ILO and AUC unite for the protection of migrant workers' rights

An African conference for common action and position in favour of migrants' rights is held in Abidjan.

News | 14 October 2023
Abidjan (ILO Info) – Labour migration within and from the African continent is dynamic, increasing and shaped by a combination of factors including demographic developments, economic and labour market realities, cultural, environmental and security factors. The dynamic and growing nature of migratory flows demonstrates that countries can serve as countries of origin, transit and destination, depending on the different flows. Migrants seeking attractive labour markets and economic opportunities, asylum seekers and forcibly displaced people often take the same migration routes, creating a unique dynamic of mixed migration.
It should be noted that labour migration in Africa is essentially intra-regional (80%).

Dozens of migrants on their way to the unknown © : OIM

Labour migration in Africa is essentially intra-regional (80%).

Therefore, motivated by the need to implement appropriate policies and practical actions using a regional approach to address the common challenges faced by migrant workers, the Conference aims to provide a platform for African member states, regional communities and social partner organizations to achieve this.

One of the key aspects of the Conference will be to strengthen the governance of labour migration at all levels. Indeed, migrant workers often face undue hardship and abuse in the migration and employment process. Thus, in order to maximize the benefits of labour migration for them and their families, and minimize the associated risks and social costs, it is necessary to establish fair and effective governance of labour migration.

The African Conference: a tool for strengthening the governance of labour migration

The high-level conference will bring together representatives of governments, employers and workers from selected African countries and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), which are substantially involved in issues relating to the governance of labour migration within the region and to other regions.

Ouf of relief for this migrant, who is smiling again, even if she will have to learn to do it all over again ©: ONU Femmes /Catianne Tijerina

The conference was organized with the support of the FAIRWAY Programme, the Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment (FAIR III), Better Regional Migration Management (BRMM II) and the Joint Programme on Labour Migration Governance for Development and Integration in Africa (JLMP).

Participants of this conference come from regional economic communities such as EAC, ECOWAS, IGAD, SADC, ECCAS, COMESA, CENSAD and UMA. The Conference will also be attended by tripartite delegations from participating countries including Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, Tunisia, Egypt, Tanzania and Chad.

Regional social partner organizations such as the IOE, CSI Afrique and OATUU will also be taking part in the Abidjan Conference.