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By Michael Oche

The role of journalists and trade unions in promoting fair recruitment for migrant workers will take centre stage as members of the Africa Trade Union Migration Network (ATUMNET) converge in Kigali, Rwanda for a capacity building training.

The workshop which is being organised with support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is targeted at addressing the exploitation of migrant workers, especially of African origin.

A statement from the ITUC-Africa Secretariat noted that the workshop is scheduled to hold between December 19 – December 21.

The statement noted that the majority of migrant workers of African origin are challenged by the lack of decent employment opportunities with no or limited social protection, poor working conditions, and underemployment, and many are found in precarious self employment and unprotected informal jobs.

It reads in part, “The training will also focus on International Labour Standards (ILS), union-to-union agreements and the theory of change, reporting and monitoring to optimise the benefits of Labour migration for migrant workers through efficient labour migration governance.

“Participants will further discuss the vital role trade union and journalists play in labour migration to benefit Migrant Workers, their families, countries of origin and destinations. They will also reflect on the indicators to monitor such changes (aligning with the GCM and SDGs) and specific indicators relevant to trade unions. Indeed when well-designed and implemented, Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) will contribute to effectively actualising the Labour migration expected outputs and outcomes and facilitate reporting on impacts.”

According to the statement, the workshop will therefore ensure deeper knowledge and best practices on fair recruitment in Africa and how the practice can contribute to the reduction of exploitation and abuse of migrant workers is imparted and internalized.

It will also ensure synergies of trade unions and media persons/journalists strengthened with the ultimate goal of contributing to better labour migration governance reporting in Africa.

The statement reads, “As one of the social partners of constituencies in the tripartite arrangement in the industrial relations milieu, the trade unions have been actively engaging in building effective labour migration governance. Trade union engagements in labour migration are borne from the need to increase the spaces and opportunities for addressing the decent work agenda for all workers, including migrant workers.

“Trade unions aim to significantly contribute to effective labour migration governance, institutions and services for Migrant Workers from the continent. Organised labour wants to build internal capacities to influence labour migration policies that are rights-based and address the needs of the labour markets.

“Further, trade unions want to raise awareness about the importance of ratifying and implementing crucial International and continental standards. Also, they want to promote skills recognition and development for Migrant Workers, make practical contributions to the promotion of fair recruitment practices, and keep the stakeholders involved in recruitment processes accountable. African trade unions are interested in contributing to the improvement of Union-to-union agreements to extend information but also protection frameworks for Migrants workers in countries of origin and countries of destination.

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