Ethiopia's Strategic Leap: Launching the National Technical Working Group on Labour Migration

The first National Technical Working Group (TWG) on Labor Migration in Ethiopia will promote safe, orderly, and productive migration while addressing challenges faced by migrant workers.

Article | Ethiopia | 12 October 2023
The Ministry of Labour and Skills (MoLS) with the support of the ILO established a National Technical Working Group (TWG) on Labour Migration in Ethiopia on Monday, October 9, 2023. The TWG aims to strengthen coordination among key stakeholders in Ethiopia involved in labour migration, ensure improved implementation of labour migration initiatives in the country and avoid duplication of efforts. 26 participants representing the Ministry of Labour and Skills (MoLS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs- Diaspora Service, Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Social Affairs (MoWYCA), Ministry of Justice - National Partnership Coalition (NPC), Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU), Confederation of Ethiopian Employers' Federation (CEEF), Ethiopian Employers Federation (EEF), Ethiopian Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (EOEAF), Women in Self Employment (WISE), Siinqee Bank, International Organization for Migration, GIZ, ILO and AUC attended the event.

The meeting was officially opened by H.E. Dr Asegid Getachew, State Minister, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, following keynote speeches by the Director of the ILO Country Office for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, and for the Special Representative to the AU and the ECA, representatives from Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Union and Confederation of Ethiopian Employers Federation. The State Minister appreciated the strong partnership between his Ministry, other line Ministries and relevant stakeholders working in the area of labour migration and further emphasised the need for such platforms to synergise different labour migration initiatives, ensure the best use of resources and have improved impact. He further explained that as per the responsibility bestowed on the Ministry under the Overseas Employment Proclamation (Amendment) 1246/2021 Article 15, a Board will be established to provide overall policy direction on labour migration. The work of this TWG will feed into that of the board once established.

During the meeting, the Terms of Reference for the TWG was presented and endorsed by all participants, with the proposition of including additional members to the TWG, namely the Ministry of Health, Financial institutions, Insurance Companies, and the Immigration Office as they are critical partners on labour migration governance. Furthermore, the role of the regions in improving labour migration governance was emphasised and each institution was guided to use its structure within the region to ensure coordination.

The ILO and African Union (AU) further presented the relevant Global, Continental and Regional Framework on labour migration, which provided an insightful exploration of the different frameworks guiding labour migration governance. Among other frameworks, these included the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Global Compact of Migration, the African Union Migration Policy Framework and Action Plan (2018-2030) and the AU Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the IGAD Protocol on Free Movement of Persons. The AU-ILO-IOM-UNECA Joint Labour Migration Programme (JLMP) was also presented. To conclude the day MoLS focused on the national framework and highlighted the priorities on labour migration in Ethiopia, including the challenges faced.

To strengthen labour migration governance, the TWG will identify challenges in labour migration governance, share best practices, promote efficient systems, reduce fragmentation and duplication of efforts, and foster synergies among various actors involved in labour migration initiatives. This TWG is expected to play a pivotal role in advancing labour migration governance and ensuring the protection of migrant workers in Ethiopia.