Social worker's essential duty
Aidai Adylbekova has been working in social services for 15 years.
Aidai Adylbekova is a social worker and has been working in social services for 15 years. She goes from house to house, examines the living conditions of children, determines which child's parents have migrated abroad for work and registers them.
"Twice a year, we go from house to house and register children living in Jalal-Abad city. We check whose parents have migrated and who is caring for the children and what conditions the children are living in."
Aidai Adylbekova came to Ainura Shabdanova's house. Ainura Shabdanova takes care of her daughter's two children.
"Another negative side of this labour migration is that some parents separate their children. For example, if they have four children parents may leave the eldest with the grandmother from the husband's side, and the youngest with the grandmother from the wife’s side. It is wrong, but there is no way. In these cases we recommend that children meet each other often and play together because children should grow up knowing that they are siblings and bond with each other", says Aidai Adylbekova.
According to Aidai Adylbekova, the children left behind as a result of this labour migration often begin working at an early age. In these cases, social workers will carefully investigate the situation and if there is a need, they will draw up an employment contract for the family outlining that the child to work on light jobs.
According to the Ministry of Labor, Social Security and Migration, there are more than 2,400,000 million people under the age of 18 in Kyrgyzstan. In the first quarter of 2022, the Ministry registered more than 100,000 children whose parents had migrated abroad for work. But the actual figure is expected to be much more than this.
198 social workers work with children throughout Kyrgyzstan. The demand for social workers is increasing every year.
UNICEF supports the Ministry of Labour, Social Welfare and Migration (MoLSWM) to support vulnerable children and families. District level social workers were trained on case management to be able to better support children and families. This is especially important where children are affected by migration as they are often living with grandparents who need support to care for their grandchildren.
To provide support to the Government of Kyrgyzstan in strengthening the protection of the rights of children affected by migration, UNICEF has partnered with the European Union under the project “Protecting children affected by migration in Southeast, South, and Central Asia” and is working with national and international partners.