Report on Migration Trends Stresses Challenges to Repatriation

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)–A study on Armenia’s migration trends was presented Thursday at the Yerevan office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The report, prepared by local NGO, Advanced Social Technologies, details the reasons for migration from the Republic of Armenia and the challenges facing attempts at repatriation.

The report is the third in a series of studies on the issue prepared in coordination with the Migration Agency of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and with the assistance of the Yerevan Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

It looks at migration figures between 2002 and 2008 to provide “a well-grounded picture of the return and reintegration process” of migran’s from Armenia, said Sven Holdar, the Democratization Program Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

The study “aims to help revise and reform Armenia’s migration policies and legislation,” Holdar said.

The report is largely based on interviews with migran’s that had, at some point, repatriated to Armenia after having left the country in search of economic opportunity. According to the findings of the group, most of migran’s leaving Armenia between 2002 and 2007 left seeking employment in Russia, which is the primary country of destination for Armenian labor migran’s.

The majority of those migran’s, the report concluded, returned to Armenia at least once but rarely stayed. Many of the problems that prevented their successful reintegration into Armenia, it added, stemmed from the disparity between expectations and reality, as many repatriates returned to Armenia expecting greater opportunity than existed.

Employment statistics in Armenia’show that some 30% of migran’s who would otherwise leave Armenia looking for work, would be unemployed if they chose to stay in country, the report said.

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