Migration to Russia: challenges, potential, risks
On the 12 of March Vladimir Mukomel, doctor of Sociology, Head of the sector of studying migration and integration processes of the Institute of Sociology Russian Academy of Science, made a report on following topic: "Migration to Russia: challenges, potential, risks".
Russia, as a lot of European countries, faced with the problem of increasing number of migrants in recent years. This situation is caused by demographic reasons: due to Rosstat's data percentage of the working population rapidly decreased in recent years and it's expected to continue this decline in the next 20 years, which will increase the number of "free" work places. At the moment, in Russia there is a growth of labor migration, which is gradually replacing immigration, i.e. moving to another country for permanent residence. Statistics shows increasing number of "permanent" workers (those who have not been out of Russia for more than 14 months) and feminization of migration (especially among immigrants from Ukraine and Moldova). Increasing number of migrants also discovered a major problem of newly arrived, that is a poor adaptation and integration into host culture.
Besides the main goal of migrants - to find a job with good salary - many of them point out other reasons for coming to Russia (education for themselves and / or their children, obtaining a profession, family, etc.). There is a growing number of migrants who want to stay in Russia permanently.
Vladimir Mukomel noted that success of integration policy are interfered by following socio-cultural factors: 1) resistance of the local societies in host population, 2) weak adaptive capacities of migrants, 3) social practices of interaction between host population and migrants, 4) specific historical experience and traditions of intercultural relationships of host population and 5) characteristics and stereotypes of public consciousness of Russians.
According to researches Russians generally have quite negative attitudes towards migrants and consider their number exceeding the limit, however, it's not confirmed by official data of migration services. Worst of all local people perceive Caucasians. No more than a quarter of Russian citizens are willing to support a policy of integration. Though in studies migrants often evaluate behavior of host population as more positive than it actually is. The main problem of increasing migration to the state from economic point of view is the illegal employment of migrants. Although migrants generally earn about the same as host population, but they are ready to work more hours per week, so employers may give them a preference in hiring. That's why growing discontent of host population is obvious.
Correct migration and integration policy could help to reduce this tension, but according to Vladimir Mukomel at the moment the success of this policy's conduction interferes by following fundamental problems: a lack of public consensus on Russia's development strategy, a lack of institutions to combat xenophobia and migrant phobia, ineffective institutions of socialization of migrants, their adaptation and integration, a lack of instruments to coordinate interests of various actors of integration policies and clear delineation of their competences, a lack of control from civil society and faith in the infinite possibilities of migration processes.