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Technical Validation workshop of a Draft National Labour Migration Policy for Sierra Leone

By Mustapha Sesay
As a way of ensuring the free movement of persons and migration in West Africa, the FMM Consortium partners, the International Centre for Migration, policy Development, the International Labour Organisation, and the Ministry of Labour held a two day workshop on the Technical Validation of a Draft National Labour Migration Policy for Sierra Leone at the Country Lodge Hotel in Freetown from the 19th -20th September, 2017.
The project that is jointly funded by the European Union and the ECOWAS Commission is implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IMO), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development and the International Labour Organisation.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone Tom Vens revealed that the European Union has co-founded the preparation of the Sierra Leone Labour Migration policy through the project ‘Support to the Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa.” This support is a testimony to the priority the European Union gives to strengthening regular migration.
The European Union will present a new set of proposals very soon with an emphasis on returns, solidarity with Africa and opening pathway for legal migration. Europe needs to act in partnership on the root causes of migration, poverty, climate change, violation of human rights and opportunities for life. He noted that for this, dialogue with Africa is important all across the continent.
In his welcome address, the Minister of Labour Mathew Timbo commended the Demand Driven Facility of the Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa project for the technical and material support accorded to the ministry during the development of this policy. He also commended the European Union and ECOWAS for the funds provided to support the process.
He noted that in December 2914, the Ministry requested assistance from the faculty to build its capacity on Labour migration management, including a review of the drafted Labour Migration Policy. In February 2916, the facility contracted a Consultant who did a desk review on the draft policy, that was validated in April 1916.
This policy has strategies that will enhance the benefits of labour migration and minimize its negative impacts on our economy and society.
The International Centre for Migration, policy Development, DDF Project Officer, Hugo Tavares Augusto noted that migration has become an increasing relevant topic in policy making at the national, regional and global levels due, not only but to a large extent to the increased mediatic attention to the share volume of population on the move, but also to a greater focus on the negative and positive aspects.
He noted that building upon work carried out by the IOM in 2010, namely through the assessment carried out by the ministry and the establishment of a Labour Migration Unit, and in close collaboration with the MIEUX programme- also implemented by the ICMPD-with the development in parallel with the National Development Migration Policy, there action comprise three main blocks of activities; identification of key gaps, bottlenecks and obstracles as well as opportunities related to the overall strategies vision as well as to the capacity of human resources and equipment. Support to the review and upgrade of the National Labour Migration Policy, strengthening of key actors and stakeholders.
The ECOWAS Commissioner, Labour Migration and Social Affairs, Guite Diop furthered that the West African states are fully conscious of the immense benefits derive from the labour mobility.
In keeping with the dynamism of labour migration and in recognition of the contributions of migrants to the development of the economy of our region, the Heads of Government adopted a common approach on migration with six cardinal axis of intervention on the management of migration.
The event was climaxed with experience sharing.

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