Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Migration in Georgia: Launching the "Development on the Move" Project

ISET and CRRC today launched the Development on the Move (DOTM) Project. The aim of this project is to map how migration impacts development in multiple dimensions. DOTM is funded by the Global Development Network, and coordinated by the Institute for Public Policy Research in London. 250 proposals from throughout the world competed to participate in this project, and we were extremely happy to be selected as one of the six winning teams.

Various stakeholders from the Georgian Government including National Bank, international organizations (OSCE, ILO, IOM), embassies, NGOs and leading Georgian researchers participated. Danny Sriskandarajah represented IPPR.


After introducing the project to the audience, a very focused debate followed, highlighting various migration impacts. These include remittance impacts on labor and real estate markets, changing gender roles in families, drug abuse in the absence of social control, de-skilling through low-level exploitative employment abroad, as well as various potential positive impacts, such as attitudinal change, language learning, and exposure to specialized education. (More exhaustive minutes will be available on request.)

A second component was a review of the existing policy gaps. There continues to be a mismatch between EU and local expectations. Citizenship, taxation and custom laws may discourage return migration. Embassies do not really serve as points of contact, but often are avoided, especially by undocumented migrants. Coordination of agencies, systematic gathering of quality data, and data sharing were also highlighted as particular issues.

We encourage anyone interested in migration to get in touch with us if they want to find out more about this project. We're planning a specialized mailing list, and migration-specific website for Georgia will be launched in the next few weeks by the Danish Refugee Council. More details about the international projects are available here.

4 comments:

Eistein G. said...

Congratulations!
It a very interesting subject. Multifaceted and complex. I did some research on Georgian and Russian female migrants in Norway. The risk of deskilling due to problems with their former education is significant. As a rule a masterdegree from eastern europe gives the credit of a bachelordegree in Norway. So they have to study two years and write a master in Norwegian / english. Also there is some formal demands regarding englsh language. They have to pass a highly advanced test in order to be allowed at the university. For those not being able to do this, they might end up in a significantly worse situation than what they came from. No network, and completely dependend on their housbands if married. With no formally approved education they start at the absolute bottom of the society allthough they have a masterdegree from their homeland. The process takes approximately 3-4 years from arrival in Norway. Tough start indeed. Not to mantion the way the beuraucarcy in Norway treats them...Much the same as the russian jews going back to Israel experienced. The total sum: De-skilling.

Good luck with your project!
Writern (Eistein Guldseth)

HansG said...

Eistein,

thanks, that sounds very interesting. Did you put any paper together on this? I doubt that anyone else has researched female Georgian migrants in Norway.

Best,
Hans

Writer'n said...

Hello, Hans. Yes I have a paper on this, but it's in Norwegian. My project was to research and analyse to what degree structural violence was excercised by the authorities based on how female migrants from eastern europe was treated when migrating to (and living in) Norway. Half of the interviewed was Georgian women, but they seem to share the same problems with all eastern european women, because women from eastern europe is regarded as the same in the traditional streotypical opinion.

I found that the de-skilling process probably starts with exercised structural violence from within the system (police, healthcare, etc., and develops further through jobs they are clearly overqualified for. Structural violence has clearly an effect on diciplining the women, and can be revieled as unappropriate questioning by the police as to wheather they have been arrested for theft (visa renewal)or not, questions about their sexlife by the healthcare-authorities in the obligatory helthcontrol, condecending and patronizing remarks from officials when renewing visas and much more.
Quite depressing, actually.

I should add that this was an explorative qualitative study with in-debth, thus few, interviews. Still they reported remarkable similar attitude and experiences.

The main reason I found your project interesting, was that I think there should be done more research on the deskilling..and further the structural violence part of this complex problem.I had problems finding relevant litterature covering the area of female migrants.

anwar said...

It is a very interesting subject as you have pointed out the positive as well as the negative aspects of going through this procedure as you have said, "those not being able to do this, they might end up in a significantly worse situation than what they came from." Cheers !!!!

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Asif

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