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Labour mobility, labour migration has immense potential to bring socio-economic benefits: IOM RD

Addis Ababa, March 17, 2023 (FBC) – Labour mobility and labour migration has immense potential to bring socio-economic benefits to countries of origin and destination, said Mr. Mohammed Abdiker, IOM/UN Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.

In his remarks during the closing event of the 4th Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration (RMFM) of East and Horn of Africa, Mr Abdiker noted that over 21 million Africans are living and working in another African country and millions more outside the continent. Labour mobility and labour migration are major drivers of this movement of people across borders in East and Horn of Africa.

The region hosts seven of the fifteen largest intracontinental mobility corridors, he underscored.

The IOM official pointed out that migrant workers within and outside the East and Horn of Africa region remain among the most vulnerable to loss of economic opportunities, eviction and homelessness, abuse and exploitation as well as stigmatization and exclusion from essential services.

The RMFM and its theme for this year, “Labour Mobility, Migration Governance and Regional Integration in East and Horn of Africa”, according to Mr Abdiker, is central to the development of the East and Horn of Africa.

“It is encouraging to see that under the Chairmanship of the Government of Ethiopia, we have made substantial progress by adopting and activating 5 Technical Working Groups”, he noted.

He appreciated the Technical Working Group (TWG) from the Ministries of Labour, Interior, Foreign Affairs and Gender of the 11 Member States of the RMFM for their contributions and tireless efforts.

The Regional Director also urged member states to explore ways in which the outcomes and recommendations of these Working Groups can feed into national migration governance plans. He affirmed that IOM and its partners stand ready to work closely with all of the member states in order to achieve the necessary reforms.

It is stated that one of the objectives of the RMFM is to share good practices and information on labour migration governance.

“Collectively, we must commit to ensuring that EHOA stands as a united block committed to providing adequate protection to migrant workers and their families at the time of BLMAs drafting, negotiation, implementation and evaluation with countries of destination, particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Union, but also beyond”, Mr Abdiker remarked.

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