AFRICA – ARAB STATES TRIPARTITE INTERREGIONAL MEETING ON LABOUR MIGRATION
On 15 & 16 November 2021, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) organised a virtual event for stakeholders to exchange views on the current situation and best practices regarding labour migration in Africa and the Arab States.
Employers’ organisations, governments and trade unions were invited to attend the event as well as participate in the panel discussions. Other relevant regional and international organisations such as the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) were also in attendance.
BUSINESSAfrica was a partner of the event and had its own booth over the two days event in parallel of the discussions.
Mr. Stephen Obiro, Head of Advocacy, Communications and Partnerships at the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) gave a speech on behalf of Mrs. Jacqueline Mugo, Regional Vice-President for Africa at IOE to reiterate the fact that labour migration benefits the economy of both sending and receiving countries. He insisted on the importance and commitment of BUSINESSAfrica to promote decent work and social protection of workers crossing borders.
The issues and concerns raised during the panel discussions were the challenges to the receiving countries to fill skill gaps and a need in the workforce; often in construction sites and for domestic workers and the concerns for sending countries to ensure that their citizens have their human rights respected by their employers and host countries.
It was clear throughout the entire event that all stakeholders have a real interest in regulating labour migration by negotiating Bilateral Labour Agreements (BLAs), skills partnerships, and create Recruitment Agencies to be a focal point for migrant workers and their employers for fair recruitment. Many best practices were shared respectively by Lucy Kibiru, Kenyan Ministry of Labour, Srinivas Reddy, Branch Chief, Skills and Employability at ILO, and Mohammed Ali Al-Meer, Qatar Ministry of Labour.
The platform provided by the AUC and ILO to discuss the mentioned topics and all the relevant documents are accessible on the website for the stakeholders. Many organisations present at the event continue to work on developing guidelines to support African Union Member States in their negotiations of BLAs or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) when it comes to labour migration. Marina Manke, Head of Labour Mobility and Human Development Division at IOM announced the launch of the guidance on migration for February 2022. Virtual workshops will be organised to discuss and brainstorm on its implementation. We will keep you informed!
BUSINESSAfrica remains engaged and will use the momentum to represent the private sector in Africa in the ongoing discussions at the regional, continental and international level. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or requests regarding labour migration at firstname.lastname@example.org
All the sessions and the material posted on the webpage of the event is available for the next 12 months. The entire website is available in English, French and Arabic.