Labour migration

Rights of labour migrants need protecting

ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, stressed the ILO’s support for the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, in a speech at the Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

Statement | Marrakech, Morocco | 11 December 2018
Thank you Mr. Chairperson

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

I begin by thanking the authorities and the people of Morocco for their very warm hospitality and the excellent organization of this Conference.

Chair, the ILO adds its voice to all others here in strong support for the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and in congratulating those who have been specially instrumental in bringing it about.

The ILO is, during its one hundredth anniversary as the international organization, tasked with delivering social justice and decent work for all, as a means of securing peace and stability. An explicit part of our mandate is to protect those working in countries other than their own, and so the ILO's founders would no doubt approve enthusiastically the labour related objectives set out in the Global Compact to protect the human rights and labour rights of all migrants, to deliver fair recruitment, skills development and social protection to all women and men migrants, to increase and redouble our efforts to root out trafficking in human beings, forced labour and child labour amongst much else.

But the fact is that the realization of these objectives of the Compact promises to be no less challenging now than it has been in other periods of history. Today we face levels of global warming that reduce opportunities for Decent Work where large numbers of people are now living.

Many countries see large numbers of their youth population coming onto labour markets when we have a world where more than 190 million people are already without work. And this is the context for the global estimates that the ILO has published just this week showing that there are today 164 million migrant workers in the world, constituting a 9 per cent increase over the levels of four years ago.

Many of these are very vulnerable. Very vulnerable to abuse, abusive behaviour and exploitation. And sometimes indeed they are actually the subject of such behaviour and denied the equal treatment which is their fundamental right.

And in this context the Global Compact offers Member States, international organizations, and all of our allies, opportunity, unparalleled opportunity to put this situation right. So that migration, safe, orderly, and regular does truly render its benefits to countries of origin, to countries of destination, and of course to the migrants themselves and their families in full respect of their human rights.

For all these reasons Chair the International Labour Organization commits itself to work in the United Nations Migration Network to achieve these ends. We can bring to the task a strong normative framework, the direct and I believe crucial involvement of our employer and worker constituents, who are the closest to the realities of everyday migration management, as well as the efforts of our government members.

And we can bring also behind that nearly 100 years of experience and commitment in promoting social justice for all, migrants no less than everybody else.

I thank you for your attention.