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Regional Training for Labour Attachés on Labour Migration Governance

(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 21-25 November 2022)


  • E. Muferihat Kemil, Minister for the Ministry of Labour and Skill of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
  • E. Burtukan, Ayano, State Minister for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
  • E. Mr. Alexio Musindo, Director, Country Office for Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan, and Special Representative for AU and ECA
  • Ambassador Abdulhafiz Elawad, Representative of Government of Republic of The Sudan, IGAD Chair
  • Sabirana Bazzanella Team leader EU Delegation in Ethiopia
  • Distinguished Labour Attaches of IGAD Member States Embassies, Missions and consular in the Middle east
  • Representatives of CIE (Confederation of IGAD Employers)
  • Representatives of HACTU (Horn of Africa Confederation of Trade Unions)
  • Fellow IGAD Colleagues
  • Ladies and Gentlemen,


Good morning,

It is my great pleasure and an honour to welcome you all to this very important, timely and unique Regional Training organized for Labour Attachés of the IGAD Member States in the Middle east.

Rationale for Labour Migration:

  • As we all know, migration from our region to the Middle East is often driven by multiple and interrelated factors, including economic, political and environmental issues;
  • There is a notable increase in demand for work force in various industries in the Middle East countries;
  • Migrant workers contribution to the economic development of countries of origin and destination through their competencies, skills and experience is receiving growing recognition;
  • The increasing migration flows to the Middle East is becoming an important source of remittances/ Foreign Currency for the IGAD Member States;
  • For the substantiable inflow of remittances to our region, ensuring rights protection and well-being of the migrants’ workers in the countries of destination is pivotal;
  • Unfortunately, hearing the report of right abuses of migrant workers and receiving dead bodies becoming a common phenomenon;
  • As a result of this, the number of labour migrants’ workers seeking protection from the labour attachés assigned in the embassies, missions and consulates of IGAD Member States in the Middle East are increasing.
  • Hence, it is vital to enhance the capacities of Labour attachés of IGAD Member States in the Middle East that are engaged in the labour migration governance to improve the working conditions and protection of migrant workers in the countries of destination.

Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me highlight IGAD’s existing regional instruments and policy frameworks related to labour migration; –

  • Under article 3 of Free Movement of Persons Protocol adopted in 2020, it is indicated that extending the right of free movement of workers and self-employed persons and their dependants in the territory of other Member States;
  • The protocol also underscores the importance of devising appropriate instruments and mechanisms for the protection of migrant workers against unfair recruitment practices by intermediary bodies including private recruitment agencies and public employment services;
  • Article 8, 9 and 27 of the protocol has the provision for social protection and the right to self-employment, right to work and harmonization of policies related to migrants’ workers;
  • Apart from the protocol, under the pillar 3 of October 2021 Djibouti Declaration on Employment, Labour and labour Migration, need for Promoting of the Rights of Migrant Workers within the IGAD Region and in other countries of Destination is boldly indicated;
  • Ratification and implementation of AU and IGAD protocols on Free Movement of Persons and ILO conventions related to Migrant Workers and improving labour migration governance are among the key action areas of the declaration;
  • Most importantly IGAD’s Regional Strategy 2021-2025 under social Development Pillar prioritize ensuring safe, regular and orderly labour migration within the IGAD region and beyond; and
  • Strengthening Labour Migration governance is one of the 12 priority areas of IGAD Migration Policy Framework.

Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen

Allow me to underscore few critical points that needs our collective attention with regards to labour migration as go on;

  • Recognize the important role that well managed labour migration is playing in the development of our region and creation of conducive environment for safe, regular and orderly labour/work force mobility;
  • Skilling of labour migrants at countries origin is so decisive so that the youths from our region are competent enough in the labour market industry at the countries of destination;
  • Reconsidering and devising a mechanism on how to extend Social Protection to our labour migrants to reduce vulnerability and shock after the oversees labour deployment;
  • Promote the utilization of IGAD Guideline on Bilateral Labour agreements (BLAs) to enhance collective bargain power for the IGAD Member States;
  • Building the capacity of Labour Attaches on the protection of the right citizens at large and labour migrants in particular on negotiation skill, conflict management, arbitration, legal support to victims of abuses in the countries of destination;
  • It is also fundamental to strengthen the role of private employment agencies, trade unions, employers’ organizations and other stakeholders in the labour migration governance;
  • Last but not least, it is important, to devise effective mechanism at regional and national levels to integrate migrants’ workers returning from oversees labour deployment.


Excellencies, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen

Before I conclude my remark,

  • Let me reiterate IGAD’s commitment to continue spearheading the agenda of safe labour migration in our region and ready to proactively engage in the Regional and Continental labour Dialogue;
  • Continue supporting and working very closely with Member States to ensure regular, safe and orderly labour migration;
  • IGAD would like to sincerely appreciate ILO, for the technical support and continued partnership with IGAD on this important and timely agenda.
  • IGAD is also grateful to the European Union for the Financial Support to the labour migration project implementation.
  • IGAD also very much appreciate its Member States for their active participation and due attention paid to labour migrants abroad.
  • Let me also thank IGAD and ILO team members who worked hard in organizing this important training programme.

Finally, I would like to express IGAD’s commitment to play its regional role and readiness to join hands with all actors working on labour migration agenda.

Thank you for listening and wish you a very productive, fruitful deliberation and exchange of experiences.  I thank you.


Download the attached Speech in PDF below

IGAD Remark on the IGAD-ILO Regional Labour Attache Training Nov2022

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