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Thursday 21 Aug 2014

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BBC Uzbek month-long programming focuses on Central Asian migrant labour in Russia's far north

Central Asian labour migrants in Russia's far north are the focus of new multimedia content launched by BBC Uzbek on radio and online at bbcuzbek.com.

For a month, from Monday 26 July, BBC Uzbek will feature special programmes, multimedia reports and photo galleries, looking at how Central Asians, driven from their home countries in search of employment, make a new life in the harsh realities of Russia's diamond industry in the Yakutia region.

The diamond-industry capital of Russia, Yakutsk, is the northern-most destination to be attracting labour migrants from Central Asia. These migrants work on building sites deep in the permafrost, in temperatures as low as minus 50C. Without their earnings, their families back home in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan would struggle to survive. The series producer, Diloram Ibrahimova, who travelled to Yakutsk across nine time-zones, explains:

"For a decade now, Central Asian migrants have been the main source of cheap foreign labour in Russia, and Yakutsk is no exception. In fact, chances of getting work there are higher for Central Asians than anywhere else in Russia. Today, entire communities in some areas of Uzbekistan depend on remittances sent from remote Yakutia.

" But even by Siberian standards, it is a harsh and extreme place to be, and its very basic infrastructure and living conditions are particularly unforgiving for those who come from a very different environment and culture of Central Asia.

"In our new series, we are looking at the realities these people are facing and the challenges they have to meet to keep those remittances flowing to their families."

The BBC Uzbek content exploring the lives of Central Asian labour migrants in the far north is also featured across BBC World Service output in English, Kyrgyz and Russian.

Notes to Editors

BBC Uzbek offers comprehensive coverage of international and regional news and current affairs, providing a much-needed window to the world, on radio and online on bbcuzbek.com.

In Uzbekistan, where domestic sources are tightly controlled, BBC Uzbek is sometimes the only broadcaster that covers domestic news in an unbiased and objective manner.

BBC Uzbek also broadcasts a special programme for Uzbek-speakers in northern Afghanistan.

Radio programmes are broadcast daily at 18.00-18.30 and 21.00-21.30 Uzbekistan time.

bbcuzbek.com has a range of new features and functionality, enhancing users' online experience and offering the Uzbek-speaking audiences the opportunity to get BBC news on demand and on-the-go.

It is available in two scripts - Cyrillic (for users in Uzbekistan) and Arabic (for ethnic Uzbeks in Afghanistan). The Arabic script is used on the website's Afghanistan page and features news and information filed by the BBC Uzbek Afghanistan-based correspondents in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Faryab and Kunduz.

bbcuzbek.com features embedded audio and video content, breaking-news headlines and stories, links to radio programmes, both live and on-demand, enhanced image galleries, and a comprehensive regional and global weather forecast. BBC Uzbek is part of BBC World Service.

The BBC attracts a global audience of 241 million people to its international news services including BBC World Service and the BBC World News television channel.

BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster delivering 32 language and regional services.

It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 180 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels.

Its news sites, which received 4.7 million weekly visitors in September 2009, include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate.

It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices.

For more information, visit bbcworldservice.com.

For a weekly alert about BBC World Service programmes, sign up for the BBC World Agenda e-guide at bbcworldservice.com/eguide.

BBC World Service Publicity

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