Regional Training course on international migration for trade union

The objective of this collaboration with the ILO International Training Center in Turin is to develop and implement a 5 days training course for Indian trade union leaders on international labour migration and its challenges and opportunities as well as to highlight international trade union solidarity around the issue of migration.

India is a critical country in the global migration process due to it being:
  • the second largest source country for migrants globally
  • the highest recipient of remittances globally
  • ranked 8th amongst nations hosting the largest number of migrants
  • a significant transit country for migrants

However, social dialogue on international labour migration has been very limited in the country. There have been some discussions amongst unions on migrant workers issues and a few civil society seminars, but there have been limited concerted engagements between the Government and Unions on this issue.

Given that migration is first and foremost a labour issue: it is about the movement of workers crossing borders to find employment, according to the ILO therefore, migration flows is best informed through tripartite consensus, not only at the national level but also at the regional and global levels.

Though some trade unions are actively defending migrant workers' rights, the efforts are modest, based on individual cases or as reactions to some situations, and focused on the low skilled workers. It is felt that there is a need for building more knowledge on critical aspects of migration, as well as issues related to highly skilled workers, as opportunities arise for trade unions to actively engage in policy dialogue.

With the knowledge generated by DWAB on migrant health professionals, this activity will also provide an opportunity to engage the trade unions in the migration of health workers, a critical group amongst the skilled migrants, for the implications it has on meeting health goals of countries.

This project activity is developed to strengthen the capacity of trade unions to participate in the shaping of migration policies, promoting sound labour migration practices, reaching out to migrant workers, and about making sure that the benefits of migration, when it occurs, are maximized for all: for the countries of origin of migrant workers, for the countries of destination, and for both migrant and non-migrant workers. Some sessions will therefore look into specific sensitive aspects of migration – migration of women, migration of health professionals etc.

Since migrant workers are especially vulnerable due to their status of citizenship of one country and working in another, there is a need to build solidarity between sending and receiving countries’ trade union to ensure protection of migrant workers’ rights.

The ACTRAV model “Trade Union Agreement on Migrant Workers’ Rights”, which aims to articulate the role of trade unions in both origin and destination countries in protecting migrant workers will be shared at this workshop.

The workshop will also strengthen the trade union capacities in their efforts to ensure the wider ratification and application of ILO relevant Conventions - Migration for Employment Convention No. 97 and Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention No. 143, Equality of Treatment (Social Security) Convention no 118; Private Employment Agencies Convention No 181, and promote the ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration for a rights-based approach to labour migration.

The trade union manual “In search of Decent Work –Migrant workers' rights” developed by ACTRAV together with the Workers’ Programme and the International Training Centre of the ILO, in conjunction with the ILO's International Migration Programme and other ILO departments will be used as one of the main tools during the workshop. This manual has been validated during trade union regional workshops and benefited from the experience of trade union experts in both countries of origin and countries of destination of migrant workers.