On November 13th of this year at the hotel “Congress” a round table discussion on the theme "The positive and negative aspects of labor migration on the economy" took place. The round table was organized by the Republican Union of Employers of Armenia (RUEA), supported by Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Office in Yerevan.  

In his opening speech, Gagik Makaryan, the President of RUEA introduced his new idea to create a platform to connect all the institutions dealing with migration and to make their work more effective.

Then he suggested discussing the following provisions: the positive and negative aspects of labor migration on the economy, the necessity of platform creation and whether the state has the right to receive dividends from migrants. 


The discussion was very heated.  The development of SME-s and actually the whole economy due to the entrance of capital from foreign countries was mentioned as a positive aspect of labor migration. Demographic problems, the change of family values and trafficking were mentioned as negative aspects. 

An opinion was expressed that the migration was a result of lack of work and low salary and since the migration could not be prevented, we must do everything to help migrating people not to appear in desperate situations. In other words everything must be done to control migration processes, to better inform the migrants and to provide awareness of safe options of leaving the country. 

Then Aharon Adibekyan, the sociologist, the director of independent sociological center "Sociometer" joined the discussion presenting the results of latest survey according to which 18% of Armenia's population wants to leave the country. Then he again insisted that it is not necessary that the nation should develop and become stronger in their historical homeland and that the diaspora should be strengthened as it was done in Ireland citing the positive impact of migration on Ireland.  

The discussion was also joined by Artashes Bakhshyan, the Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations of RA. He also spoke about the positive sides of migration and added that our citizens demanded jobs from government but it was a wrong tendency especially when there was no such clause in the Constitution. And he certainly did not mention the government's obligations instead he noted that as every migrant leaving here their pensioner parents and allowance getting families, whose pension burden fell on the people working in Armenia it would be right the government to expect some dividends from migrants especially when the state had made investments for those migrants, for example, providing education and so on. 

Every attempt to present migration as a positive phenomenon met the negative response of the audience and the participants understood that such a policy could be disastrous for Armenia.  The emotional reaction of the audience deserved the discontent of Ovsanna Babayan, the national adviser of democratic program of OSCE office in Yerevan, who advised to use the phrase "the positive impact of migration" more often and in larger audiences to escape of such negative reactions of people.  

In our opinion, the situation is very sad. The essence is that the economic development of the country should not be provided by means of pouring of money into the budget sent by the migrants forced to work in a foreign country far away from their families, but it should be done by means of foundation of industrial enterprises, development of science and other fields, establishment of equal rights and elimination of monopolies in business and so on. It is very cynical at government level(without mentioning about many non-governmental organizations funded from abroad) to openly declare the usefulness of migration and encourage it, to look for the positive sides of migration process and under the guise of concern for migrants to betray the national interests deliberately emptying Armenia. 

Unfortunately, at all times very few could stand the test of power and money…