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MOSCOW, November 13 (Itar-Tass) - In today’s global openness the industrialized countries have to face the flow of labour migration and the problem of assimilating representatives of other cultures. Possible ways to address the issue were under consideration at a conference under the auspices of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (CFDP), organised by the Jewish Cultural Centre and held in the framework of the Week of Tolerance from November 11 to 15.
Only civil society is able to ensure the integration of migrants in a country, Emil Pain, senior lecturer at the Moscow Higher School of Economics, and general director of the Centre for Ethno-Political Studies, said.
“In Germany, for instance, neighbours will explain in lay language to a newcomer the rules of community life. If a person does not want to feel like an outsider, he or she will learn quickly to tidy the home's surrounding grounds and not to make noise at six in the morning,” Pain explained. The scholar is convinced that the integration of migrants into any civilized society is impossible, if they settle in megalopolises altogether in whole blocks, as it is in Paris or in Moscow.
“Russian citizens are quite tolerant towards migrants, but they are not ready to excuse them for certain types of behaviour that may run against generally accepted rules,” Vladimir Milov, the leader of the Democratic Choice political party, said. He believes that in order to prevent the problem from going off scale it is necessary for the state to control migration.
The conference revealed distinct differences between supporters of the so-called European values, such as tolerance, and realistically-minded scientists.
“The current migration boom in the country made Russia as well as Europe confront the belligerent Islam. And the threat comes not so much from Central Asian migrants as from the youth coming from Russia’s North Caucasus republics,” noted Alexei Miller, history lecturer at the Central European University in Budapest, senior research-fellow at the Institute for Scientific Information in Social Sciences under the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“I have read some of history school text books published in one of Russia’s North Caucasus republics and found out that they openly instil russophobia. That is why Caucasus-born young people in Russia's big cities prefer not to adapt themselves to local customs, but to conquer the cities, and not at all in a figurative sense. In Moscow, for example, Muslim youth gather either in mosques or in cafes bearing a distinct ethnic flavor, and enjoy each others’ company. In some Russian south cities the population structure is noticeably changing due to visitors from the North Caucasus,” Miller said.
The scholar recalled that Russia’s State Duma had recently approved of the concept of a unified school history textbook, which was much criticized by the liberal media.
“However, no one seems to have understood that the Russian authorities wanted in that way to correct history curricular in Russia's ethnic republics,” Miller added.
“Young people coming to Russian big cities should enjoy career prospects, or they will isolate themselves in their communities, therefore creating an economic basis for organized crime,” said Leonid Grigoriev, a chief advisor to the head of the Russian government's Analytical Centre.
According to Grigoriev, the skewed resource allocation in Russia - a high mortality rate in men of working age and a vast army of security guards employed by private enterprises - dictates the need for attracting 700,000 labour migrants to the country annually.
“It is important to understand one factor essential to facilitating their adaptation to society - the acceptance of the state’s legal system and obedience to Russian laws by all parties to the process, not only migrant workers but also migration services, law-enforcement authorities and officials of different levels,” Grigoriev said.