Labor migration from mountainous areas in the Central Asian region: Good or evil?
Nowadays labour migration plays a very important role in the mountainous areas of countries such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan. The quality and direction of migration as well as its economic, social, and cultural impacts on the life of communities have changed, along with the increase in the numbers of migrants. There are conflicting opinions about whether temporary labour migration promotes or hinders the development of mountainous regions. While travelling along mountain roads in Central Asian countries, the authors investigated whether labour migration stimulates the development of mountain regions, interviewing local inhabitants, migrants, businessmen, authorities, and local representatives of international organisations. The data collected on their travels was used in an International Organization for Migration (IOM) research project on labour migration in Central Asian countries, Russia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in 2004. The present article summarises the results of their research and highlights a number of issues related to the economic and social impacts of labour migration.