ILO and EU discuss how to improve labour migration governance

Improving the governance of labour migration and the protection of migrant workers’ rights at the heart of ILO and EU deliberations in Abuja, Nigeria.

Press release | 31 March 2016
Abuja (ILO News) – The Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Dennis Zulu met with the Head of Democracy, Governance and Migration section of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria & ECOWAS, Jacob Tamm as well as the Project officer for Migration and Drugs Operations, Eleni Zerzelidou, to discuss how to expand a strategic partnership on issues of labour migration and laws.

During the discussion on Thursday 31st March 2016, Dennis Zulu highlighted some of the successful projects funded by the EU such as the Enhancing the cooperation to fight trafficking in human beings from Nigeria to Europe (ECTIP) and the ongoing Free Movement and Migration of Persons (FMMP) project for the ECOWAS region.

The ILO, which is the implementing partner of these projects, is looking at various aspects of migrant workers’ rights, governance, trafficking and social protection across borders. Zulu explained that the ILO would like to strengthen the partnership and looks forward to exploring the possibility of working with the EU under the framework of the EU Trust Fund on Migration for Africa.

“The ILO is committed to tackling migration challenges by addressing the root causes of migration such as the lack of economic opportunities and social inequality and insecurity”, the ILO Director underscored.

In response, Mr Tamm provided assurances that the EU is committed to supporting the necessary processes required to ensure stability and regular migration patterns. He stated that the EU trust fund was created due to unprecedented levels of irregular migration to support the most fragile and affected African countries.

He noted that the Trust Fund aims to help foster stability in the regions to respond to the challenges of irregular migration and displacement and to contribute to better migration management by assessing the root causes, promoting economic and equal opportunities, and security and development using a targeted approach focused on young persons.

According to the EU representative, while the European Union’s response to the migrant crisis aims to ensure EU member states and agencies are actively involved, opportunities exist for the ILO in interventions focused on regular migration patterns and tackling matters such as rights of migrant workers and how to facilitate regular migration. The trust fund is expected to switch focus to interventions for regular migration later in 2016.

Mr Zulu reiterated that the ILO will continue to work with ECOWAS and its member states to ensure proper migration management and implementation of the FMMP project.