Based on materials from 2002 and a survey implemented in 2004 in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Ekaterinburg and Astrakhan, this short study addresses the impact of the bureaucratic difficulties encountered by Tajikistani labour migrants in Russia, bringing about a large practice of illegal migration.  The consequences are low wages and living standards, an overall disrespect for the labour code, submission to pressures from illegal structures (including the ‘legal’ racketeering by diaspora organisations), and exceptionally high mortality rates (800 coffins officially brought back to Tajikistan in 2002).  A telling illustration of the direct influence of law (in this case of legal vagueness) upon everyday life of a population estimated at 400 thousand to one million and a half people.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-7.4.E-651