Protecting rights of all migrant workers through effective labour migration governance frameworks

ILO Supports the Federal Government of Nigeria to validate the Revised National Policy on Labour Migration

Towards strengthening the national policy environment that facilitates effective labour migration and adequately protects and promotes rights of all migrant workers, the International Labour Organization supported the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to convene a two-day stakeholders’ workshop rom 7 – 8 July, 2021 to validate the revised National Policy on Labour Migration (NPLM).

News | 21 July 2021
In 2014, Nigeria adopted a National Policy on Labour Migration (NPLM) which was designed to promote effective labour migration governance. The policy provided for a three year implementation period upon which a review would be initiated. The provision forms the basis for which the government initiated the review process in 2019 in collaboration with ILO and relevant stakeholders including tripartite partners.

The two-day event drew participation from representatives of the Technical Working Committee (TWC) on the implementation of the NPLM, including the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and their respective affiliate members. It provided an opportunity for a presentation of the revised draft policy by the national consultant to stakeholders, noting comments and feedback which were considered and integrated into the document.  

Director of the Wages and Employment Department at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. John Nyamali while speaking at the event stated that the government in addition to convening the workshop remains committed to promoting an environment marked by a robust labour migration framework where rights of all migrant workers are duly protected. He particularly noted the support of all stakeholders who continue to work towards the review of the policy, and ILO for supporting the Ministry in providing technical oversight over the process.

On her part, Director of ILO Abuja Country Office, Ms. Vanessa Phala acknowledged the leadership of the government in initiating and driving the process to review the 2014 policy to reflect current realties in labour migration, especially in view of the current global pandemic occasioned by COVID-19. She further pledged ILO’s commitment and support where needed in concluding the review process and over the implementation stages especially as the revised draft as currently presented introduces a gender responsive component which is a critical aspect of advancing protection mechanisms for female migrant workers.   

Mr. Manuel Mühlebach and Ms. Sandra Vermuijten, representatives of the Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) respectively, expressed appreciation for being a part of the process in addition to commending the government for demonstrating commitment and leadership in the area of labour migration as it convenes the validation workshop. Mr. Frantz Celestin, Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) also commended the initiative of the process as led by the government and extended well wishes for the event.  

At the end of the event, a motion was moved to validate the revised policy by Mr. Geoffrey Akor of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and subsequently seconded by Ms. Adenike Ajala of the Nigeria Employers Association (NECA) as well as Ms. Abiodun Badru of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)  

Closing remarks delivered by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment while appreciating ILO and all stakeholders for supporting the successful validation workshop, further committed to expedite action towards adoption of the revised validated policy by the Federal Executive Council (FEC)

The revised draft policy contains seven chapters including an implementation Plan of Action and is proposed by the Government of Nigeria to enhance the national policy environment that facilitates effective labour migration in a safe and orderly manner with a gender responsive framework. In addition, the revised policy is conceived on a rights based approach, and anchored on internationally recognized labour standards that protect the youth and other vulnerable populations most likely to migrate through irregular channels.