Central Asian Yearbook of International Law and International Relations


Regional Labour Mobility Within the Eurasian Economic Union

Towards Regularising Irregular Migration in Central Asia?

Keywords common labour market, regional labour mobility, irregular migration, regularisation of migration, Eurasian Economic Union, EAEU migration law
Authors Khalida Azhigulova
Author's information

Khalida Azhigulova
Khalida Azhigulova, PhD In Law (University of Leicester) MJur (Oxon) FHEA.
  • Abstract

      The year 2015 marked the creation of a new integration entity in the post-Soviet space – the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) based on the principles of free movement of goods, services, capital and labour. Among the claimed benefits of the EAEU is the facilitation of labour migration within the region, improved legal status and social protection of migrant workers within the bloc and regularisation of migration. On the other hand, there has been little research on whether the regional agreements of the EAEU and the national legislation and practices of member states may instead lead to irregularity of the status of the regional citizens.
      Drawing on the analysis of the EAEU migration law, this article explores the conditions for regional labour mobility within the EAEU and assesses the extent to which the Union’s legal framework and its member states’ administrative practices have been efficient in addressing irregular labour migration and protecting labour migrants’ rights within and outside the EAEU. The article concludes that both the nationals of the EAEU member states and those of third countries may be at risk of falling into irregularity. The article also explores the existing tensions between the Union’s member states on labour migration regulation and concludes that given the strategic importance of labour migration in building economies of the sending member states of the Union, failure to create an effective common labour market poses a serious risk to the very existence of this integration entity.

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