IOM hosts Officials To Discuss a New Welfare Programme for Migrant Workers

Moshi - The International Organization for Migration's Africa Capacity Building Centre (IOM ACBC) in Tanzania is this week (7-9 February) hosting a meeting between representatives of seven African Union Member States and social partners of the Joint Labour Migration Program (JLMP) to examine the difficulties faced by African migrant workers in destination countries and how to implement a new welfare programme designed to protect them. 

The authorities are from ministries and institutions responsible for labour and national social security in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Niger and Uganda as well as social partner institutions.

They are mainly discussing the need for countries of origin to implement new, rights-based, and gender-responsive social protection modalities for migrant workers in both the formal and informal sectors since many countries of destination do not provide adequate social protections for African migrant workers. 

Migrant Welfare Programmes (MWP) are being promoted when there are no appropriate support options for workers abroad.
“Most migrant workers from African countries face significant challenges and restrictions in foreign destinations, especially when it comes to accessing social security and welfare support. Different sex- and gender-based needs, gender differentials in employment status and segregation practices in labour markets also means that access to social protection is particularly difficult for women migrant workers,” said Ms. Caroline Matemo, from the Kenyan Ministry of employment and Labour Relations. 

Participants exchanged views on how migrants contribute to economies and how this may be enhanced if they are better integration into the socioeconomic and labour markets of destination nations. Additionally, an expert from IOM Philippines shared how the Migrant Welfare Programme works in that country.

The African Union Commission is urging countries of origin in Africa to seek out strategies to improve the wellbeing of their migrant workers as this will have a significant influence on the social protection they will enjoy when living abroad.
In response, the JLMP developed a model migrant welfare programme to serve as a guide to African Member States who want to provide a broad range of support services for migrant workers abroad.

The meeting is organized by the AU-ILO-IOM-ECA Joint Programme on Labour Migration Governance for Development and Integration in Africa (JLMP) in coordination with the African Capacity Building Center for Migration. 
The Report: Migrant Welfare Systems in Africa: Case Studies in Selected African Union Member States: Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius and South Africa is available for download here

For more information contact: Eric Mazango, 

SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals