ILO supports Government of Trinidad and Tobago Workshop on Migration, Forced Labour and Human Trafficking responses

"As people cross borders in search of opportunity, mechanisms must be devised to preserve fundamental rights, Decent Work and entry into the formal economy." Minister Errol McLeod

News | 26 November 2014
 
Port of Spain (ILO News) - The International Labour Organization (ILO) supported a two-day Workshop on Migration, Forced Labour and Human Trafficking at the Hilton Trinidad on 24-25 November 2014, hosted and organized by the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development of Trinidad and Tobago. Also supporting the initiative were the Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU), Ministry of National Security and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development, Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Health, Ministry of the People and Social Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tobago House of Assembly, Occupational Safety Health Agency (OSHA), Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies as well employers and workers organizations were invited to participate.

The number of people migrating globally has risen from 154 million in 1990 to 232 million in 2013. Today there are almost 21 million victims of forced labour (11.4 million women and girls and 9.5 million men and boys) according to ILO estimates, who are trapped in jobs which they were coerced or deceived into and which they cannot leave, which generates illegal profits of US$ 150 billion each year.

In the opening presentations of the two-day workshop, the Hon. Errol McLeod, Minister of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development, spoke of the importance of agencies partnering and working together against modern-day slavery. "As people cross borders in search of opportunity, mechanisms must be devised to preserve fundamental rights, Decent Work and entry into the formal economy." Minister McLeod also referred to the Commonwealth Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Worker Programme, a best practice managed migration programme, which has provided thousands of seasonal employment opportunities to Trinbagonians and other Caribbean citizens in Canada, also known as the Farm Programme

He outlined the purpose of the workshop, which was to consider international labour standards related to migration, forced labour and trafficking in persons and appropriate responses, and to build capacity and sensitize interested parties and stakeholders.

Giovanni di Cola, Director, ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean also spoke of the benefits of these partnerships in his opening presentation. He stated that although migration, forced labour and human trafficking are international matters, he stressed the need for partnerships at the national level. "I salute the leadership of the Ministry in this initiative, partnering with other national and international agencies such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO)" said Mr. di Cola. He also highlighted the importance of The Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, adopted at the ILOs Labour Conference at its 103rd session in Geneva on 11 June 2014, which aims to advance prevention, protection and compensation measures, as well as to intensify efforts to eliminate contemporary forms of slavery. The Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour, 1930 (No.29) was ratified by Trinidad and Tobago on 24 May 1963.

Mr. Rainer Pritzer, ILO Senior Specialist, Social Dialogue and Labour Administration, provided an overview of Labour Migration, as well as ILO Labour Standards on Migration, Forced Labour and Human Trafficking responses, such as the ILO Conventions relating to Forced Labour, Domestic Workers, Private Employment Agencies, Contracts of Employment, and Labour Relations.

The Workshop signified the start of a partnership between the United Nations (UN) system and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to tackle migration, forced labour and human trafficking responses. Minister McLeod stated "…[T]his workshop represents the beginning of our discussion of these issues. The conversation commences amongst those of us present today. It certainly should not and must not end here."

For further information please visit the ILO topic portal on labour migration: www.ilo.org/global/topics/labour-migration

CONTACTS

Dawn Lafond, Communications and Information Officer
ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean - lafond@ilo.org

Averlon Toussaint, Information Assistant
ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean - toussaint@ilo.org

Tel: +(868)627-6304; 623-7178; 623-7704; 625-0524
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