Legal and illegal migration across Russia-Kazakhstan border

Yulia Florinskaya, Russian Academy of Sciences
Janna A. Zaionchkovskaya, INP RAN

The authors have carried out a research and identified scale, character, routes and causes of illegal migration across the Russian-Kazakh border. The research was done at Omsk and Orenburg sections of the border. Taken together these sections encompass 41% of the total length of the border between Russia and Kazakhstan. The research work brought about elaboration of proposals for decision-makers. The proposals deal with organization of control along the Russian border with Kazakhstan. The research makes obvious the sheer impossibility to ensure the effective control on the border with traditional means, i.e. with reliance on checkpoints. It is the principal and, alas, disappointing conclusion of the research. For the purpose of a greater efficiency of measures aimed at prevention of illegal migration under specific circumstances of the Russian-Kazakhstan border the following steps were recommended: 1. To grant the right of the border free crossing to inhabitants of near-border zone and to provide them with special permits. These migrants are illegal only in the technical sense, due to imperfection of laws. By virtue of this measure checkpoints will acquire a chance to focus on migration of persons with invalid documents, overdue visas, smugglers. Besides that a chance will appear to engage local people who will help the border guards. 2. To intensify Russia’s negotiations with Central Asian countries on coordination of the state border regime and control procedures. 3. To take measures aimed at improvement of organization and acceleration of checks at checkpoints. That will bring about curtailment of bypasses on the part of law-abiding foreign citizens. Perhaps it is possible to come ton an agreement with Kazakhstan and to introduce unilateral checks performed alternatively either by the Russian border-guards or by Kazakh ones. That would speed up movement across the border considerably.

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Presented in Session 94: Irregular Migration