Trade unions seek ILO collaboration on protection of migrant workers

Trade Unions from six regional organizations in the world have sought for support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other development partners for the protection of migrant workers and their families.

Speaking at the end of a 2-day Multi-regional Dialogue On Migrant Workers Rights , which held in Nairobi Kenya, the group identified two key areas of collaboration as Ratification of International Labour Standards and enforcing freedom of Association.

The participants from the six regional organizations are Arab Trade Union Confederation (Arab TUC), the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ASEAN-TUC), the South Asian Regional Trade Union Council (SARTUC), the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa), the Trade Union Confederation for the Americas (TUCA),  and the Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation for Asia and the Pacific (ITUC-AP) 

Speaking in a paper titled ” Reinforcing and Commitment on Fostering Action for Migrant Workers’ Rights ” A Multi regional Trade Union Dialogue and Cooperation”, the Senior Specialist in Workers’ Activities at the Bureau of Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) , Victor H. Ricco  urge participants to engage their respective governments on the need to ratify conventions that seek protection of migrant rights.

He  advised  regional Organisations to lobby their respective governments on the need to ratify Convention   88 which deals with pubic employment which will benefit vulnerable individuals in the society.

“Ratifying and implementing C 88 will strengthen public employment services which in turn can improve labour market matching and equality in accessing job opportunities .

” Particularly in the wake of COVID -19 , a  more robust public employment services can help drive employment recovery, remove impediment to decent jobs and promote self employment by enabling women and men job seekers access or return to work,” he said..

Also speaking ,  ILO Senior Migration Specialist Decent Work Support Team , at the Regional office for Arab States in Beiruit, Lebanon, Ryszard  Cholewinski said there were clear, coherent and mutually reinforcing legal framework on the freedom of association and collective bargaining rights of migrant workers regardless of their status, nationality or country of origin.

Speaking in a paper titled “Migrant workers’ Rights to Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining , Ryszard  Cholewinski stressed that ILO fundamental conventions Nos. 87 and 98 apply to all workers including migrant workers irrespective of their migration status residence or nationality .

He lamented that the challenges is with application of the conventions in national laws, policies and practices.

In his remarks, the newly elected General Secretary of ITUC -Africa, Comrade Akhator Joel Odigie, commended ILO for supporting trade unions in their resolved to ensuring the defense of migrant workers right to freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.

UNI Agric Markurdi
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