Zimbabwe, together with other Southern African Development Community countries, is working on a framework that seeks to comprehensively address labour migration and migration management in the region.The region faces challenges of managing labour migration. Labour and Social Services permanent secretary Mr Lancaster Museka said the action plan would improve the capacity of governments to better manage labour migration by harmonising data collection systems, immigration policy and legislation and addressing migrants' health vulnerability.
"So our combined efforts will result in a system whereby national governments will have capacity to enforce laws against exploitation and work together in managing labour migration," he said.
Mr Museka said well-managed labour migration flows, protection of the rights of migrant workers and effective responses to irregular migration can lead to mutual benefits for both migrants and states.
"We are also working with organisations such as the National Statistics Agency (Zimstats), which will be responsible for data gathering and the IOM, which is an organisation committed to promoting co-ordination and dialogue on migration management in the region," he said.
All Sadc states are affected by migration either as source, transit or destination countries. Some migratory movement in the region is related to conflict and insecurity.
Most labour migrants in Southern Africa are working illegally in the region and do not enjoy the same basic rights as local workers and are often made to work in exploitative conditions.
According to the IOM, evidence suggests that the number of migrants is rising, but there is still a lack of reliable data on how many migrants enter states irregularly, stay and work in the informal sector.
Migrant workers make important contributions to the economies of the Sadc countries.