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Illegal strategies of migrants from Vietnam and Ukraine. Michal Nekorjak Faculty of Social Studies Masaryk University in Brno.

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Presentation on theme: "Illegal strategies of migrants from Vietnam and Ukraine. Michal Nekorjak Faculty of Social Studies Masaryk University in Brno."— Presentation transcript:

1 Illegal strategies of migrants from Vietnam and Ukraine. Michal Nekorjak Faculty of Social Studies Masaryk University in Brno

2 Common spheres of illegal strategies restricted rights: the problem of entering the territory of the Czech Republic and residence the sphere of economic reproduction organized crime Within these spheres, some strategies of Vietnamese and Ukrainians are common, in some of them they differ.

3 1. Restricted rights: the problem of entry and residence The formal status of foreigners is stratified (the concept of civic stratification) The legislative forms different categories of foreigners that have different rights and duties The stratification of inhabitants according to their citizenship reflects the attempts of nation states to regulate migration and also various notions of inclusion of foreigners into host society. The obstructions towards foreigners may be perceived as preventive measures either: a) against their permanent stay b) against the competition on labour market.

4 Difficult accessibility of visa, residence and work permit and informal obstruction influence the strategies of immigrants as follows: A) making use of the strategy of bribery B) making use of service of agencies and agents C) the choice of illegal stay D) the choice of quasi-legal status

5 Ad (a): the problem of unequal rights is also resolves by means of bribing alien police (and frontier guard) embassy

6 Ad (b): using the service of agencies or agents („clients“ or „ziť-vu“) the problem of organized bribery the problem of fictitious promises the problem of organizing illegal employment

7 Ad (c): the choice of illegal stay Illegal stay according to statistics in 2005: Ukrainians: 7000 cases (70% out of all cases) illegal immigrants estimated Vietnamese: 600 cases (6% out of all cases) For Vietnamese illegal stay is rather exceptional. This fact is related to enterprise activities. a) to obtain the status of a businessman is much easier that to obtain the status of an employee b) it is difficult be an entrepreneur with illegal status

8 Ad (d): the choice quasi-legal stay by mediation of simulated marriages fake documents quasi-entrepreneur status: only formal status of an entrepreneur, but a factual status of an employee. This problem arises predominately for Ukrainians (35% of them have a trader license) Vietnamese: by declaring paternity

9 2) The sphere of economic reproduction

10 Both groups form their own institutions Vietnamese Their activities aim outside the Czech labour market They focus on the sale of imported (textile) goods. Their goal is to make profit. The Vietnamese form their own internal labour market. And the secondary segment is offered to the Czech population as well. Ukrainians They aim to the Czech labour market They organize employee networks (client system). Their goal is the wages. Ukrainian ethnic economy is less complex than that the Vietnamese one.

11 The Vietnamese The illegal strategies are embedded in the production of profit. The main entrepreneur activity is the sale of textile goods imported form abroad (China, Vietnam, Turkey, Hungary, Poland) Main actors: central store entrepreneur market hall entrepreneur wholesaler shop entrepreneur stall entrepreneur employee Main strategies 1. Above-average time spent at work 2.The strategy of the low operating costs 3.Flexible reaction to demand 4.Lowering tax expenditure 5.Lowering customs expenditure

12 The strategy of the low costs of enterprise minimal equipment and demands for running the goods at the cheapest figure – the strategy of high turn-over of the goods for low price lowering labour costs: a) self-employment b) employing their families c) employing immigrants – debtor for mediation d) employing Czech marginalized labour

13 Flexible reaction to demand Monitoring the trends of demand: in particular at the beginning of the 90s Willingness to meet a demand for illegal goods (the most frequent crime of Vietnamese according to the statistics) - the sale of goods with a fake trademark - bootleg CDs and DVDs, non-registered cigarettes and alcohol

14 Lowering tax expenditure paying minimal taxes: non-declared amount of sold/purchased goods non-declaring the salaries of employees - illicit work (take-home) - non-standard employing: work on contract („švarcsystém“)

15 Lowering customs expenditure fraudulently declared low price of goods (informal agreement with producers) smuggling in the goods -non-declared goods hidden in containers - the strategy of „overloading“: focusing the import on one workplace of customs office which will not manage to check all shipments -taking the goods through „third countries“ with more moderate customs procedures (Slovakia, Hungary) - bribes for customs officers - goods declaration on fake documents (different commodity)

16 Space differentiation of illegal activities Frontier region vs. inland The Vietnamese are concentrated in big cities and frontier regions near Germany (and Austria) The sale of fake trademarks is concentrated predominantly in the frontier regions, it is not such a problem in the inland. The reason is: a) high level of demand of German and Austrian citizens b) worsened enforceability to observe the law: controlling institutions have a seat in big cities

17 3) Organized crime

18 The Ukrainians Several groups operate here: so called „brigades“ they intervene into the lives of Ukrainians by means of levying a charge from „the clients“ (so called „rocket“) assaults

19 Types of „clients“ as for their relation to mafia The relationship between mafia and „the clients“ is ambivalent, ambiguous. It cannot be judged only as advantageous / disadvantageous or voluntary / involuntary.

20 1) Passive forced relation 2) Pragmatists They adapt themselves to a given situation and try to use the service of mafia for their own benefit, particularly in the sphere of getting administrative permissions or financial loans. 3) Predatory Their relation to mafia is pragmatic. Neither they are a part of mafia, however, their practices are criminal. They prey on workers (do not pay their salaries), threaten them or use violence toward them. 4) Mafiosi They come from the background of organized crime. A part of „client“ firms belongs to mafia.

21 The Vietnamese We have much less information about the role of organized crime in the environments of Vietnamese migrants. We know it participates in: a) recovery of debts and protection of market halls against rival mafias b) they participate in organizing fake goods trade c) they help to obtain fake documents They provide the same type of service as the Ukrainian „brigades“ do: a) protection b) administrative service c) partial but direct participation in the ethnic economy


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