Launch of Strategic Labour Migration Management Documents Promote Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and Reduce Migrant Vulnerabilities in The Gambia
Banjul – This week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment (MOTIE), has launched four strategic labour migration management documents in The Gambia: the Labour Migration Strategy, Labour Migration Plan of Action 2022-2026, Policy Guidelines for Labour Migration and Ethical Recruitment and the Pre-Departure Training Manual for Labour Migrants.
"The launching of these critical documents will lay the foundation for the management of labour migration issues and expand labour migration opportunities for the benefit and development of the country,” explains the Minister of MOTIE, Hon. Baboucar Ousmaila Joof.
These documents will support the Government of The Gambia by serving as a foundation to strengthen and promote well-managed migration in the country and reduce migrant vulnerabilities.
“Global challenges, such as the rising cost of living, unemployment and food insecurity are placing ever more pressure on vulnerable populations, fueling the conditions that often underpin desperate decisions to migrate to seek better, safer and more secure lives,” states H.E. Ambassador of the United States to The Gambia, Sharon L. Cromer. “The publication and dissemination of this holistic approach to migration will assist the Gambian government to plan for and enact needed programs and policies to address labour migration governance over the coming years.”
For decades, The Gambia has been a country of origin, transit and destination of migrants in search of employment opportunities. The Labour Migration Strategy, developed with the support from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), serves as a blueprint to guide The Gambia to uphold its commitment to international, regional and national instruments governing labour migration. The Labour Migration Strategy Plan of Action 2022 – 2026 was further developed with support from the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), to ensure smooth implementation of the strategy and provide concrete steps to create an enabling environment for Gambian migrants to opt for regular pathways.
Private, and often informal, recruitment agencies are frequently contracted by Gambians who wish to work abroad according to the 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report. Under the framework of the Africa Regional Migration Programme, Policy Guidelines for Labour Migration and Ethical Recruitment in The Gambia were developed to respond to and mitigate the exploitative practices of private recruitment agencies and the ill-treatment of migrant workers – re-affirming the country’s commitment to combat unethical recruitment and human trafficking.
Lastly, a Pre-Departure Training Manual for Labor Migrants in The Gambia was formulated to help travel-ready migrant workers gain meaningful skills for successful integration and inform them of their rights and responsibilities in their country of destination.
“These documents will contribute immensely to improving the regulatory environment in which labour migrants operate,” says IOM The Gambia Chief of Mission, Fumiko Nagano. “Protection of migrant workers from systematic abuse and exploitation is essential, especially for labour migrants who continue to make significant contributions back home and to economies abroad.”
The launch was attended by representatives from the MOTIE, the United States Government and members of the Labour Migration Thematic Working Group under The Gambia’s National Coordination Mechanism on Migration (NCM). The documents will be available on the MOTIE website.
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