Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) (2018-2021), the African Union Commission (AUC)-International Labour Organization (ILO)-International Organization for Migration (IOM)-Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Joint Programme on Labour Migration Governance for Development and Integration (better known as the Joint Labour Migration Programme or JLMP) in Africa is a long-term joint undertaking between the four organizations, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

It is an instrument to implement the 5th Key Priority Area of the Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development adopted by the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments (AU/Assembly/AU/20(XXIV)/Annex 3, January 2015) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2015. Its strategy focuses on intra-African labour migration and supports achievement of the First 2023 Ten Year Plan of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The JLMP has been designed in response to identified challenges in many African countries, such as labour and skills shortages in some sectors and unemployment and a growing youth bulge in others. Moreover, 46.1 percent of migrants in Africa are women who often end up working in traditionally unremunerated roles at destination within the global economy. Female migrant workers are thus a vulnerable group of migrants who are susceptible to working in the informal economy, which renders them even more vulnerable

JLMP Priority Project:

In order to have a significant and realistic take-off of the Programme, a Three-Year Project (JLMP Priority) was developed and launched in 2018 with the overall objective of improving the governance of labour migration to achieve safer, orderly and regular migration in Africa as committed in relevant frameworks of the African Union (AU) and Regional Economic Commissions (RECs), as well as international labour conventions and other cooperation processes.

Programme Governance Structure:

Programme governance is constituted of:

  1. Programme Steering Committee (PSC): The PSC provides strategic guidance and ensures the follow up of the implementation of the programme. It is chaired by AU and a representative from IOM and ILO will co-chair on a rotational basis. It meets every three months and ensures that the implementing partners, AUC, IOM, ILO, Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC Africa) and Business Africa and participating RECs share ownership of the project;
  2. Programme Technical Committee (PTC): Composed of AUC, ILO, IOM, the PTC meets twice a year and is responsible for the monitoring and the implementation of the JLMP Priority activities. The Donor can participate in the sessions of the PTC to follow-up and monitor the financial management of allocated resources. The PTC is accountable to the PSC for the achievements of the objectives and targets of the project; and
  3. AUC Programme Support Unit (AUC-PSU): Based at the AUC-Department of Social Affairs, the AUC-PSU manages the day-to-day implementation of the Programme by the different implementing agencies (IOM, ILO and AUC) under the overall coordination of the Project Coordinator. The Project Coordinator is responsible to the PTC and present the progress of the programme to the PTC.

Role of Regional Economic Communities (RECs):

RECs will participate in facilitating fertile ground for the smooth implementation of the Programme. RECs will participate through their relevant policy organs (Summit, ministerial conference, regional parliaments, etc.) and their tripartite social dialogue body. The Secretariat of the RECs will benefit, where necessary, from capacity building to coordinate the project implementation within their respective regions.

Expected results:

  1. Enhanced capacity of Ministries of Labour, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, labour market institutions and other relevant Ministries in Member States to implement their roles and responsibilities on labour migration governance;
  2. Improved capacity of social partners (workers’ and employers’ organizations), migration organizations and associations, the recruitment industry, diaspora organizations, women’s associations, and others, to engage in advocacy for and protection of the rights of migrant workers, and to participate in the realization and development benefits of safe, orderly and regular labour migration management in countries of destination and origin, as well as at regional levels;
  3. Improved capacity of the AUC to coordinate and spearhead the implementation of the JLMP; and 
  4. Enhanced capacity of RECs (particularly ECOWAS, SADC and EAC) to improve labour migration governance through effective implementation of their relevant policy frameworks and legal instruments.

Outcome Statement:

First Meeting of the AU-ILO-IOM-ECA Joint Program on Labour Migration Governance for Development and Integration in Africa (JLMP priority) Steering Committee, 29-30 January 2019 Addis Ababa