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Human rights chief concerned over scale of illegal migration in Russia

Experts say that there are currently eight to ten million illegal migrants in Russia

MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. The situation concerning illegal migration in Russia causes deep concern, Russian Human Rights Ombudsperson Tatyana Moskalkova said in an annual report on the human rights situation, published in the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily on Tuesday. According to Moskalkova, the illegal migration situation raises tensions in society and at the same time negatively affects migrant rights.

"The so-called illegal labor migration raises tensions, as despite the work done by legislators and law enforcement agencies, experts say that there are currently eight to ten million illegal migrants in Russia. On the one hand, it inevitably leads to social tensions among the country’s citizens, but on the other hand, it entails the violation of the migrant rights," the report reads.

Besides, Moskalkova expressed concern over the fact that "around 3,400,000 people stay in Russia for more than 90 days without receiving necessary permits, with 81.4% of them being citizens of the CIS member states."

The Russian human rights ombudsperson went on to say that in 2016, the situation in some of the Interior Ministry’s migrant detention centers had been difficult.

Another problem mentioned in Moskalkova’s report is connected to former citizens of the CIS member states who are serving out criminal prison sentences in Russia. "Claimants say that before being sent to prison, they had stayed on Russia’s territory for a long time, losing homes in their native countries, as well as the possibility to find a job. Apart from that, those countries’ state agencies do not confirm their nationality and the right to residence which makes it impossible to deport them," the Russian human rights ombudsperson added.

"Since these people do not have legal reasons to legalize themselves in Russia, they are deprived of fundamental human rights, including the rights to work, social security and medical assistance," Moskalkova said. According to her, "the current federal laws do not regulate legal relations in this sphere."