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Government, business, labour leaders call for new effort on migration

News | 07 April 2006

BRUSSELS (ILO i-News) - Senior government officials and executives of African and European employers organizations and trade unions, meeting under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO), have called for new efforts designed to make labour migration an effective tool for development.

The new "road map" for Africa-Europe cooperation on migration and development adopted by the Africa-Europe Inter-regional dialogue here on 4-6 April is designed to treat migrant labour as a valuable resource, rather than a threat to European and African societies and economies.

The road map calls on governments to ratify and implement ILO and UN standards on migration, addressing migration as a central pillar development and labour policies, enhancing initiatives for labour mobility in Africa, opening more accessible and adequate legal migration channels, considering regularization of irregular migrants to resolve clandestine migration, expanding training opportunities in home countries for opportunities abroad and to meet domestic needs, involving the social partners in migration policies and increasing capacity of governments, employers and trade unions to better regulate and administer labour migration.

Participants urged the Europeans to open more accessible and adequate legal migration channels to meet its needs for labour, and reduce pressures for irregular or clandestine immigration. They also recommended further consideration of regularization measures to resolve situations of sometimes large populations of workers in irregular situations.

The Africa-Europe Dialogue on Labour Migration for Integration and Development concluded a two-year EU programme on "managing labour migration for integration and development".