Strengthening Labour Migration Governance and the Protection of Migrant Workers’ Rights in Chad

A family photo of training participants with the Secretary General of the Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Good Governance and the IOM Chad Head of Mission at the opening of the workshop.

N’Djamena – Last week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) held a 3-day training workshop on labour migration governance for 30 representatives of the government and civil society in Chad. The workshop was organized jointly by IOM Chad and IOM’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa.

With this training workshop, Chad contributes to one of its commitments as a “Champion Country” of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM). A wide range of topics was covered by the facilitators – international law, labour migration types and actors, ethical recruitment, integration and social cohesion, gender, the fight against trafficking in persons, international cooperation, and data collection, amongst others – in order to protect migrant workers in Chad and to harness the potential of labour mobility for Chad’s development.

During his opening speech, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Good Governance, Mr. Mahamat Adoum Idriss, pointed to the importance of this training for Chadian stakeholders as the country is in the process of domesticating the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

“This training workshop is a fundamental step in developing a framework that protects migrant workers in Chad”, he said. “It comes at a time when the number of migrant workers continues to grow, and we still know too little about the challenges they face and the support we can provide.”

Located at the crossroads between sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, Chad is a key origin, transit, and destination country for migrants, primarily from neighbouring African countries. In recent years, labour migration patterns in Chad have grown diverse and complex, and now include an increasing movement of young people from rural areas to major urban centers as well as temporary migration related to short-term employment opportunities in the informal and semi-formal sectors.

According to surveys conducted at IOM’s flow monitoring points in Chad in 2022, 68 per cent of people travelling through Chad do so for economic reasons. While traveling, migrants in West and Central Africa face a multitude of challenges such as financial difficulties, lack of documents, food insecurity, lack of shelter, and exposure to physical harm.

Following the ratification of the Convention last year, the Government of Chad set up an Inter-ministerial Technical Committee to draft a bill on the protection of migrant workers rights’ and the members of their families in Chad. The draft bill and its application decree were technically and politically validated in early 2023 and will be submitted to the legislators for adoption in the coming weeks.

“I congratulate the members of the Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee who have made the various stages of this process possible”, said Anne Kathrin Schaefer, Chief of Mission of IOM

Chad. “The protection of migrant workers and members of their families in Chad is gaining importance as labour mobility increases around the world, and the International Organization for Migration stands ready to accompany the Government of Chad in this endeavor.”

At the end of the training, after having learned about all different aspects of labour migration governance, the participants developed possible next steps in order to further strengthen the institutional and legal framework on migrant workers’ protection in Chad. The suggestions include the development of an action plan on labour migration governance and management, the mobilization of resources, the negotiation of bilateral labour agreements, the establishment of a shared data base, the sensibilization of decision-makers and migrant workers, as well as the consideration of realities of migrant workers in vulnerable situations.

With the support of the IOM Development Fund, IOM has been supporting Chad in the development of a stronger labour migration governance framework to ensure that all labour migrants in the country are protected. Besides accompanying the Government of Chad in the domestication of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, project activities include the organization of study visits to peer countries, the realization of a research study on labour migration dynamics and governance in the country, and several sensibilization activities.



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