Regional Meeting of Labour Ministers on Cooperation for the Management of Labour Migration
Niamey – On Wednesday 28 November 2018, a regional meeting to discuss the development of a framework for cooperation on labour migration and mobility was convened jointly by the Ministries of Labour of Niger and Libya in Niger. The meeting, organized with the support of International Organization for Migration, brought together representatives from labour ministries of Chad, Ghana, Libya, Morocco, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Nigeria.
The Regional Meeting, organized with the support of the European Union Trust Fund, focused equally on the opportunities and challenges faced by both origin and destination countries. The meeting was an important step in the development of a bilateral and multilateral legal framework for facilitating migration between countries in the region, as well as the prevent irregular migration.
“Libya is committed to the protection of migrants’ rights and is willing to discuss any impending issues on migration with its neighboring countries,” said Mr. Al-Mahdi Al-Amen, the Minister of Labour of Libya. “A platform like this provides us with the opportunity to mutually discuss the challenges and opportunities associated to migration and move towards a robust bilateral cooperation, for resolving the challenges faced by both destination countries like Libya and by the countries of origin as well.”
“A bilateral labour agreement between Niger and Libya could be a step towards providing protection to the migrants as well as facilitating safe migration,” said Mr. Mohamed Ben Omar, Libya’s Minister of Employment, Labour and Social Employment “It makes us extremely sad to see migrants dying while crossing deserts and during sea voyage, while attempting to cross borders irregularly, and we shall try to take all necessary steps for the protection and safety of migrants.”
"A concrete roadmap is essential at this stage to guide the process further towards a bilateral cooperation between receiving and sending countries in the region, particularly on labour migration” said Mr. Othman Belbeisi, the Chief of Mission of IOM Libya. “IOM is committed to supporting and working together with the Libyan Ministry of Labour towards this goal.”
The dialogue also included a discussion on the possible mechanisms for the prevention of irregular migration and promotion of safe and regular migration in North and sub-Sahara Africa. Emphasis was given on the need of extensive collaboration between countries on information sharing on labour migration, labour market trends and skill development for strengthening the process of migration in the region.
“A long tradition of workers migrating from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) states to Libya has been interrupted abruptly and brutally, but we must prepare for a future in which labour and skill needs in Libya would attract many migrants again. The moment to regulate labour migration is now.” said Mr Martin Wyss, Chief of Mission of IOM Niger.
IOM is providing technical assistant and necessary support to the Governments in North and sub-Saharan Africa for development of necessary institutional framework for labour migration management and to develop and implement comprehensive bilateral and multilateral for facilitating and managing the labour migration in the region.
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For more information on the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, please visit www.migrationjointinitiative.org