10 June 2014

Nigeria Calls for Protection of Migrant Workers' Rights

The world must unite against unfair treatment of migrants to safeguard their rights wherever they choose to work.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, made this call at the 103rd International Labour Conference (ILO) in Geneva on Tuesday.

He said the call had become imperative because of the plight of migrant workers across the globe.

"Nigeria has a big stake on how global migrant workers were treated abroad. Our interest in this subject is informed by the large number of Nigerian youths that are globally mobile.

"We have benefited from this phenomenon especially in diaspora remittances, but we have also experienced discrimination, harassment and other forms of social exclusions in the world of work."

Wogu stressed that government was taking steps aimed at managing the challenges of migration as a sending, transit and destination country

Wogu said that part of the frameworks adopted by Nigeria to combat migration included the evolution, development and ownership of national labour migration policy.

Another is the adoption and implementation within the ECOWAS sub-region of the passport of Sane Migration Project and the National Voluntary Return and Reintegration Settlement Assistance.

He also mentioned the entry into bilateral and multilateral memorandum of understanding with several European and African countries for mutual management of labour migration.

This is coupled with participation and implementation at highest levels, the resolutions of the United Nations' International Roundtable Discussion on Migration.

The Director General of ILO, Guy Ryder, said migration was too often associated with the abuse of vulnerable workers and posed major policy challenges in the world.

"Migration is taking place on a large and growing scale, its patterns are becoming more complex and its nature is evolving.

"Lamentably, it continues in too many cases to be associated with the unacceptable treatment and abuse of some of those who are the most vulnerable - women and men in our labour markets."

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ILO report for 2014 estimated that there are 232 million migrant workers in the world.



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