Young Tajiks Leave Eastern Region in Droves

Young Tajiks Leave Eastern Region in Droves


At least a third of young people in Badakhshan, a large but isolated region of southeast Tajikistan, have left to work in Russia or other countries.

Over half the young people in the region are partially or completely unemployed – many more than the official statistics would suggest.

As in other parts of Tajikistan, emigration is a huge feature of life here. But Badakhshan faces particular problems as it has no real manufacturing industries, and is cut off six months of the year except for one road connection.

Fayzullo Qodirov, head of youth affairs in Badakhshan’s provincial government, says there are in fact jobs going spare, especially in the construction industry and the police force.

However, young people say they can only expect the equivalent of 100 or maybe 200 US dollars a month on local building sites, whereas they can get 800 to 1,000 dollars for doing the same work in Russia.

The police pay better, but some say the force’s poor reputation makes it an unpopular career choice.

Sadunsho Janobalisho is an IWPR-trained radio reporter in Badakhshan, Tajikistan.

The audio programme, in Tajik and Russian, went out on national radio stations in Tajikistan, as part of IWPR project work funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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