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IGAD trains on protection of migrant workers’ rights

Kenya needs a total overhaul in the management of labour migration to ensure that labour recruitment to overseas is totally done by the Public Service Commission, and not by unscrupulous private agencies.

This is seen as a remedy to the labour issues facing the informal labour migrants who face abuse especially in the Arab Countries.

Speaking today during the 3 day IGAD Regional Training on Communication and Reporting on Labour Migration in Djibouti, IGAD Director of Social Justice Fatiha Alwan noted that if exercised constructively, Labour Migration can offer an economic booster and lift member migrants out of poverty.

She also noted that properly managed labour migration will further lead to improved health and education community because the media will duly inform the policies undertaken by governments of IGAD member states.

“The role of media is irreversible, it has the capability of influencing relevant policies that guard Labour Migration as well as create public awareness on proper labour laws, “she noted.

ILO’s Ephraim Egnet on his part noted that Labour Migration could benefit both the giving and receiving countries if properly handled.

Egnet further noted that migrant workers have a right to enjoy their stay in the guest countries under proper working conditions and as such need to be aware of their rights as migrants.

He however observed that Labour Migration reporting has been incident based noting that while it is important, priority should also be given to the emerging issues and challenges.

“Media practitioners are key participants in informing key and relevant policies and public opinion to improve on the livelihoods of migrant workers,” said Egnet.

Kenya in the recent past has had reports of migrant workers who go to the Arab Countries report physical abuse and in the extreme killed, with the number of cases growing by day.

This has created concern on the need for proper reporting on the root causes of labour migration to the Arab Countries and how the processes can be done under proper channels that will guarantee their safety.

The three-day training in Djibouti aims to equip journalists and media stakeholders with relevant skills on how to pitch and make the labour migration stories captivating to ignite policy action.

By Alice Gworo

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