Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN) has obtained copies of some of the recent presidential rulings, not yet published in the local media. One of them, «On Matters of Registration and Recording of the Individuals Arriving in Ashgabat for Employment Purposes,» concerns those residing outside the capital of Turkmenistan.
The new rule is intended to regulate migration within the country and employment in the capital of Turkmenistan. A close look at the «Procedure of Registration of Individuals Arriving in Ashgabat for Employment Purposes,» enacted by the above-mentioned resolution, reveals downright discrimination of residents of Turkmen regions in matters of employment.
Paragraph 4 of the document says that «in issuance of work permits, residents of Ashgabat are given priority rights to available vacancies.”
Paragraph 20 of the Procedure obligates employers to seek candidates for vacant positions among the residents of Ashgabat.
In addition, from now on, employment in Ashgabat will only be available to those appointed by a presidential decree or elected to the position, as well as to employees of security and law enforcement agencies. According to the Procedure, people residing outside the capital have no official restrictions on work in Ashgabat. Nevertheless, ATN observers believe that the requirement to obtain an official permit from the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection actually means that the regional residents will never be able to get such a permit.
If the employer is a state-owned enterprise, its application to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection for a permission to hire someone from outside the capital has to be first approved in writing by a higher authority, a ministry or the mayor’s office. ATN observers say that it also means more time-consuming bureaucracy.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection receives the employer’s application, studies all relevant documents, and submits them for review to the Interdepartmental Group for Registration of Individuals.
Control over the execution of this regulation is entrusted to the deputies of the following government officials: head of the Cabinet, Minister of Labor and Social Protection, Minister of Internal Affairs, Chief of the State Migration Service and Chairman of the Supreme Control Chamber of Turkmenistan.
A work permit in Ashgabat is valid for one year, after which one has to start the ordeal all over again.
The new regulation has not been published anywhere, and yet it has already been given effect. The ongoing campaign in Ashgabat to identify people, who came to the capital to find work, or those who already work there, is essentially the president’s order being enforced by the local authorities.
Article 8 of the Draft Constitution of Turkmenistan (revised), which has recently been put out for public consultation, says that «laws and regulations affecting civil and political rights and freedoms shall be invalid from the moment of their adoption, if they have not been brought to public knowledge.”