Scientific activity of IARTAS "Golden Fortune"

 

Dmitriy Akimov,

Doctor of Philosophy,

Candidate of Sociology,

Head of the General Directorate of

International Academy of

rating technologies and sociology

“Golden Fortune”

 

THE PHENOMENON OF TOLERANCE AND MIGRATION PHOBIA UNDER THE CONDITIONS OF LABOUR MIGRATION

The most difficult problems of labour migration that for a number of reasons play a special role for Ukraine, its population, the considerable part of which work in countries of Western and East Europe as well as in Russia are related to the legalization of the migrants position, job search, system of payment, finally to the number of serious humanitarian questions (in particular linguistic), are complicated by another complex of problems associated with the relationship between labour migrants and population of countries where they obtain a job and they work.

It concerns a tension that occurs frequently here (which will increase sharply without doubts during economic crisis), from time to time – conflicts and the whole system of relations that are formed between migrants and population of the “host country” and which can be called as the relations of tolerance and migration phobia.

It may seem that firstly, analyzing this problem it is necessary to define the presuppositions, that is to specify either the social tension frequently occurred between migrants and “local” population is organic or not? What characteristics can it acquire? Is it possible to avoid it if it’s so then in what way? The answers to these questions are far from being simple. Here it is important to take into consideration a great number of factors. In the first place such as the type of labour migration. So, it is known that the phenomenon of migration phobia more often occurs when the matter concerns the “eastern” direction of the migration phobia, that is in Russia. However, in the countries of Western Europe it also frequently happens, especially when it concerns ethnic migrants.

It is likely to start a consideration and study of this problem with the presuppositions of tension occurrence (social, racial, economic, etc.) between labour migrants and their host country. There are several presuppositions:

  • firstly, it is the presence in this or that country, this or that society of stable and

considerable demand for labour force, especially in situations when in the host country, to say so, the rate of “own” unemployment is high enough. And there is no any contradiction so far as recently in European countries and in large cities, for example Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg etc.), alongside with a considerable presence in so-called “the lowest niche” of a labour market there also exists a considerable unemployment, as indigenes of the rich countries and cities are not in a hurry to occupy them;

  • secondly, the occupancy of positions by labour migrants at labour markets as it was proved many times (a special research was conducted), actually results in price reduction of the labour force. This phenomenon became rather widespread. Meanwhile, it is clear that employers “importing” and “formalizing” foreign labour force, often illegally, gain a substantial benefit from it. It has come to the point that the employers (first of all Russian) skillfully create an artificial virtual shortage of personnel by establishing the understated rates of labour remuneration;
  • thirdly, the most important presupposition of tension occurrence is the breach of interethnic balance at the labour market. The presence of a considerable number of labour migrants leads to formation of attitudes in indigenous population associated with the threat (real or virtual) of its vital interests. Especially, it is a characteristic feature of a number of countries (in particular, Russia), where exist so-called enclave labour markets by which it is understood the markets formed at immigration enclaves, on other territories where commercial and service establishments are located the owners or holders of which are the immigrants that in their turn take on foreign workers as a rule from among the compatriots.

For instance, for Russia these are the migration flows as Asia-Pacific (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese); Central Asian (Uzbeks, Tajiks etc.); Caucasian (Azerbaijani, Daghestani etc.). It should be mentioned that although at present Ukraine often acts as an exporter but not an importer of labour force, the problems of enclave labour markets are also revealed.

Apart from above-mentioned ones there undoubtedly exist some other reasons of tension occurrence in relations between labour migrants and “host” countries. In particular, they are connected with the problems of divergence of cultures (especially it is sharply perceptible in Europe where a considerable part of migrants is represented by the Africans and Arabians); of language; international marriages and some others.

Does the existent (and above-mentioned) tension always proceed to serious conflicts? Here it is likely to talk about series of aspects of this problem. The first is the problem of socialization, entering in “local” society by labour migrants arrived in country. And it concerns by no means the formalization of a right for legal job or citizenship. As the interaction between “both parts” is realized in the whole series of spaces: social, economic, legal, politic, cultural, even demographic so far as some categories of migrants are inclined to expanded actualization and  gradual “occupation” not only the workplaces of “aboriginals” but also their living space in whole.

In principle several types of the similar socialization of labour migrants could be distinguished depending on the “level” of their adaptation to local communities and labour markets. The first is an actual “assimilation”, that is to grow almost accustomed to local community going along with contracting the marriages, movements of families into the country of job placement, finally, admittance to valid citizenship. It is just the type of socialization that more often (to people’s great regret which stay in Ukraine) exist among the Ukrainians who work in Spain, Portugal, Poland and especially in Italy.

The second type of socialization is called the “encounter socialization”. This phenomenon which appears at the territories where there is a very considerable number of migrants, for instance, the Ukrainians in Moscow (according to the opinion of Russian specialists best of all it is seen in the process of transboundary interaction of the population of Habarovsk with the frontier China and the population of St. Petersburg with Finland). Similar encounter socialization is characterized by the creation of unique sociocultural spaces (comparatively “neutral”), where some general mutually admissible standards of behaviour, covertly admitted common values are formed. In this case the “enemy image” is considerably overcome, the risks of migrants encounter with unknown and dangerous factors for them are decreased, the possibilities for the efficient dialogue of cultures are created in economic sphere.

The third type of socialization of labour migrants in countries where they go to work unfortunately is widely-spread and more often among ethnic migrants. Here we can attribute the above-mentioned entry of arrived labour people in enclave labour markets. There are also the situations when the considerable groups of such people arrived in the country are “penetrating” in diasporas existed in different countries. On the one hand it helps them to grow accustomed in terms of job opportunity. On the other hand, it often suppresses an actual socialization as there is no need to learn language actively, to become familiar with the culture of host party etc.

In particular, regarding Ukrainian diasporas, according to Russian sociologist S.V. Ryazantsev the largest labour diaspora formed beyond the bounds of CIS is the Ukrainian one. As it was mentioned many times in scientific and journalistic literature the valuations of its amount are fluctuating from 2 to 7 million persons (it is meant the labour migrants arrived for a job that are penetrated in the existing Ukrainian diasporas in different countries). Meanwhile, in series of countries the Ukrainian diaspora is the largest of all foreign ones, for example in Czech Republic, Poland, Italy (we mean the diasporas from former countries of the Union).Of course, the diasporas from Arab and African countries have completely different dimensions and peculiarity in Western Europe (this problem concerns the sphere of our analysis).

However, let’s come back to the above-stated problem of conflicts between labour migrants and host countries, phenomena of tolerance and migration phobia. As concerns similar conflicts, of course they have more acute character when the matter is Ukrainian labour migration on its “Eastern” direction.

We will name three the most spread types of similar conflicts:

  • conflicts at the enclave labour markets;
  • conflicts between labour migrants and entrepreneurs;
  • conflicts between labour migrants and population of the regions where they work.

The first variety of conflicts is rather simple: as a rule, at the enclave labour markets, first of all, connected with the commerce, restaurant business etc., a rapid accumulation of the capital is in progress. At the same time the representatives of different ethnic groups work on their side. More often in similar situation the circumstances become criminalized, as there occur the problems of relations of such “enclave elite” with the representatives of employees of other nationalities, conflicts because of the spheres of influence etc. That’s why there often occur serious “showdowns” between migrants that work at similar markets with the presence of criminal elements.

The second type of conflicts – between labour migrants and entrepreneurs where they work, is more difficult. Here, on the one hand exists an interest of the entrepreneurs in such labour force, as it was mentioned its employment gives a direct economic effect enriching the entrepreneurs as well as an indirect one – the employment of labour migrants allows reducing the price of labour force at the corresponding labour markets.

All these processes more often take place at markets where the labour of immigrants is used legally or semilegally. And all would have been right… (from the standpoint of entrepreneurs), but for the following case: while the labour of migrants is used occasionally or on a small scale everything “goes” successfully. However, under the mass usage of such labour the turn to organized resistance of large groups of labour migrants occurs in relation to the employers, an external pressure is realized on the entrepreneurs from their part. Of course, it does not concern the strikes of trade unions proceeding from the situation peculiarity of the labour migrants. But the resistance forms of very serious exploitation turn out to be different, up to the resistance against the representatives of authorities of internal affairs and even up to the open sabotage, arsons, equipment damage and etc.

Finally, the third type of conflicts is perhaps the most important and significant. Just in the process of realization of such conflicts (including the preparation for them) the problems of tolerance and migration phobia. Of course, it concerns the conflicts (social, ethnic, purely labour etc.) between labour migrants and “local population”. It was mentioned many times about this problem, we also wrote about it in one of our articles. That’s why we will not describe here in details all its aspects. We will state only the fact that the acuteness of such conflicts is more serious on the one hand on the Eastern direction of the labour migration; on the other – in the period of economic crises when the real problems occur with the employment of local workers. We remember that at the usual time in rich countries and cities these problems often acquire a virtual character as the residents of such countries and cities don’t hurry up to occupy job places in the “lowest niche” of labour market.

Just in such situations the problems of tolerance and migration phobia are revealed in the most clear and exact way. Before getting down to its analysis we remember that they are meant in the whole as well as in regard to the problems of labour migration in particular. If talking about the tolerance as the social phenomenon it is meant, first of all, a certain social value connected with the necessity of recognition the natural variety of people, cultures and nations as particular value in itself. Thereby, the tolerance is meant as a standard of civilized compromise between competing cultures, readiness to admit other opinions. By the way, this fact appears as the condition of variety preserving, the sort of historical right of different nations and cultures for diversity, dissimilarity.

It is clear that the phenomenon of tolerance, its necessity occurs and exists not only in the conditions of serious labour migration but principally everywhere and always in situations of coexistence of various nations and cultures on common territory, in one country. The violation of this principle often leads to xenophobia, nationalism etc. In many multinational countries during their historical development the culture of tolerance had been formed, always not easy relations between inhabitants of these countries were gradually settled.

A completely new aspect the phenomenon of mass labour migration attributes to these relations in contemporary conditions. Moreover, it is often stated that the reality itself in series of countries (first of all as in Russia) generates a sort of the intolerant everyday life. The reasons of it are versatile. In the first place is the absence in series of countries a common sociopolitical position in regards to the peculiarity and dimensions of the admissible labour migration.

The experience of many Western countries (Finland, Netherlands etc.), where practically uncontrolled labour migration resulted in serious change even of ethnic and sociological society structure, make other countries dread the water.

So, even in comparatively liberal Switzerland in this sense, the referendum had already been held in 2009 regarding the fact in what extent it is reasonable to allow the labour migrants entering the Swiss labour market even from recently joined states members of EU such as Bulgaria and Rumania (the population of Switzerland approved).

Concerning such countries as Russia, here in political and even in scientific community some exact positions on the subject of the extent of possible large scale of labour migration are not elaborated. For instance, Ye. Haydar considers that taking into account the scale of migrants reception, in XXI century Russia might play the same role as America played in XIX and XX centuries. Meanwhile, a number of other scientists and politicians support the minimization of dimensions of labour migration.

Such vagueness even at the official level in regard to labour migration (and it doesn’t concern Russia where a great number of Ukrainians work) plus very peculiar position of Russian entrepreneurs that prefer to employ labour migrants legally (and more often illegally) for the profit increase and “pressure” on the price of labour force results in completely specific phenomenon as migration phobia among population. Here, it must be said that such phenomenon, though in easier form, is attributed not only to Russia. It was so in the period when a mass migration of Poles began to the countries of Western Europe, when million of Turks began to “inhabit” Germany and so on.

This phenomenon is revealed much more exactly and may be fixed and described simply by of example of modern Russia where an active labour migration is unfolding just at present. What are the reasons of the migration phobia that exists in the processes of labour migration (which is generated by it), that is a negative attitude (sometimes it comes to hate, conflicts etc.) of the local population to the labour migrants? This phenomenon is not simple that is to say multilayer. It has series of reasons connected personally with the migrants as well as with local population directly.

Talking about labour migrants, here occur the circumstances when they in theirself often appear as committers of the disorganization, of the aggravating situation in regions. On the one hand, it is connected with the strengthening of ethnic relations, with the unity of different ethnic groups of labour migrants. Also on the other hand, it is often connected with the criminal actions and racketeering in the migrants environment. Such phenomenon is fixed unfortunately in European countries, in particular in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland. Meanwhile, according to the data of the Ukrainian sociologist N.A. Shul’ga, for instance, our compatriots are assigned to the lowest rating among these ethnic groups in the public conscience of the Czechs and the Poles. In these countries the Ukrainians pass ahead only of the Romanians and the Gypsies.

However, certainly, the most serious roots the migration phobia has in the environment that accepts labour migrants. Here, firstly, the whole range of ethnic problems arises connected with the formation of diasporas and enclave labour markets, large and “secured” enough from the local population (the subjects connected with the dominance of the Chinese diasporas in Russia or Arab ones in countries of Western Europe became the common place). Secondly, the attitude of the local population to the labour migrants (often negative) is formed because of the fact that migrants “create” these black markets of labour force. And the case that similar situations are supported by local entrepreneurs who take a considerable advantage of it including also, as it was mentioned, the price decrease of labour force evokes a considerable negative from the part of local population.

Thirdly, a mass labour migration (and it concerns mainly the countries of the West) ultimately may lead and often leads to serious sociopolitical consequences. In particular, because of the development of racism on the one hand, separatism and fundamentalism on the other hand. Eventually as it s seen from the experience of many countries, nowadays the ground for the development of antiimmigratory movements has been created, in the first place of nationalistic and racist character.

This case from our point of view should form a peculiar attention to them in the environment of the Ukrainian labour migrants as well as in the organs of government within the limits of possible regulation of corresponding processes. Here, of course it should be taken into account the case that in connection with the increase of labour migration and series of other above-mentioned circumstances, a conflict situation of the corresponding processes will grow. Accordingly, a maximum intensification of the governing role of states which stand on “both sides” of these processes is needed. In the first place the matter is the improvement of migration policy, establishment of a normative-legal base that regulates the processes of labour migration   from the side of countries-“importers” of labour-force (certainly, it also concerns Ukraine) as well as countries that receive it. Only in this way it is possible to avoid the impact of many destructive factors on the processes of labour migration and direct them towards the formation of integration processes on the basis of positive values.

 

 

 

 

Dmitriy Akimov,

Doctor of Philosophy,

Candidate of Sociology,

Head of the General Directorate of

International Academy of

rating technologies and sociology

“Golden Fortune”

 

Ukrainian women in Italy:Labour migration problems

Feminization of migratory streams, sharp increase in the number of women, who go off in search of a living from post Soviet countries, Ukraine to European countries and, in particular, to Italy caused serious problems, both of negative nature, and sufficiently debatable, ambiguous.

In connection with this, Center of social-psychological researches of International Academy of Rating Technologies and Sociology “Golden Fortune” (hereinafter referred to as IARTAS “Golden Fortune” conducted sociological research: inquiry among representatives of Ukrainian diaspora, who work and live in Italy, at the end of 2007. In all about 300 people at the age from 18 to 60 and elder people were polled.

In this article we expound some interesting and to a large extent new, unknown data concerning the problem which is being discussed.

Evolution of gender notions about labour migration.

In recent years, decades serious changes in notions about role and specificity of female labour migration have taken place, first of all to European countries. So before it was traditionally considered (and it was in reality), that women in migratory respect act as “secondary”, “dependent” migrants (who go abroad after their family or husband).

At the present time the situation has radically changed. A serious “feminization” of migratory streams took place. A great number of women go abroad to find a job without their family or husband. For example, in Italy according to the number of sociological researches, of every hundred migrants about 90 – are women. Even a special term for indication of such women-migrants has appeared: “unattached migrants” (notably independent migrants, “not attached” to their husbands and families).

Naturally, a new situation, which has arisen in the process of feminization of migratory streams, has both positive and negative aspects. On the one hand, an abundance number of women, who don’t have a job in their country or who have a job but it is a low-paid one, have been given the opportunity to provide themselves and their families. And often, on the average such migrants “feed” in their country approximately 3-4 people, members of their family. On the other hand, the job specificity itself, which women-migrants do in Europe, is “second rate” work, insignificant enough, underpaid as contrasted with the work of men.

As a rule, this is domestic labour or work in the sphere of sex-services, leisure and entertainment industry. Exactly that’s why feminine labour migration is in general a sphere of rather serious social risk. Such work badly can be regulated in contracts, has an individual character, not infrequently leads to violation the rights of labour. Though, the situation which is emerging today, in the first place – in the number of countries of the post Soviet space, such that millions of women practically don’t have another choice.

Who comes and what for?

The most interesting, when we are talking about labour migration, question may be who goes abroad to find a job and on what grounds? Statistical information and results of sociological investigations, which have already been carried out, differ greatly. But, if we talk about Ukrainian migrants in Italy, at least two principal tendencies really occur.

As the results of the sociological research, carried out by IARTAS “Golden Fortune” testify (and this is quite confirmed by the data of another researches), the first of these tendencies is that Ukrainian labour migration in Italy has a “female face”. About 90 % of the Ukrainians who work in Italy are women.

The second tendency: the region from which basically Ukrainians come to Italy to find a job is West Ukraine. According to the results of the mentioned research by IARTAS “Golden Fortune”, about three fourths of the respondents have come exactly from there. According to the data which have been given to us in a polite way by the worker of the Roman municipality Tatyana Kuzyk, who constantly and actively study the problems which are being described , 32% Ukrainians who work in Italy, came from Lvov region; 17% - from Ternopil region; 9% - from Ivano-Frankovsk region; 8% - from Khmelnitsky region; 4% - from Chernovtsy region; 3% - from Volyn region.

Concerning the educational level of the labour migrants, who work in Italy: contrary to stereotypes which exist somewhere, especially at historic home, the overwhelming majority of them has quite sufficient educational level. So, according to the data of the mentioned research, 58% of respondents have higher-level education and 18% - incomplete higher education. The other question: use of this educational potential. On the strength of the situation which has emerged with labour migration overwhelmingly these sufficiently educated people most of all have to work as cleaners, look after children, sick and elderly people.

If talk about the reasons of going abroad in search of a job, the main of them is obvious: the necessity of a job and earnings – 95% of the pollees pointed out at this. According to the data of other researches, in particular, which have been given by Tatyana Kuzyk, this necessity in a job abroad is composed of the following reasons: a low salary in Ukraine (54% of the inquired women, within the framework of this research, which has been conducted by the “Female prospects” Center, exclusively the women who work in Italy have been polled); the necessity of housing acquisition (33%); unemployment in Ukraine(32%); high tuition for instruction of children (26%); the necessity of debts return(32%).

It is interestingly that besides stimulating motives, connected with earnings some of the people who had been polled by IARTAS “Golden Fortune” noted other ones. Thus, 11% of the respondents pointed out that they are at the same time studying in Italy; 9% - that they want to remain for permanent residence; 5% - want to marry Italians; 2% - came for work and treatment.

Where do Ukrainians toil and what are their jobs?

It is not easy to receive answers to these questions, unfortunately. The point is that carrying out representative sociological research among labour migrants is practically impossible, for a variety of reasons. In regard to inquiries, which have been conducted by spontaneous sample, i.e. exclusively those who wish answer the questionnaire questions (just the data of such polls are given in the article), it is clear that by no means not all who work abroad reply according to the personal desire to the questionnaire questions. You can’t, in particular, get the women who work in the sphere of entertainments or sex services involved in the poll. That’s why the data which are given here are knowingly incomplete.

For example, according to the results of the research, submitted by Tatyana Kuzyk, among the Ukrainian women who were polled in Italy, 49% respondents worked as cleaners; 14% - looked after the sick; 25% - looked after elderly people; 5% - looked after children; 1,3% - on a per hour pay; 0,5% -were engaged in agricultural work; 1,3% - in bars. In addition, before the departure to Italy 11,7% women worked in medicine, 11% - in service sector; 10,4 – in commerce, 11,5% - in education; 21% - at the place of production; 3% - in governing bodies. Entrepreneurs and students were also among them.

As you can see, the represented data are really imperfect. Ukrainian women (though as representatives of other post Soviet countries) work actively in a number of other spheres, particularly, in entertainment sphere (as dancers, striptease performers, they engage in consummation and so forth); in a public service (personnel of hotels, restaurants); as photo models and models; in the sphere of intimate and sex services. IARTAS “Golden Fortune” is going to study the problems connected both with attitude of labour migrants, their relatives and acquaintances in Ukraine to the work of migrants in different spheres and with specificity of the work in progress ( with using focus-groups, testing, expert polls) when conducting further sociological researchers.

To this we should add that part of emigrants who work in European countries and, in particular, in Italy, legally and illegally, according to data of different researches vary in rather considerable boundaries. It is quite understandable, taking into account the circumstance, that sizeable portion of illegal immigrants quite reluctantly answer the questionnaire questions, take part in conduction of sociological researches. Judging by the research data, which has been carried out by IARTAS “Golden Fortune”, 57,5 Ukrainians, who have been polled, work in Italy legally. Judging by the data of Ukraine Department of Work, only 2% Ukrainians who go abroad in search of a job become legally employed. But it depends to a large extent, naturally, on legislation of the countries which receive. This problem exceeds the bounds of our analysis and demands a profound not only sociological but also legal consideration.

In a strange land…, but not bad

One of the most widespread legends, which concerns staying of Ukrainian labour migrants in Italy (however it also applies to the people who arrive from other post Soviet countries at the states of Europe), comes to the idea that their life here is very difficult. Supposedly the severest exploitation reigns, a bad treatment of native citizens to immigrants is observed, the foreigners who work here are deprived of any social security. And such things. But as it turned out, for example, while conducting research by IARTAS “Golden Fortune”, everything here is not at all so bad. At least 91% pollees consider the level of their social security in Italy to be good or satisfactory. And only 7% - bad.

Interesting that 61% of the pollees appraised the attitude of Italians to the Ukrainian labour migrants as positive, 31% as indifferent, only 6% of the respondents think that Italians have a negative attitude to the Ukrainians who work in their country. It is quite possible that many things here are explained by specificity of Italian mentality.

It appears that important and serious data would be given by conducting such research in other countries, where Ukrainians work. Particularly, the studying of attitude to Ukrainian labour migrants, for example, in Russsia.

The investigations which have been carried out indicate that Italians, majority of them not only are favourably disposed towards Ukrainians, who work in their country, but they support different cultural actions, which are held by Ukrainians. 83% of the respondents pointed out that they take part or can take part in cultural actions which are held by Ukrainian associations. Overwhelming majority of the pollees also indicated that they have the opportunity to buy literary and music works in the Ukrainian language (87% of the pollees), respective film works in Italy. At that not only Ukrainians who live in the capital, but also Ukrainians who live in different regions of the country, have an “access” to national cultural works.

On the whole, we may talk about the fact that in Italy (it is doubtful whether without conducting appropriate researchers such situation can be extrapolated to other countries, where Ukrainians work) not only good conditions directly for work, but also possibilities for organization of cultural life are created for people who come from Ukraine in search of a job. The circumstance that overwhelming number of the pollees (79%) pointed to the possibility of free study of the Italian language during the work in this country is also important.

Difficulties and problems

 

It is clear that the person who has left the native land, town, family and departed to different country, which very often seriously differ in social-cultural aspect, to earn money, certainly faces number of difficulties. What are they? The data of the sociological research which has been carried out by IARTAS “Golden Fortune”, permit to indicate that to the main of them we may refer: problems, connected with search of a job, job placement (59% of the pollees), and problems, connected with legalization of their status in the country (37%).

 

Besides, difficulties connected with lodging search (28% of the respondents) gain a serious significance for labour migrants. Also a number of other difficulties is fixed when conducting other researchers. Among them are: the problems connected with lack of knowledge language (about half of the pollees point out); family problems in their country, in particular, with children (nearly 30% of the pollees point out), problems connected with fraud when being paid for labour (almost 20% of the pollees mention)

At the same time the circumstance that minimal number of Ukrainian women pollees, who work in Italy, pointing out the problems with health, which naturally appear in all people, practically don’t note difficulties connected with receiving of health service is quite interesting.

 “About marriages with foreigners”

 Another stable and widespread legend, which accompanies Ukrainians, who go to earn money to Europe, is the one that the chief goal of such “journeys” is a desire to marry a foreigner, particularly, an Italian man and remain in Italy. In reality we have a bit different situation. Firstly, about 60% of the Ukrainian pollees are married and came to Italy by no means for entering into marriage contracts.

 Secondly, answering the direct question about the reasons of their stay in Italy, only 5% of the pollees pointed out they have for an object to marry the citizen of Italy. Taking into account that most of Ukrainians are quite patient towards such marriages between Ukrainian migrants and Italians. In reality indeed a considerable part of Ukrainians are married and they have children, who mostly reside in Ukraine.

 Nostalgia and connection with Homeland.

 Most Ukrainians who work in Italy have been in this country not one year. That’s why a question to what extent, so to say, the miss their Homeland is quite logical. Because most of them left spouses, children, parents in Ukraine. Judging by the replies of the respondents to the question what feelings they experience in view of long stay out of borders of Ukraine, the situation here is the following.

 - 47% of the pollees – in Italy experience a considerable improvement of the welfare standards;

 - 17% - feeling of political freedom

 - 34% - feeling of nostalgia

 - 20% - hope for return to Ukraine

 - 4% - indifference

 - 9% - feeling of anxiety

 - 17% - feeling of loneliness

 On the whole, as we can see, only about half of the pollees are homesick one way or other and wait for homecoming. At the same time the overwhelming majority of the people interrogated by IARTAS “Golden Fortune” are interested in social-political events in Ukraine, track them. 51% - since the family live in Ukraine; 32% - since they plan to return to Ukraine. The main source of information about Ukraine for labour migrants, who work in Italy, are (the percentage of the pollees is stated):

 - 23% - television;

 >- 52% - newspapers;

 - 40% - the Internet;

 - 51% - correspondence with relatives (acquaintances), who live in Ukraine;

 - 45% - communication with Ukrainians, who live and work in Italy;

 - 27% - participation in the work of Ukrainian and Italy-Ukrainian associations.

On the whole the vast majority of the pollees receive the information about the life of Ukraine. Only about 3% of the pollees are not interested in social-political life of Ukraine.

 So is it evil or no?

 Maybe the problem of female labour migration (and not only in Ukraine) is today the one which is being discussed most partially and speculatively. Indeed, what can, for instance, say Ukrainian politicians as regards this question? “We must work in our country!”. “We mustn’t abandon our children and aged parents!. “Everything may happen to you abroad” and such like. A common problem of immigration policy is behind all these conversations. Really, the policy which is pursued in practice in, let us say, “latent way”, under which more then ten percent of able-bodied population go abroad to find a job, hardly can be considered “patriotic” or “social” with respect to their population.

 And this concerns not only Ukraine. It is known that after the Second World War a huge labour immigration was observed in Yugoslavia. Then Turkey and Poland (in western hemisphere – Mexico) proceeded along the path. Today the turn has come of Ukraine and other post Soviet countries. According to statistics and different sociological researches at present 3 – 3,5 millions of Ukrainians work abroad (this is the data of Ministry of Labour, as to the figures 5-7 millions, they are obviously exaggerated). Most of all Ukrainians work in Russia, also about 300 thousands in Poland, 200 thousand in Czech Republic and 200 thousand in Italy.

 From our point of view, the problem is not in quantity of labour migrants, but how “effective” (let’s apply such a term) is labour migration under the migratory policy which is objectively pursued by the state-donor of manpower. If we abstract away from the populist statements of the politicians, who in a compassionate way “worry” about the migrants who have gone abroad in search of a job, especially about women, then we may speak in principle about “triple benefit”, which such labour migration brings.

 Firstly, the people who go in search of a job “gain” from it, who in their country couldn’t obtain such reward for their work, and therefore, teach children, buy dwelling etc. Secondly, such migration brings benefit to the countries which receive migrants. And the problem is that, for a variety of social- economic reasons, west European countries ( and Czech Republic, Poland and so forth lately) experience an enormous deficiency in manpower, who are employed in quite insignificant and unattractive for population of these states works. By the way, such migration from the countries of Eastern Europe weakens the necessity of involvement of personnel for these countries from Africa and Asian states.

 Thirdly, labour migration is also profitable for countries-donors, who “send” their citizens (most often “create” certain conditions for this) abroad in search of a job. According to different estimates from 40 to 50 billions hryvnas come every year in Ukraine from labour migrants. And we are talking only about funds which are officially transferred and about the money from European countries. This is quite a substantial “addition” to Ukrainian, in particular, budget.

 

 

 

Dmitriy Akimov,

Doctor of Philosophy,

Candidate of Sociology,

Head of the General Directorate of

International Academy of

rating technologies and sociology

“Golden Fortune”

 

Labour migration during the economic crisis: Ukrainian migrants in Italy

The world economic crisis of the 2009-2010 “disclosed” a large variety of problems connected with labour migration in a new manner. As could be expected it were migrants and members of their families, at least in the EU countries, who fell the first and main victims of the crisis. On the one hand, it can be explained, so long as in the conditions of sharp “shrink” the number of working places during the crisis, sure enough, representatives of indigenous nations, inhabitants of EU countries shouldn’t have suffered, where such migrants arrive for job placement.

 But, on the other hand, many-millioned masses of such migrant workers, many of whom have been living in these countries for long years and decades, moreover, they moved there with families, absolutely unexpectedly for themselves turned out “undesirable guests” in the states, in which they have been working for many years. And yet in relatively calm in economic respect periods they experienced a lot of problems with legalization, performed the most insignificant and low-paid job. The growth of unemployment during the economic crisis has the most serious social consequences for ethnic, cultural, religious minorities.

 Such ambiguous situation engendered both a serious international discussion with participation of representatives of European trade union confederation, and a statement of the last which was made in 2009 to the International day of refugee. In it ETUC called “immediately put an end to any inhumane practice with respect to migrants”. What is more, suggestions about supplement of Shengen visa system by “social-legal Shengen, directed on social security of migrants were expressed.

 Of course, that in every country (including – European) measures which were taken in this respect were different. All the more in 2009 a five year valid period of certain restrictions for labour migrants on entry in 15 “old” countries, i.e which were part of EU before 2004, ended. In some of them, for instance, in Denmark metalworkers’ Union gained a right for their members from “east” states, mainly Poles and Lithuanians to enter without restrictions unemployment insurance offices. In others such as Hungary, a problem of migrant reception from Rumania and Ukraine and their “departure” to the countries from there they have arrived, seriously rose.

 

At that, an ambiguous attitude to the fate of labour migrants during the economic crisis took place not only on the part of state bodies, but also the public. Thus, public opinion polls, which had been conducted in Britain, showed that almost 80% of the pollees think that the migrants who have lost a job must leave the country. In Lincolnshire County, in particular, a strike was held, in the course of which more then 700workers of oil refinery spoke with demand: “British work places for British workers”.

 A quite interesting situation with state of labour migrants during economic crisis was in Itlaly, which, as is known, the most responsibly (according assessments both migrants themselves and specialists) treat problems solution (including social) of labour migrants. At the present time (according to the facts of Rome municipality) more then one million Ukrainians work in Italy. The ratio of men to women is 22% to 78%. At that in Rome itself 7 thousand Ukrainians work officially with registration, 25thousand work, having permission to stay and in addition 75thousand with Ukrainian passports. At that, the number of Ukrainian labour migrants in Italy is increasing from year to year, as evidenced by practically all experts’ judgments and sociological investigations, which are being conducted.

As regards the structure of the contingent of Ukrainian labour migrants in Italy, then, judging by the research data, which has been conducted by the sociologist Natalia Shegda (she has been studying the problems of the Ukrainian emigration on Apennines for a number of years), mainly here migrants from West regions of Ukraine – Lvov, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsy regions, work. 64% of the migrants are family people, who left their relatives at home, 90% of them have children. More than a half migrants, who have been polled by the sociologist work as nurses for sick and aged people, the majority of the rest as nannies, housemaids.

 It is clear that taking into account such considerable number of Ukrainian labour migrants in Italy under conditions of economic crisis it is necessary to take serious measures. In this connection it should be noted that in Italy (one of not many countries of European Union) the question about legalization of labour migration to this country from Ukraine and Moldova is being seriously discussed. To do this we mean to intensify the information spread in this states about living conditions in Italy and open bureaus, which would solve the problems which would arise in this context with local authorities in Kishinev and some regional centers of Ukraine with collaboration of Italian trade union.

 At the same time trade union centers of Italy opposed “the decree which has force of the law’, which had been adopted in this country by the senate, according to which the rules of migrants access significantly become tougher, since it “appreciably complicates an integration of migrants into the Italian society, makes coexistence of Italians with migrants difficult and enhances the danger of criminalization of the country”.

 Probably, the circumstance, that number of people, labour migrants, who intend to leave the country because of sequences of economic crisis here much lower, than in other European countries became the result of such civilized measures for work with labour migrants in Italy. Thus according to the data of the poll by sociological centre at Christian community of Ukrainians in Italy, only 19% of migrants, chiefly older than 60 years or who don’t have chances on legalization, don’t rule out homecoming under the pressure of economic crisis. Whereas two thirds of the pollees, don’t plan their return though they experience the crisis consequences on themselves.

 As a rule, when it is a matter of problems of Ukrainian labour migrants, the questions which are being discussed concern in the first place “receiving party”, those difficulties which wait for migrants on arrival to European states, legalization their status, job placement, at last entry into new socio cultural environment. But recently several problems with labour migrants have arisen in the country, so to say, of “outcome”, i.e. directly in Ukraine.

 The circumstance that labour migration in the period of transformation of social-economic system in Ukraine, especially – economic crisis, has both negative and positive moments many scientists, journalists and also we have already repeatedly mentioned. Particularly to the number of the last we can refer: slackening of pressure on the labour market in Ukraine; opportunity for many Ukrainians who can’t find a job in their country to become employed with decent salary and suchlike. At last we shouldn’t forget that Ukrainians who work abroad “bring” very sizeable money, which they earn abroad. According to different data amount of the funds which are brought and transferred vary. But in any case the figures are impressive. Thus according to the data of the experts of Migration International organization, Ukrainian labour migrants who work in the EU countries, in 2007 transferred in Ukraine no less than 40-50 billions hryvnas in currency, what made up about a fourth of revenues of the state budget of the country in the respective year (166 billions hryvnas). What concerns directly Italy, the head of the commission of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church which is engaged in migrants concerns Grigory Seleschuk counted that only from this country annually labour migrants send about 5 billions Euro to their relatives to Ukraine (it is clear that here we are forced to rely on the data, which are given in the press)

Just in connection with this funds which are earned abroad two problems have arisen, which today rather sharply turned into a serious factor, contradiction in Ukrainian migratory politics. We are talking about pensions of “guest workers” and about their double taxation: abroad – in the countries where they make money and on arrival to their country.

 

It is understandable that both sources of these problems and attitude of the “receiving” and outcoming” sides to them are different. Or rather as attitude to the ways of their solutions on the part of the author (but we pass over in silence about this attitude, laying stress on appraisals which have been formed in the society) As to the first problem, in respect of pension security of labour migrants situation really looks ambiguous. Until recently, labour migrants in fact didn’t have right to get a sufficient, serious pension on coming back to their country. Tackling this problem, supposes firstly, mutual recognition of labour experience. Such negotiations are being carried out now between Ukraine and Spain, Portugal and Italy. Secondly, payment by labour migrants of contributions to the Pension Fund of Ukraine for further accrual of pensions, and also receiving the right to higher pension security.

 Now this problem is in the stage of solution, and several versions of such solution exist. One of them is payment by labour migrants a monthly contribution to Pension Fund of Ukraine in the amount of 20 euros ( Alexandr Zarudnyi, PFU chairman announced about it in May 2009). Another version is transference of Ukrainian labour migrants on a single tax with gaining an entrepreneur status by them. Here an estimated sum of a monthly contribution with account taken of fixed rate of a single tax is about 200 hryvnas. Other versions are being worked out in detail. Any way, Ukrainians, who work abroad and intend to return to their country, get the possibility to “earn” a pension for themselves. But the problem can’t be resolved easily, taking into account the circumstance that any citizen of Ukraine, regardless of labour experience availability, has a right to minimal pension security. So it is doubtful whether guest workers who have gone abroad to find a job (and who wish to earn as much as possible there) will hasten with active payment of contributions to Pension Fund of Ukraine.

 20 non-government organizations of Ukrainians in Italy demanded from Ukrainian authorities to cancel this resolution about supplementary taxation of labour migrants for the period of economic crisis. At this the fact is observed, that firstly such measures of Ukrainian government will lead to sharp reduction of money transfer to Ukraine.

 Secondly, (and this is especially substantially) such actions of authorities spread a panic among Ukrainians, who work abroad and make an active part of labour migrants think of refusal to return to their country. It is this problem that more often rises and in reality takes place.

 The matter is that a specific sign of Ukrainian labour migration is today the fact that it assumes the character of “irreversibility”. If in 90 years of the last century the majority of the citizens of Ukraine who go abroad in search of a living interpreted this phenomenon as a temporal one and most often hope that as soon as aconomic situation in Ukraine improve they will come back, the picture is different today.

 A prolonged period of transformation of Ukrainian society, a weak economy, unemployment which practically doesn’t decrease, poverty of the population in comparison with the level of its life in other European countries and a number of other factors which makes a considerable part of those who left then to find a job and leave at present, not hurry to return to their country. And there are also indirect signs of activation of such refusal to return, in particular such as involvement children into similar labour trips and visit abroad in search of a job by whole families.

 Of course, besides the described problem of those who don’t come back, an economic crisis revealed a number of other serious problems, connected with necessity of improvement of migratory policy of the Ukrainian state. A key problem, from our point of view, is a contradiction which really exists between practically “loss” by the country a huge number of able-bodied, at the most active age population in connection with labour migration, on the one hand, and practical impossibility of return today such migrants to Ukraine – on the other hand.

 Such impossibility of return of labour migrants is explained not only by reluctance of Ukrainians who work abroad to return to work to their country in more unfavourable conditions. The matter is also in the situation which in reality emerges in the country, when even those who “didn’t depart” can’t find a job. Accordingly many experts express an opinion that mass return of labour migrants to Ukraine in conditions of economic crisis (for the present, thank Heaven, it doesn’t occur) could lead to an enormous intensification of social tension, in the first place – on the labour market. Such situation in principle takes place constantly, taking into account, that according to different data from 3 to 7 millions of Ukrainian citizens work beyond Ukraine. Economic crisis only revealed and aggravated the tendency which is being described. Consequently, even when the crisis will successfully be ended, the problem will not disappear by itself. And we’ll have to resolve it by making the most serious amendments into the migratory politics, getting foreign states involved to the solution of the problem, in the first place such as Italy, where a considerable number of Ukrainians work.