The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Bureau has applauded the continued capacity building for Parliamentarians in order to equip them to deal with labour migration in Africa.
A two-day capacity-building workshop is taking place at the PAP Headquarters in Midrand, South Africa where the sittings of the Permanent Committees of the PAP are currently underway. The Committee Sittings, which kicked off on 6 March and will run through to 17 March 2023, is guided by the African Union (AU) theme for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”
The PAP President, HE Chief Fortune Charumbira, in a speech, read on his behalf by Hon Jean Patrice France Quirin, Chairperson of the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs, said Africa is faced with a labour crisis forcing young people to seek employment beyond their country's borders.
"This workshop is a response to major concerns and experts have been invited to share knowledge and strengthen the capacities of Members of Parliament. The meeting will also reinforce legal aspects of labour migration given that the management of labour migration is essential to ensure stability in mobility and search for work," said HE Chief Charumbira.
He added that the PAP Bureau was committed to engaging in and increasing its role in addressing labour migration at various levels - national, bilateral and regional. HE Chief Charumbira said strengthening understanding of processes and tools of ratification, domestication of legal instruments and policy frameworks will aid Parliamentarians in making informed inputs meant to improve migration-related policies.
"Migrants fill the gaps in the labour market therefore we will continue lobbying the Member States to focus efforts on ensuring the necessary protection for migrant workers," said HE Chief Charumbira.
Speaking at the same meeting African Union Commission's (AUC) Mr Peter Mudangwe, speaking on behalf of Sabelo Mbokazi, AUC Head of Division Labour, Employment and Migration noted the legal protection needs faced by migrant workers in relation to abuse of their rights and called for the fair treatment of migrants and said this area has been one of the Commission's key priority.
"The migration and human mobility agenda has been one of our priority areas guided by Agenda 2063 and other key legal and policy frameworks on the rights of migrant workers. Our deliberations will reinforce the continental commitment. The PAP plays a key role in achieving Agenda 2063. We can work together in safeguarding the rights of migrants in Africa and beyond so we achieve the Africa We Want," he said.
Chairing the workshop, Rapporteur of the PAP Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Issues, Hon Abdou Boubacar said:
"The question of migration is a cross-cutting issue requiring different stakeholders for us to change the narrative. Labour migration has presented social, economic and political challenges for our countries. The PAP has seen it necessary to be involved in this capacity building and play a major role in improving governance of labour migration."
The workshop has drawn together the Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters, the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs, Committee on Transport, Industry, Communications, Energy, Science and Technology, Committee on Gender, Family, Youth and People with Disability, Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflicts Resolution, and Committee on Education, Culture, Tourism and Human Resources.