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The ruling United Russia party has considered asking the government to ratify a convention on employment agencies
The ruling United Russia party has considered asking the government to ratify a convention on employment agencies, adopted by the world's main governing body on labor issues nine years ago. The move to ratify the Private Employment Agencies Convention (C181, 1997) of the International Labour Organization comes against the backdrop of a constantly growing influx of immigrants working illegally in Russia. Under the convention, private employment agencies would provide services consisting of employing workers with a view to making them available to third parties, who may be natural or legal persons, which assign their tasks and supervise the execution of those tasks. Speaking Thursday at the Far East economic forum in Khabarovsk, near the Chinese border, Andrei Isayev, the head of the Russian parliament's lower house committee on labor and social politics, spoke in favor of introducing such agencies in Russia, saying they would ensure normal working conditions, wages and social insurance. "Foreign job-seekers should be enlisted only through such agencies," Isayev said. He said it was also possible that Russia will draft its own national legislation if the government refuses to present the convention to the parliament for ratification. "If the government does not introduce to the State Duma the 181st Convention of the International Labour Organization on so-called hired labor for ratification, than we will begin drafting a national legislative act, which could be ready by the beginning of 2007," Isayev said. He added that illegal labor migration is one of Russia's "crying problems." "Such economic fact as illegal [labor] immigration is often the root of the ethnic conflicts which break out from time to time in various regions," he said. The problem of illegal immigration was also highlighted by Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday. "Our economy was, is and will be absolutely open and transparent and it must attract the foreign capital and the skills we need. But immigration should be regulated, so that our people will not feel themselves at a disadvantage in certain sectors of the economy," Putin said. Illegal immigration has been one of the salient issues in a recent conflict between Russia and Georgia. Boris Gryzlov, the State Duma speaker, said Wednesday that MPs consider it a provocation that some 300,000 illegal Georgian immigrants work and earn money in Russia. "According to last year's data, $350 million was taken [by Georgian immigrants] out of Russia officially, but according to unofficial data the sum totals about $1 billion," Gryzlov said.
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