This article studies formal and informal risk-mitigating practices among Central Asian labor migrants in Moscow. The migration context is inherently uncertain, implying that migrants may try to protect themselves against potential risks by resorting to insurance mechanisms. However, migration is a unique situation that raises a number of questions. First of all, do formal protective institutions or insurance markets exist in the country of arrival? Secondly, if state or market insurance schemes exist, are they accessible to all migrants? What do at-risk labor migrants do when they cannot rely on formal schemes? Central Asian people are used to relying on social networks and informal practices in their home country. Previous articles have shown that these informal networks may be transposed in a migratory context, suggesting that informal risk-mitigating practices can be a substitute for formal insurance schemes and act as a social safety net for precarious migrants not covered by social security or insurance contracts. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between informal and formal insurance schemes and whether these can act as a substitute or complement among Tajikistani and Uzbekistani migrants, based on a survey of 1,213 labor migrants in Moscow.
- Central Asia
- informal insurance