration is another common way to enter a country and consolidate one's status in it. Women, not realizing all the risks of such a route, become hostages of their fiancés or husbands. Fictitious or real marriage (after dating and developing a relationship on social networks) not only gives an opportunity to enter the desired country, but also makes a woman dependent on a trustee-inviter, by default guaranteeing her legal stay in the country, but is it always his good will?... In any case - experts mark this route as one of the risky ones in terms of involvement in trafficking and sexual exploitation - in their practice there are not a dozen rescued women, and this is by no means the majority of them.

Kamilla, a girl from a small town on the border of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, also chose a groom in Russia. The story went like this - her neighbor had some distant relatives from Russia - a husband and wife, and her mother talked to them about life in Russia, thinking of going there with her daughter to earn money. Word by word, it turned out that the couple from Russia had a son-fiancé, and, whether jokingly or seriously, the matter came to matchmaking, as a result of which Camille agreed to become Ruslan's wife in exchange for obtaining Russian citizenship, the marriage was not supposed to be fictitious, but quite real, for love - the young people talked via video link, met and saw each other. The groom's parents did not hide the fact that their son has mental disorders and disability, but it does not prevent him from working at the factory, and the boy also has an apartment in the same entrance as his parents, but one floor below, so it is more convenient for them to look after him and help with household chores. Camille's mother had two younger daughters besides her, one had entered school and the other was finishing school. Camille was the eldest and three years ago she had already gone to work in Russia, in Krasnodar, but returned after a year because she could not find an official job, and also at home without her there was no one to look after the younger ones while her mother was at work. Now the children have grown up, and so have the expenses, so both mother and Camilla were thinking about working in Russia, choosing who would be better off, and here everything seemed to work out...

Finding herself in Russia, in a small town, where the main enterprise was a metallurgical plant - where the groom's family worked, Camilla did not find a place for herself, with her future husband also did not go well, although he fulfilled his part of obligations - he registered Camilla in his apartment as a guest (for 3 months), during which the young people decided to look at each other before taking a statement to the mayor's office. But from the first days Camille realized that she could not overcome her rejection to Ruslan, she told her mother about it, but she persuaded her to be patient, to look around, to find good sides - after all, her husband bought her a lot of new clothes, bought a smartphone of the latest model, did not say a word about the fact that she had to work and even cleaned the house himself. But Camilla did not want to consummate the marriage and wanted to leave Ruslan and settle down in Russia on her own, moving from this city to the nearest metropolis.

As a result, in order to convince her mother that it was impossible to be with Ruslan and to justify her decision to leave, Kamilla told her mother that her future father-in-law came to their apartment in Ruslan's absence and encouraged Kamilla to have sexual relations, violated her physical boundaries and behaved indecently with her, the fiancé beat her in the evenings, took away her passport and would not let her out of the apartment. The mother rushed to cut off all phones to try to help her daughter, eventually turning to human rights defenders helping women in situations of domestic violence in her home country, who in turn turned to Russian partners who found human rights defenders who were geographically close to Camille and who could help her with shelter and protection by providing access to human rights protection.

Camilla's "rescue" was safe - her fiancé's parents came out to see her off, helped her carry her heavy bags to the trunk, and asked her not to hold a grudge if she had been offended in any way. Already in preliminary telephone conversations with Russian human rights defenders, Camille said that she had no reason to go to the police, but asked to organize her return to her home country, which was done through the efforts of several non-governmental organizations from several countries.

"During 2023, working in close collaboration, the organizations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Uzbekistan, members of the Network, processed 54 joint transnational cases and assisted in the return home of 141 victims of human trafficking and forced labor" - Khadicha Abysheva, IJO.

Today, society's attitude to modern slavery is ambiguous. Of course, no one approves of such a phenomenon if asked about it directly. But when it comes to forcing a foreign worker to work extra hours, penalizing him or her with fines, or even not paying wages at all, this is not perceived as the horrors of slavery.

The practice of detecting violations of labor rights, as well as collecting evidence of the employer's guilt in the violation of employee rights (both foreign and local) is also extremely difficult. Using a long chain of intermediary firms, the employer is unaware of who and on what terms performs this or that labor activity within the framework of this or that relationship. The customer, paying for the services of the outsourcing firm, does not enter into any relationship with the physical performer of services, who, in turn, suffers from violation of his rights by the hiring firm. And if human rights defenders see signs of forced labor, and thus modern forms of slavery, it is extremely difficult to attract law enforcers to the problem, since gathering evidence of the crime is seen as extremely difficult or impossible. In Russia, there is Article 127.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation "Human Trafficking" and Article 127.2 "Use of Slave Labor". They have existed for a long time, but the police do not always react to cases of human trafficking, or react repressively to foreign workers, primarily because they do not have the necessary documents to stay in Russia.

For citizens of Kyrgyzstan, which is a member of the EurAsEC, the conditions for staying in Russia are easier - they are equal in their labor rights with Russian citizens, and they do not need to apply for a patent (and thus undergo a medical examination and pass an exam) and do not need to pay advance payments. But all this applies when Kyrgyz citizens (as well as citizens of Armenia and Belarus) are in Russia on the basis of a labor contract with an employer. A real employer who pays taxes for the employee. If a legal entity does not pay income tax for a migrant worker, then there is a possibility that he does not work there. This is how the controlling authorities calculate one-day firms, which are fictitious employers, and the migrants themselves work, again, without registration, in other organizations. But in case of detection of forgery, migrants become violators, despite all the preliminary preferences for entry and employment. Citizens of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are in the most vulnerable position, as their work and residence in Russia is based on a patent, which is difficult and expensive to obtain. No matter how much the Russian state authorities try to simplify the procedure of registration of documents, foreigners more often prefer to pay an intermediary for the execution of a package of documents - registration at the place of residence (which must necessarily coincide with the address of real residence), medical examination certificate (excluding the presence of certain diseases), fingerprints, as well as the contract with the employer, which gives the right to issue a patent for work, it is also necessary to attach a certificate - which the foreigner receives after passing an exam in Russian. The cost can reach $1000.

The need to pay such a large sum at once forces many migrants to get into debt - some borrow money in their home country specifically for the trip, and others borrow money from their employer promising to work off the debt. And sometimes the employer promises to draw up all the documents from the very beginning (without mentioning that later he will deduct the expenses from the employee's earnings). This was the case with Zarifa - her employer took away her passport under the pretext of processing documents, and started paying her only one third of what he had promised when recruiting her, explaining that he was compensating his expenses for her airfare to Russia and for processing documents. He did not tell Zarifa all of this at once, but only attacked the woman with his fists for trying to go shopping outside the greenhouse. This attack was the reason for the appeal to human rights activists.

"I don't know why he attacked me, I was going to the store, I wanted to buy sparkling water - it's stuffy in the greenhouse, we drink a lot of water. He drove up in a car and ordered me to get into the car quickly, but I refused... he jumped out and grabbed my arm and started pushing me inside the car, I struggled, but he held me tightly, and then he threw me on the ground and hit me hard on my back, on my lower back, I cried from fear and pain, he shouted that he would kill me if I went outside the fence again and called me to get into the car. No one was around, I hadn't gotten to the store yet - it wasn't far from the store, but on a road with no houses. I was scared and got in the car. It took less than 5 minutes to drive, all the way agha (Hamza - the employer) was shouting at me and trying to calm me down - he said he was worried about us, how we would not be attacked by local nationalists who were against us working in Russia. He also said he would bring all the groceries himself so that the other women and I could make a list. I asked him to give me back my passport, I told him I wanted to find another job, he didn't answer anything."

Human rights defenders helped Zarifa to write an appeal to the Uzbek consulate for help in finding documents or restoring them. And it was there that Zarifa's passport was found - both her passport and all her work permits in Russia were in order, as well as a certificate of passing an exam and a certificate of passing a medical examination - Hamza had indeed been concerned about Zarifa's legalization and had done everything correctly, except that Zarifa had not left the greenhouse, had not undergone a medical examination, and had not passed the Russian language exams. The Russian lawyers did not find out how her documents ended up with the diplomats, but after she received her passport, Zarifa did not want to leave Russia, but changed her phone number and never contacted him again, as it turned out, she left Hamza and found a new job in a cleaning firm - she was seen in one of the shopping centers.

And what does this have to do with cleaning girls in the New Year's Eve hustle and bustle of the shopping center...? And because that scene is quite indicative of real situations from the practice of human rights organizations working with appeals of foreign citizens on violation of labor rights - cleaning is one of the most unpleasant, criminal areas of employment of women migrants. Using primitive schemes to violate the rights of female workers (overwork, imposing fines for overuse of cleaning products or for speaking in their native language, non-payment of wages), employers nevertheless manage to find employees.

Human rights activists working with migrants' appeals, who at one time (before the 2018-2019 period) received a large number of complaints about non-payment of wages to workers of cleaning firms, even compiled a "black" list of such firms, urging women not to get a job in these organizations. However, according to the lawyers themselves, this method is ineffective - nothing will prevent a malicious merchant from registering a new firm and starting his dark business all over again.

"Very few organizations work in this direction. Even among those that do work with this topic, most are focused on helping victims of human trafficking, which is certainly justified. However, activities in the fight against forced labor are more of an institutional nature, aimed not only at identifying cases and bringing the perpetrators to justice, but also at changing law enforcement practices and the legal assessment of such cases by state authorities. This is the most difficult work" - Yulia Grekhneva, lawyer (Ekaterinburg, Russia).

The interaction of nongovernmental organizations that pool the efforts and resources of specialists and experts gives hope that there will be greater social rejection of violence against women and involvement in human trafficking. But, at the same time, it is impossible not to think that the geographic expansion of the network's work means that these issues affect almost every country in the world.

What should you do if you see signs of slavery or forced labor?

Think again about why you thought the person was being forced or needed help.

If you are still convinced of this, then:

  • Talk to the person, ask them who they are, where they are from, if they need help.
  • Ask if his documents are in order, if he has them, and if they have been lost, suggest that they can be recovered.
  • ask if he has a cell phone, offer your own if asked to call.
  • do not try to rescue the person on your own, do not take the person away from the place where the person is located
  • call the police to release the person

So what should you do to avoid being enslaved?

(Tips for foreign workers):

  • Sign a labor contract, study the document before signing it.
  • Never under any circumstances give your personal documents as collateral.
  • Check out the employer and the employment firm. Find their website on the Internet, study reviews, call the contacts listed on the site and double-check the information - everything should be transparent.
  • Once you arrive in your destination country, try to register at the local consulate or embassy of your country.
  • Always keep in touch with your family and friends. Give them the contacts of your employer - phone number, e-mail address, legal and actual addresses of the company. Set a time at which you will call them and after which they should look for you. You can talk about a code word that means you are in trouble and you need their help.



Добавить комментарий