IGAD member states discuss labour migration, mobility governance and skills development

ILO partners with IGAD and EU to validate findings of two studies on assessment of labour migration and mobility governance, and potentials of skills development for regulated labour mobility in the IGAD Region.

Press release | Nairobi, Kenya | 07 May 2019
Nairobi (ILO News): IILO, in collaboration with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) launched a sub-regional tripartite workshop to validate two studies on ‘labour migration and mobility governance in the IGAD region’ and ‘potentials of skills development and recognition for regulated labour mobility in the IGAD region.

The two-day workshop that started on 7 May 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya has the objective of the tripartite validation and consultation workshop is to foster linkages between research findings and policy making and promote exchange of ideas and practices among government actors, workers’ organizations, employers’ organisations and other stakeholders involved in labour migration and mobility governance in the IGAD region. To this end, the tripartite validation workshop will play a critical role in terms of disseminating the findings and recommendations of the studies to the IGAD Secretariat, IGAD Member States, ILO tripartite constituents, policy makers, partners and stakeholders and further enable the ILO to gather concrete inputs, comments and recommendations on the study reports from participants.

The workshop was opened by welcoming address and opening remarks by Mr Alexio Musindo, Director ILO Country Office for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan and Special Representative to the AU & ECA, Mrs Hanina Ben Bernou from the EU delegation in Kenya, Ms. Fathia Alwan, Ag. Director of Social Development in the IGAD secretariat, Mr Albert Njeru Obed and Mr Thomas Achok respectively representatives of the COTU-K and FKE as well as Mr. Jacob M. Gatimu representing the government of Kenya.

During his address, Mr. Musindo indicated that while migrant workers are better protected by legal frameworks, such as free movement protocols, bi-lateral labour agreements and international standards that are fully enforceable, the contribution of labour mobility and migration are also paramount to a regional integration and economic development. He further explained that it is in this context that the ILO is taking a number of initiatives and implementing concrete programs towards regional integration, improving migration governance and free movement regime in the region in close collaboration with IGAD secretariat.

While highlighting that the ILO is celebrating in 2019 its centenary anniversary, Mr. Musindo underlined the organization's mission has ever since been devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace. He further appreciated the IGAD secretariat for their partnership and support in organizing the workshop and thanked the European Union for financing this project.  

In light of the scale of labour migrants in the IGAD region, the discussions highlighted the importance of making decisions and taking actions now to ensure decent work opportunities to all those who decide to migrate whether skilled or unskilled. 

A total of 79 participants (54 Male and 25 Female) from the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior/Immigration and Citizenship Affairs, Ministry of Education, Technical and Vocational Education, as well as representatives of workers and employers organizations of the IGAD member States and the IGAD Secretariat are taking part in the validation workshop as well as officials of UN agencies and International organizations. 

ILO, being the only tripartite U.N. agency brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States , to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.