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October 19, 2021 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) this morning inaugurated the IGAD Experts Conference on Labour, Employment, and Labour Migration in Djibouti.

These two-day technical deliberations are paving the way for the ministerial meeting to be held on October 21st and which meant to explore ways and means to improve coordination and actions to enhance regional collaboration on labour and employment issues.

The overall objective of the meetings is to improve and put in place a platform for regional coordination and action among the ministries of labour and employment of IGAD Member States and social partners on labour related challenges in the region, and take common positions on some of the common challenges of the region

The three-day event is bringing together Ministers, high level experts responsible for Labour and Employment from IGAD Member States, social partners, and other partners working on labour and employment within the IGAD region.

“It is useful to recall that strengthening the governance of labour migration in the IGAD region is a common challenge that mobilises Djibouti as much as the regional community but also the United Nations system. I warmly thank the European Union for the funding”, the Minister of Labour in charge of Formalisation and Social Protection of Djibouti, Mr Isman Ibrahim Robleh, said in his opening remarks.

Speaking for IGAD Executive Secretary, the Director of the Health and Social Development Division, Ms Fathia Alwan, said that the problems related to labour and employment in the region “call for a common approach in the context of regional integration and regulated labour mobility”. “Once established, the IGAD Labour Committee will create a space for Ministers of Labour to regularly engage in policy dialogue and provide strategic guidance in implementation of IGAD policies and priorities on labour and employment”, she continued.

Alexio Musindo, ILO representative to IGAD said: “The ILO welcomes the initiative by IGAD to create a platform for Ministers responsible for labour and employment as well as social partners to enhance regional coordination and collaboration towards reducing decent work deficits and increased productivity. Such a platform will help, based on evidence, share knowledge and policy framework to promote decent work in the region and build consensus towards a regional common approach.”

At the end of the conference, Ministers of Labour and Employment of the IGAD Member States are expected to establish an IGAD Employment and Labour Committee (IELC) and come up with a Declaration on Labour, Employment and Labour Migration in the IGAD region.

ILO is providing technical and financial support to the meetings through the European Union funded project on Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance in the IGAD Region with the objective to improve opportunities for regulated labour mobility and decent work within the IGAD Member States through the development of models of intervention, in the broader context of the regional integration process.

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