IntroductionThe ILO has developed a rapid assessment tool and questionnaire to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on labour migration governance, recruitment practices, and migrant workers. The aim is to assist both countries of origin and destination in developing mechanisms to deal with the ongoing crisis and implement policy responses that support the protection of migrant workers’ rights.
In the African continent, the ILO is conducting Impact Assessment Surveys of COVID-19 pandemic on migrant workers’ protection, labour migration governance and recruitment related practices in different African sub-regions (e.g. IGAD, SADC) and at the country-level (e.g. Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya). At the same time, the ILO is producing related material to improve migrant workers’ protection.
The webinar will have the objective of disseminating the results of the report “Impact assessment of COVID 19 on Migrant Workers in and from the IGAD Region” and presenting the preliminary results of the report “Rapid Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on Migrant Workers in SADC”.
The report “Impact assessment of COVID 19 on Migrant Workers in and from the IGAD Region” describes the major impacts of the pandemic related restrictions as well as the main challenges experienced by migrant workers in the IGAD region and in key Gulf and Middle East countries.
It also includes information on IGAD Member States’ and key countries of destination COVID-19 related responses to effectively protect migrant workers encompassing information on the following eight thematic areas:
- migrant workers enjoy safe and secure working conditions, access to health care and protection from exploitation;
- migrant workers enjoy the protection of the law and access to legal remedies;
- the integration of migrants is promoted and xenophobia countered;
- affected migrant workers in destination countries retain access to the labour market and are given socio-economic assistance;
- migrant workers have access to information on their rights and opportunities, and the pandemic and its implications;
- migrant workers enjoy social security coverage and the portability of social security benefits;
- migrant workers return to their country of origin with the full payment of outstanding wages and benefits and through safe and orderly migration;
- returning migrant workers receive socio-economic support.
The preliminary results of the report “Rapid Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on Migrant Workers in SADC” mention that migrant workers are being particularly exposed to the adverse impacts of the pandemic as follows:
- Deficits in terms of social protection and job losses more acute for migrant workers;
- Reduced income due to temporary work stoppages or outright job losses especially in sectors not deemed to be essential such as hospitality and industry;
- Lack of income leading to destitution among migrant workers in countries of destination;
- Adverse psycho-social outcomes associated with loss of income, lock down in meagre accommodations, inability to meet rental and food costs, and limited ability to meet the financial and social requirements for incidents such as funerals;
- Anxiety about returning arising from quarantining protocols and danger of not being able to return to the country of destination and/or immigration bans being imposed by authorities; and
- For the essential sectors still allowed cross-border movement, stakeholders also reported increased border processing times with long queues forming at the busy border points such as Musina and Beitbridge between South Africa and Zimbabwe; and
- Increased driver fatigue due to longer processing times at borders as well as working hours and restrictions on the number of crew members in a truck cabin.
*all times in Geneva timezone (CET)
|15:00 - 15:10||Welcome & introduction||Moderator – Ms. Michelle Leighton, Chief, Labour Migration Branch (ILO)|
|15:10 - 15:20||Opening Remarks||Ms. Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon|
ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa,
International Labour Organization (ILO)
|15:20 - 15:40||Setting the stage - IGAD’s and SADC's Impact Assessment Surveys||Ms. Gloria Moreno-Fontes, Regional Labour Migration and Mobility Specialist for Africa, ILO|
|15:40 - 16:10||Interactive session||IGAD: Ms. Emmerentia Erasmus, Independent Consultant, and Ms. Coumba Diop, ILO|
SADC: Mr. Daniel Chiwandamira, Independent Consultant, and Dr. Theodoor Sparreboom, ILO
|16:10 - 16:25||Q&A||Moderator|
|16:25 - 16:30||Wrap up and Closing||Moderator|