RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL AIDE POINTS OUT NEED FOR ADJUSTMENTS TO MIGRANT LABOR LEGISLATION

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MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russian presidential aide Sergei Samoilov has pointed out the necessity of adjusting national migrant labor legislation.

"Today, we know exactly what kind of laws we need to be able to solve labor migration problems," Samoilov said at an interregional conference, "Social Partnership as a Mechanism for Improving the Government's Migration Policies to Prevent Negative Fallout in Areas Such as Security, Economics, Human Resources, and Civil Liberties." The conference is currently underway in the Russian capital, Moscow.

According to Samoilov, Russia is facing a population boost now. "Russia's working population will be declining all the way through 2015," he said. On the other hand, there is a large inflow of labor migrants from other countries. By luring in more foreign workforce, Russia would be able to solve many of its economic and social problems, Samoilov argues.

Addressing the gathering, Igor Yunash, Deputy Head of the Russian Interior Ministry's Federal Migration Service, said, for his part, that labor migration is a relatively new problem for Russia and that it needs much adjustment. There are flaws to the legislative and law-enforcement practices in the field of labor migration, he said. According to Yunash, only 1.5 billion rubles in foreign labor registration revenue reached the federal coffers in 2003 while the actual revenue is far larger.

Normal conditions should be created in Russia for accommodating migrant workforce as there is still too much corruption in the area, Yunash said. According to him, there is a whole network of go-betweens who cash in on that, specifically by providing labor migrants with counterfeit registration papers and getting them registered in circumvention of law.

There is also a need for streamlining control in the area, especially given the mounting terrorist threat that this country is faced with, Yunash pointed out.

A total of over 1.6 million people from former Soviet republics have come to Russia to apply for refugee status since 1992. This is according to statistics cited by the Interior Ministry's Federal Migration Service. A little bit over 300,000 resettlers from the FSU have that status now. Plus, there are a lot of foreign nationals working in Russia legally.

A number of public organizations and companies cooperate with migration authorities in the Russian regions, seeking advice on issues related to labor migrants' admission, legal status, employment, accommodation and adaptation, officials at the Federal Migration Service say.

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