Conference e-mail

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki

aleksanteri [at]

Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Professor Linda Cook, Brown University (USA)

Labour Migrants’ Access to Social Services in Russia

Since Russia’s post-transition economic recovery in 2000, labor migration from the Central Asian periphery to Russia’s major cities has created new structures of stratification and inequality.  My talk focuses on rights and access to health care and other social services for Tajik migrants to Moscow.
The talk reviews international agreements and domestic social policies that govern migrants’ de jure social rights, then presents original evidence on their de facto access to public, NGO, formal and informal private social services, based on field work in Moscow and Dushanbe. I consider whether social and advocacy NGOs substitute as providers to fill gaps in public provision, and what alternatives migrants find if needed services are inaccessible in the formal sector. My study concludes that limited access to public services, inadequacy of NGO networks, and the high cost of legal private services often push migrants into the shadows  to obtain health services, contributing to both their social exclusion and informality in Russia’s welfare sector.  At the same time, legal private health services have developed within Moscow’s migrant community.