African Labour unions, under the umbrella of African Trade Union Migration Network (ATUMNET) have urged African leaders to ratify the African Union Protocol on Free Movement and Migration, 2018 and other ILO Conventions such as C97, C143 and C189 to ease migration within the continent.
The unions also agreed to carry out various sensitisation rallies across the continent to draw global attention to the plight of African migrant workers to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, which they described as disturbing.
These were part of resolutions reached at the end of a three-day workshop held in Kigali, the Rwanda capital. The workshop, which was supported, by IOM, ILO, IFSI Belgium, FES and SIDA, Sweden drew participants from 18 different African countries.
Participants expressed dismay that African leaders had agreed to pass the Free Movement and Migration protocol in 2018, but are yet to do so one year after.
The participants also called on the need for African countries to implement better frameworks on migration and labour migration policies to help improve the governance of migration.
“African leaders must now pay attention to issue of fair recruitment. Governments should continue to pursue effective regulation of the industry. Genuine practitioners should also develop and undertake internal self-regulation means so that non-members can be easily identified and weeded out. The ILO fair recruitment guide is a very comprehensive and handy document that can help government and employers to better manage recruitment processes and practices to make it fair and free of exploitation and abuses.
“Trade unions have committed to joining their governments to lend hands to achieve good protection of the human and labour rights of migrants. They will continue to provide education and awareness to potential labour migrants; focus on the public and other workers to appreciate migrants so as to eliminate discrimination and xenophobic attacks,” the participants resolved.
They said issues of forced labour and human trafficking are so intertwined and have become rampant due to poor migration governance, stressing instances, in which Ugandan domestic workers are trafficked to the Middle East, mostly to Oman and forced to work without pay and others forced into prostitution, describing it as an act of criminality that must be checked.