COVID-19: ILO boosts capacity for migrant workers’ welfare

Amid the socioeconomic disruption engendered by coronavirus pandemic, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has taken further step to ensure an improved work environment for migrant workers. This formed the basis of a workshop on “Strengthening Capacity of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in the area of Labour Migration amid the Context of COVID-19 in Nigeria” organised in Lagos during the week by the labour organisation to train staff of Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Giving insight into the training programme, the Director, ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, Vaness Phala, noted that the workshop was convened by ILO as a component of a wider response strategy towards enhancing the effectiveness of constituents in the area of Labour Migration amid the Context of COVID-19 in Nigeria. According to her, ILO notes that the effects of the global pandemic in addition to being a threat to public health, also creates economic and social disruptions that threatens longterm livelihoods and wellbeing of millions of people. Thus, businesses and indeed employers grapple with challenges of continued existence and reinventing themselves in the world of work.

She said: “It is important to also state that towards facilitating a comprehensive approach in the post pandemic era, ILO during the 2021 International Labour Conference adopted a global call to action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

“The call to action amongst other things notes the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on the most disadvantaged and vulnerable, particularly individuals in thein for a aleconomymyy and in insecure forms of work, including low-skilled jobs and migrants workers. “Also coinciding with an auspicious moment where ILO has just released the most recent global estimates on migrant workers, marked by a significant increase of all migrant workers from 164 million in 2017 to 169 million in 2019, this workshop further anticipates an opportunity to provide feedback on specific national context as it relates to labour migration amid the context of COVID-19, and perspectives to support migrant workers as recognised by relevant national labour migration governance frameworks with recourse to international labour standards.”

She further observed that the workshop had become even more relevant in view of related policy moments such as the validation of a revised National Policy on Labour Migration and ongoing updating of the Code of Conduct for Private Employment Agencies.

“To this end, this workshop is designed to train staff of the ministry on the use and applicability of labour migration governance frameworks and mechanisms for promotion and protection of rights of migrant workers in the context of COVID- 19 in Nigeria; provide opportunity to take stock of progress in implementation of existing national frameworks” as a reference to the national LM policy; enhance knowledge of ministry staff in the area of labour mobility, fair recruitment and the future of work in the context of COVID-19, and facilitate a platform for intra-ministerial learning and engagement regarding information, assistance and support for migrant workers in the context of COVID-19. “I note that this activity has been designed through a consultative process where inputs have been received from the Ministry into the Concept Note, and it further reflects.




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