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Public Chamber welcomes obligatory language exams for migrants

November 07, 2011, 15:45 UTC+3

The draft law was submitted to the State Duma for consideration last week

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MOSCOW, November 7 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Public Chamber has supported a draft law obliging migrant workers to confirm their Russian language capabilities.

The draft law was submitted to the State Duma for consideration last week by United Russia parliamentarians – the heads of the State Duma education committee and constitutional legislation committee, Grigory Balykhin and Vladimir Pligin.

Under the document migrants upon arrival in Russia should present documented evidence that they know the Russian language, if they plan to work in the housing and public utilities, trade and commerce.

A member of the Public Chamber’s working group on migration policy, Sergei Ryakhovsky, said “the draft law is right, it should be adopted, but it is necessary to think over who will pay for migrants’ training.”

He expressed confidence that this is “the zone of responsibility of businesses: interested employers should participate in financing the language courses for their workers.”

Ryakhovsky admitted that “at the initial stage, the government can make contributions to the program for migrants’ training.” “Such practice is commonly used in many large countries importing migrant workers,” he said adding that “in this respect it would be useful to study the U.S. experience.”

He recalled that “recently representatives of the Federal Migration Service came up with an initiative of creating special adaptation centres for migrant workers.”

He expressed confidence that “this project should be implemented together with organizing the Russian language courses.”

Ryakhovsky promised that the Public Chamber would keep a close watch on the future of this draft law.

The director of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, Alexander Brod, believes that “the work with migrants should be strengthened at the federal and regional levels.”

At the same time he expressed confidence that “they should undergo training not only on the Russian language skills, but also on the basics of the Russian legislation.”

Authors of the draft law believe that the initiative on obligatory Russian language exams for migrant workers “will contribute to the development of the Russian education space both on the territory of Russia as well as in labour exporting countries.”

The idea if signed into law will also help to popularize the Russian language on the CIS space. It will allow “to optimize processes on the Russian labour market making vacant additional jobs for Russian citizens and to reduce risks of emergence of social tensions in the society.”

According to the Federal Migration Service, around 9 million migrants reside and work on the territory of Russia, most of them came from the CIS member-states.



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