Labour Migration Management in Africa


Within the context of the SURE project (“Supporting the Social and Professional Reintegration of Return Migrants in North Africa”), the ITCILO Labour Migration Expertise participated in the Joint Labour Migration Programme’s Workshop for the Development of a Training and Capacity Building Plan on Labour Migration Management in Africa, providing input on existing training activities in the area of labour migration.

Ms Miriam Boudraa, Activity Manager in the area of Labour Migration at ITCILO, highlighted elements such as the blended, life-long learning approach adopted by ITCILO, the network of cross-cutting experts involved in training activities on labour migration, and the use of technology for the development of a wide array of training tools.

The Joint Labour Migration Programme is a joint initiative implemented by the African Union Commission (AUC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the UNECA as a comprehensive labour migration governance programme in Africa.

ITCILO course on Negotiating Bilateral Labour Agreements

In the recent past, bilateral labour agreements and memoranda of understanding on labour migration have gained prominence as tools facilitating the cross-border movement of workers.

While these instruments can play an important role in ensuring that the labour rights of migrant workers are protected at all stages of the migration process, in practice they exhibit a number of shortcomings regarding their design, content, monitoring, implementation and impact.

In response to these challenges and opportunities, the International Training Centre of the ILO (Turin Campus, Italy) organized the first edition of its training course on Negotiating Bilateral Labour Agreements, with a view to increasing the potential of BLAs to improve governance of labour migration, promote and protect the rights of migrant workers, and enhancing migration and development linkages. The overall objective of the course was to reinforce the negotiation skills and techniques of officials who may work in the adoption and follow up of bilateral and/or multilateral agreements.

The course was attended by 24 participants originating from 10 different countries, including a significant representation of governments officials and representatives of employers and workers’ organizations from North Africa (specifically from Morocco, Tunisia and Mauritania). Throughout the course, which contributed to fostering an interregional South-South dialogue on migration governance, participants from these regions were invited to reflect on the role of bilateral agreements as a tool which can support not only a positive experience for workers abroad, but also a successful social and professional reintegration upon migrant workers’ eventual return to their home countries.