Protection, information and return and reintegration services

To ensure that the benefits of policy and institutional interventions have a direct impact on workers’ migration and employment experiences, FAIRWAY will address practical barriers to accessing rights and further unlocking migrant workers’ development potential. The FAIRWAY Programme has also been at the forefront of ILO’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, which has affected all programme countries, reduced inter-regional mobility, and has resulted in the repatriation of thousands of migrant workers.

In Ethiopia, the Programme has developed a comprehensive set of support measures, from immediate cash assistance, information services and support to embassies abroad; to long-term support to returning migrants to reintegrate into the labour market. This is done through skills development, employability enhancement initiatives, and, for entrepreneurs, access to business development services and microfinance.

In Kenya and Uganda, the COVID-19 response focuses on the strengthening or development of Migrant Support Centres to support workers returning due to COVID-19. These MRCs are linked to existing institutional structures, such as employment centres, to ensure their sustainability into the future.

In Kenya, returning migrant and their families will benefit from strengthened capacity to make informed choices about the use of remittances and remittance-linked services , which can enhance the welfare of low-income households as well as support enterprises and job creation, contributing to development.

Intending migrants in Kenya will continue to benefit from the popularization of the migrant recruitment advisor, an online rating tool that scores recruitment agencies providing intending migrants with more tools to aid their choice of a reliable partner to support them through the challenging migration process.

In any context, protection services abroad are a crucial gap in ensuring that workers benefit from their migration and employment experience abroad. Beyond the immediate response to COVID-19, FAIRWAY will emphasise the development of additional protection measures in countries of origin (such as procedures for contract verification) while working on comprehensive actions to improve labour attachés’ capacity to provide needed services.

FAIRWAY will also explore means through which workers can access skills development and recognition opportunities through inter-regional dialogue, and through strengthening the capacity of existing institutions to support migrant workers in accessing skills recognition systems. In Kenya, the COVID-19 response will also address the need to better capture and disseminate data on the skills returning Kenyan migrants bring to the country with a view to initiating work on a framework that can recognize skills acquired abroad.