With population of about 3.7 million people, Fergana is one of the regions in Uzbekistan to study the impact of migration on children. The study is a part of a project to protect children affected by migration in Uzbekistan, funded by the European Union.
Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan and UNICEF, who are implementing the project in the country, organized a consultation in Fergana city to discuss the project’s objectives and planned activities. Deputy Khokim and Deputy Chairperson of the Women’s Committee of Fergana region chaired the meeting.
Forty-five participants, including the districts’ deputy khokims and chairpersons of the Women’s Committees, attended the meeting. Representatives of regional and district departments of the ministries of public education, employment and labor relations, interior as well as prosecutor’s office, heads of child-care institutions, and Fergana State University attended the meeting. Participants discussed how they can contribute to the improvement of situation of migrant families in Fergana region.
According to the State Committee on Statistics of Uzbekistan, more than 10 percent of the country’s population resides in Fergana region. High density of population is one of the reasons for increase in the number of migrants from the region. More and more people are leaving their families and children behind in search for better paying work. These children may face difficulties including access to education and health services.
While there is some data on the number of people leaving homes, there is not enough information about the number of children left behind, as it was noted during the meeting. Results of the study by the Republican Center for Social Adaptation of Children (RSCAC) show that majority of children in childcare institutions in Fergana region are social orphans, left behind by migrant parents.
UNICEF will work closely with the Women’s Committee, RSCAC and ‘Oila’ Center to enhance the capacity of community advisers, patronage nurses, inspectors on minors, guardianship and trusteeship officers, so they will be able to assess the situation of migrant families and provide necessary support and consultancy.
The study will cover 250 families of migrants and their children in Fergana region in early 2019. Similar information will be collected in Bukhara, Khorezm and Surkhandarya regions. The results of the study will be used to make policy recommendations to support vulnerable migrant families and their children.
Similar meetings will be organized in Bukhara, Khorezm and Surkhandarya where the project will be implemented in 2019-2020.