Responding to a need to enhance the governance of labour migration, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the European Union (EU) are launching a new project aimed at promoting the management of labour migration from India, Nepal and Pakistan to the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The project-which has a total budget of 2,407,186 euros of which EU is contributing 1,925,749 euros – will run until May 2016, according to a press release jointly issued by ILO and EU
The new project-called Promoting Effective Governance of Labour Migration from South Asia- will contribute to ensure effective protection of the rights of vulnerable migrant workers, enhance the development impact of labour migration and reduce unregulated migration.
“The project has a migrant-centered approach,” explained Jose Assaline, Director of the ILO Country Office in Nepal, adding that “the project will provide support to some 20,000 migrant workers. This includes access to reliable information on overseas employment opportunities; reduced migration costs and abuses by improving recruitment services; increased protection in countries of origin and destination; as well as enhanced training and portability of skills for outgoing and returning migrant workers.”
With the aim to promote safe migration, the project will improve pre-departure orientation programmes and provide support to migrant resource centres. Recruitment services will be improved by studies on the costs of migration versus the official regulations, development of a mechanism for rating of recruitment agencies and support to complaints mechanism.
The project will also increase the protection of migrant workers in employment in countries of destination. This will be done by supporting e-governance tools and provisions for more effective workplace inspection and complaints' handling. This will be done through work with embassies, trade unions and civil society organisations to improve services related to information sharing, counselling, dispute resolution and legal advice, according to the press release.
"The EU recognises that while labour migration generates substantial benefits for countries of origin and destination, it can also negatively impact the lives of migrant workers. Abuse of migrant workers during recruitment and employment is a common, well-documented issue. Women face barriers in finding overseas employment, and femal migrant domestic workers are among the most vulnerable to abuses. These concerns prompt EU to support the implementation of projects like these," said Rensje Teerink, Ambassador, European Union Delegation to Nepal.
The key project partners are the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Nepal; the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the India Centre for Migration in India; and the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resourc Development in Pakistan. The project will also partner with workers' and employers' organisations, private recruitment agencies, NGOs, migrant associations and disaporra organisations, embassies, banks, micro-finance institutions and reserachers in reaching its objectives.