Voices from Eurasia

Migration and displacement

Can blockchain help us better assist refugees and migrants in transit?

03 Nov 2017 by Kristina Mikulova, Advisor at the Board of the World Bank. 

Technology can both empower and disempower. At a recent workshop on blockchain, we landed a challenge: how can we use it to facilitate refugee integration? I am an immediate misfit in the dynamic multiverse of people speaking in code. But at this USAID event led by the UNDP Alternative Finance Lab and AID:Tech, I wasn’t the only one. My team, half tree-huggers and half tech gurus, started our brainstorming with this question: what do we have in common? The answer was a strong sense of identity. That fragile sense of self, inflated when our boss pats us on the back and shattered when somebody “swipes left”. … Read more

What does inequality look like?

15 Sep 2017 by Jodi Hilton, Photojournalist

Photographer Jodi Hilton traveled to 5 countries in Europe & Central Asia to document inequalities for UNDP’s Regional Human Development Report. Here is what she saw through her lens. … Read more

“From Russia to Tajikistan”: changing the way money moves

25 Jul 2017 by Marina Petrovic, George Harrap and Jamshed Kardikulov

Relative to GDP, remittances flowing into Tajikistan are among the largest in the world. Photo: Mashid Mohadjerin
Citizens of Tajikistan rely heavily on remittances. A lack of job opportunities means that up to 1 million (out of a population of 8 billion) migrate elsewhere for work, mostly Russia. Until 2014, the share of remittances made up around 43 percent of the national GDP, roughly US$4 billion a year. The global recession and the depreciation of the Russian and Tajik currencies against the US dollar has since caused a sharp decline in remittances. But its share is still significant at 20-25 percent, as labor migration continues to be attractive. … Read more

7 things we learned about tackling displacement in the Western Balkans

20 Jun 2017 by Susanna Dakash, Youth and Civic Engagement Consultant, UNDP Europe and Central Asia

A refugee family in fYR Macedonia. Photo: UNHCR
In 2015, 900,000 refugees and migrants crossed through Southeast Europe in the largest displacement of people since World War II. Many crossed from Greece to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia on their way to northern Europe. Most towns on that route were taken by surprise. Many didn’t have the doctors, food stocks, waste capacity, or sufficient housing to handle hundreds of thousands of additional people. Their whole approach to planning was suddenly upended. And many refugees ended up staying for months. Displacement in this region is not a new phenomenon. But over the last two years, we’ve learned a great deal about how to deal not just with the humanitarian side of displacement, but with the long-term impact. … Read more

How a small film brought a big impact to a Kosovo* village

05 Oct 2016 by Shpend Qamili

BAFTA Award winning director Daniel Mulloy in Prishtina
Editor's Note I met BAFTA Award winning director Daniel Mulloy in Prishtina in early 2015. Being deeply concerned by the refugee crisis, Daniel wanted to make a movie that would speak to the West. As a refugee myself who returned home with help from the international community I shared Daniel’s passion. We decided to create a piece of art that would ask for dignity for the world’s displaced individuals, and the short film Home was born. From the beginning, we set two goals: To promote the rights of refugees and migrants, and To show Kosovo as a place with resources to do such movies with relatively low costs. We were able to galvanize much support in a short period of time. The UN Kosovo Team started the financing, and we fundraised the rest, receiving around US$1 million in in-kind contributions. … Read more

Labour migrants in Central Asia deserve our attention

19 Sep 2016 by Elena Oleshko

steelworkersCentral Asian migrant steelworkers.
Irregular migrants are at higher risk of health problems Across the region, it has become critically difficult for newly arriving migrants to work legally. While regular migrants have access to a range of social and health care services, irregular migrants can only access emergency medical care. The lack of a required legal status creates a vicious circle for irregular migrants, where tightened migration regimes push them into informal economic activities that don’t provide them with health insurance and lead to poor life-long health outcomes. … Read more

Albania: Where a picture’s worth a thousand words

29 Apr 2015 by Nora Kushti, Communication Specialist, UNDP Albania

A treasure trove: Hundreds of thousands of negatives are now being digitized.
One day, I found an unusual email in my inbox. Sent from a man named Mark in the United States, the message read: “Can you please help me find pictures of my great-grandfather who used to live in Shkoder until the beginning of the twentieth century?” Surprised, I wondered how I would possibly find those pictures; but his message made it clear. Mark’s grandfather used to be photographed by the Marubi photo studio in Shkodër, and he had discovered that UNDP was helping digitize its archives. Perhaps, we could help. I immediately contacted our UNDP project office in Shkodër providing them with the approximate time when the photo was taken. A few days later, I received it: A photo of Mark’s great-grandfather, there among the half a million photos extant in the Marubi archive. … Read more

Roma migration: An option of last resort?

14 Jan 2014 by Jaroslav Kling, Roma Inclusion Policy Analyst, UNDP Europe and Central Asia

Vincent van Gogh: The Caravans - Gypsy Camp near Arles (1888, Oil on canvas)
Nowadays, migration is a regular part of our lives. Migration, in fact, launched the whole process of sustained attention to the issue of Roma exclusion in the European Union. - But is Roma migration really as huge as portrayed by the media? - What are the main reasons for Roma to migrate and do they fulfill their expectations? - Are the reasons that Roma migrate abroad different from the reasons of non-Roma’s who also migrate? - What are the most frequently chosen destinations? - What are the typical profiles of Roma and non-Roma migrants? - What is the life of Roma immigrants in the receiving countries? A recently published paper by Stoyanka Cherkezova and Iona Tomova tries to respond to these questions. … Read more

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