The African Trade Union Migration Network (ATUMNET), in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, organised a conference in Accra to discuss issues bordering on fair recruitment in relation to labour migration.
The conference which took place between September 11, and September 12, 2017 sought to explore better migration processes and to engage African governments to improve their economies in order to reduce factors that fuel migration.
“Migration remains and will continue to be a historic human phenomenon that cannot be stopped, but can be effectively managed to transmit gains of development to the sending, transit and receiving /host countries as well as to the migrants.” Dr Kenedy Achakoma, Focal Person, ATUMNET said in his speech at the conference.
He noted that weak regulation and inspection regimes for labour recruitment agencies still exist and most recruitment agencies continue to exploit labour migrants and potential labour migrants.
“Some agencies have become human smuggling and trafficking outfit under the guise of rendering recruitment services,” he added.
Labour experts at the conference concurred that the ordeals of women, mostly domestic workers, in the hands of recruitment agencies and their host employers in the Gulf Coordinating Council (GCC), States with focus on Saudi Arabia have been harrowing and must stop.
Other notable observation at the conference was, most African migrants are moving within the continent, but Africa’s integration is still weak.
To remedy these issues, the pool of experts resolved to call on African leaders to develop and improve recruitment agency regulations to reduce exploitation.
Additionally, African trade unions should scale up their advocacy on effective labour inspection regimes and practices as well as demand stifter sanctions against unfair labour employment practices.
They further urged African governments to genuinely work on Improving Africa’s integration, by African Union’s declaration to achieve visa on arrival for Africans bearing African passports by 2018.
The African Trade Union Migration Network (ATUMNET), is a platform for all national trade union organisations in the 52 of the 55 African countries affiliated to the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa), and are engaged in migration Issues.
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng