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ATUMNET 2021 And Selected Global Compact Migration

ATUMNET 2021 And Selected Global Compact Migration

The 2021 annual meeting of African Trade Union Migration Network (ATUMNET), an active platform of the Africa Regional office of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-AFRICA) is realigning her engagements around the UN Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration (GCM). The meeting which is holding on the 8th of December 2021 in Dakar, Senegal peg her theme as ” Migration in the times of COVID-19: African Trade Unions re-strategizing to be more effective

The choice of the theme is due to COVID-19 as a Mobile diseases , hence unwittingly scaled up the momentum and urgency to take carefully thought out steps and actions to calibrate migration and labour migration governance” said ITUC-AFRICA.

“Given this context, therefore, it is expedient to factor in how the rights of migrants can be further protected and guaranteed under the global migration arrangements being undertaken at different levels.
COVID-19 adversely affected migrant workers in several and hard ways – losses of jobs and incomes; exposure to infection without or limited personal protection equipment; stranded and locked away from families and loved ones during the various lockdowns imposed, as well as being unable to renew expired visas and other work and travel documents; exposed to xenophobic and racist attacks (especially Africans being regarded as COVID-19 spreaders in China and Saudi Arabia); the psychological traumas that these effects had on mental health led to increased cases of anxiety, worries and fears, disillusion, depression, suicide and increased work accidents on account of reduced concentration.

” The fact that most migrants cannot transfer (portability) and benefit from their social protection schemes in their host economies meant a number of them were exposed to hardship as saved incomes have been spent during the period of no employment.

A number of them were left to fend for themselves and some were excluded in economies where the governments provided economic support to households during the lockdowns.

Furthermore, the fact that Africa remains a youthful population also means that conscious and anticipatory actions should be taken to ensure that the socio-economic effects triggered and exacerbated by COVID-19 do not further push young people to more desperate migration journeys”.

Speaking on her efforts, the General Secretary of ITUC-AFRICA Comrade Kwasi Adu-Amankwah said “ATUMNET is the Lead Voice on Labour Migration and workers’ rights issues. And it’s been playing this role in the processes that led to the development and adoption of the GCM. It is also actively playing this role in the other migration spaces (notably the Global Forum on Migration and Development –GFMD)”.

It is, therefore, the consideration that the African Union organisations through the African Trade Union Migration Network (ATUMNET) want to focus attention on activities and engagement that will contribute to the attainment of these selected Objectives” Adu-Amankwah said.

The selected objectives according to him are “1. OBJECTIVE 2: Minimize the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin
2. OBJECTIVE 6: Facilitate fair and ethical recruitment and safeguard conditions that ensure decent work
3. OBJECTIVE 10: Prevent, combat and eradicate trafficking in persons in the context of international migration
4. OBJECTIVE 12: Strengthen certainty and predictability in migration procedures for appropriate screening, assessment and referral
5. OBJECTIVE 17: Eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration
6. OBJECTIVE 18: Invest in skills development and facilitate mutual recognition of skills, qualifications and competences
7. OBJECTIVE 21: Cooperate in facilitating safe and dignified return and readmission, as well as sustainable reintegration
8. OBJECTIVE 22: Establish mechanisms for the portability of social security entitlements and earned benefits”.

Kwasi Adu-Amankwah further said the Dakar meeting is to seek ways to advance these issues and sharpen its strategy. “Essentially, the idea will be that African Trade Unions will focus on the afore listed GCM Objectives; SDG Goal 8 and the AU-ILO-IOM-ECA JLMP within their various engagements and projects.
“For emphasis, the idea will be to push for the implementation of the various identified actions that are needed to be taken for the realisation of the Objectives;

On the objectives of the meeting, He said “to recalibrate African trade unions migration governance engagement in more focused and direct ways that will make them real and effective voices and champions for labour migration governance in Africa, to further the ATUMNET’s members effective preparation for the UN IMRF 2022 process, to undertake stocktaking and review of the implementation of the ATUMNET 2019-2021 Action Plan, to develop and adopt ATUMNET 2022-2024 Action plan and
to facilitate the convocation of the ATUMNET Annual General Meeting for electing Network coordinators (administration activities).

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