On April 4, the president of Uzbekistan signed a decree supporting labor migrants.

According to the document, the Agency for External Labor Migration under the Ministry of Employment and Poverty Reduction was transformed from a state enterprise into a state institution, led by one of the deputy ministers of employment and poverty reduction, in a dual position.

Labor migration attachés will be appointed to Uzbekistan’s diplomatic and consular institutions in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Hungary, Germany, Latvia, Poland, and Japan.

Starting June 1, 2024, Uzbekistan citizens registered in the electronic labor migration program “Xorijda ish” and leaving for organized labor migration will receive compensation for expenses related to:

  • Qualification exam fees for foreign languages and professions, up to three times the basic calculation value (BCV), upon successful completion;
  • Issuance of a work visa for labor abroad, up to five times the BCV;
  • Purchase of a travel ticket, up to twice the BCV.

To receive these compensations, citizens must apply electronically through “Xorijda ish” or directly to the Agency for External Labor Migration, attaching supporting documents. Payments will be issued within one month after the citizen’s employment abroad to the specified bank card.

From the same date, insurance organizations will receive subsidies to cover life, health, and other risks for citizens from low-income families listed in the Unified Register of Social Protection, or included in specific notebooks (“iron”, “women”, or “youth” notebooks), embarking on organized labor migration. The subsidy, up to 50,000 soums per insured citizen, will be paid annually.

The decree also outlines provisions for citizens of Uzbekistan subjected to violence, forced labor and discrimination, violation of labor and other rights, financial hardships, as well as for those left without identity documents or without means of subsistence during labor migration. They will receive financial compensation for services from a lawyer, legal services organizations, or human rights organizations.

The Ministry of Employment is tasked with developing procedures for subsidy allocation, compensations, and other payments within two months.

Additionally, the Ministry of Employment will hold negotiations with foreign authorities to establish representative offices or centers to provide legal assistance to labor migrants in the UK (London), Germany (Berlin), Turkey (Istanbul), and Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) by 2024−2025.

By September 1, 2024, a 24-hour call center will be established to provide assistance to labor migrants, with calls made free of charge for subscribers dialing from abroad.

By July 1, 2025, a unified interagency database will be developed to accurately record individuals departing from and arriving in Uzbekistan.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs is tasked with providing the Agency for External Labor Migration with monthly reports on Uzbekistan citizens residing abroad for 90 days or more.

Subsidies will be provided to organizations (excluding budgetary and state enterprises) hiring returnees from labor migration. Over a 12-month period, a monthly subsidy of 500,000 soums will be granted for each such worker employed between June 1, 2024, and January 1, 2026. Returnees are defined as individuals who have worked abroad for three months or more and returned within a year.

In each mahalla, the census of returning labor migrants will be conducted, providing reintegration assistance to former migrants. Facilitating their formal employment will be a key indicator of assistant hokims' (mayor's assistants) effectiveness, as outlined in the decree.

The Ministry of Health is directed to implement free medical examinations for returning migrant workers and their families. Individuals with socially significant diseases such as tuberculosis, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, and mental illness will receive free medical treatment.

The National Agency for Social Protection is tasked with ensuring that social workers monitor families of citizens in labor migration starting January 1, 2025, to assess their needs for social services and assistance. “Inson” social service centers will offer support to children whose parents are engaged in labor migration.