Thursday, January 29, 2009

my speech at handover ceremony of equipment from ILO on 23/09/08



- The chief Technical Advisor of ILO/IPEC Mrs Mirriam Gachago
- The Consultants
- Facilitators
- Union members
- Employers
- Ladies and Gentlemen

1. I feel greatly honored this morning to stand before you as guest of honor during which the Ministry of Labour is receiving equipment to be used for data capturing on child labour for from ILO/IPEC. Apart from receiving the equipment, the Ministry is also happy that training for officers on child labour database management is to be conducted during these two days to better equip those involved.

2. Ladies and Gentlemen, the equipment we are receiving today which is in the form of computers as well as the training will help in capacity building efforts to enable government achieve its goal of eliminating child labour in Malawi. In view of the technological trends world over, we need to move with times in our operations especially in the area of records management in child labour matters, since we are dealing with matters of children who are tomorrows leaders.

3. As you may be aware, ILO/IPEC and the Ministry of Labour have been working on establishing a National child labour database since June 2008. A consultant was hired and has carried out consultations with stakeholders and worked closely with the Child Labour Unit and the Statistics Section in the Ministry. I understand the database is now ready and there is need to install it at the Ministry headquarters and at the three Regional Offices. This donation I understand is for that purpose.

4. Ladies and gentlemen, the importance of these computers therefore cannot be overemphasized taking into consideration that they will be used to store child labour data captured in the field from Youth monitors, child labour community monitors and child labour inspectors. This will therefore act as baseline information that will assist the Ministry in coming up with right policies and strategies for follow ups, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of child labour projects from a well informed point of view.

5. The equipment therefore has just come at the right time since the information it will store will not only be useful to government alone, but also employers and workers organizations, NGOs , Faith Based Organisations, the media and research institutions working in one way or the other towards eliminating the worst forms of child labour.

6. Ladies and Gentlemen, It is important that while communities are taking a leading role in child labour elimination efforts at grassroots level, we as government and cooperating partners work together in supporting their efforts so that they are encouraged to continue monitoring and reporting child labour cases. Having the right information in store is very important for monitoring trends and helps to plan activities and come up with strategies that address the issues on the ground accordingly and appropriately. In addition, all those involved in child labour will have a better understanding and be able to reason if right and up to date information is provided so that the battle against exploitation of children is well fought.

7. Ladies and Gentlemen for the success of this initiative we will therefore count on the efficiency and effectiveness of database administrators, and above all, the sources of the information to be collected.

8. The attitude of Government to the needs and rights of children is decisive to the protection and promotion of children’s welfare. Ladies and gentlemen, national economies, which rely on working children who do not attend school, place themselves in a vicious cycle of perpetual poverty. Without an education their children miss out on knowledge and skills that are required for better and rewarding jobs. Child labour undermines the potential source of protection of families and communities by breeding generations and generations of poor people.

9. The Malawi Republican constitution Chapter IV protects the child from economic exploitation or any treatment of work or punishment that is likely to be hazardous, interfere with education or harmful to their health, physical, mental, spiritual or social development while the Employment Act of 2000 prohibits the employment of any child below the age of 14 and also prohibits children between the ages 14-18 to be employed in hazardous work which is harmful to the health, safety and moral development.

10. Ladies and Gentlemen the decentralization policy has made it possible that most development programmes be done at district level. Child labour is violation of child rights. As children work, they have no access to education. They are denied other rights vital to the experience of childhood. They are exposed to physical and sexual abuse and violence. Efforts should be made to mainstream child labour elimination activities in our District Implementation Plans focusing on advocacy, capacity building, policy development and coordination.

11. Since ILO-IPEC started implementing its programmes in Malawi, what has been gained? Direct support provided, including uniforms has enabled children from poor families to attend school. It has addressed the root cause of child labour, which is poverty. With commitment of involved partners, a considerable reduction of employed children has been achieved within a few years.

12. Today we live in an excellent enabling environment in terms of top-level political support to the fight against child labour. The government, under His Excellency, the State President, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, is committed to forging partnerships with employers, workers organizations, as well as with other institutions and groups that share the goal of abolishing Child Labour. The Government clearly advocates that the key to solving these issues lies in the alliance among workers, business people, NGOs and Civic Society groups. No one group working alone can achieve the necessary impact.

13. Ladies and Gentlemen, join me in thanking ILO-IPEC Malawi office for the 4 computers that have been donated to the Ministry. Government appreciates the technical and financial support you give to the Ministry for the various activities being implemented focusing on institutional framework, enforcement, advocacy, prevention and rehabilitation in the fight against child labour. The chief Technical Advisor for ILO IPEC, be assured that these computers will do the work that they are intended for.

14. With these few remarks, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your attention.

my speech at Dinner of Institute of People Management, 25 July 2008

25th JULY 2008

Our Guest of Honour, the Deputy Minister of Labour, Hon. Boniface Chimpokosera, M.P.

The President, Institute of People Management (Malawi),

Members of the Executive Council, Institute of People Management (Malawi),

Members of the Institute of People Management (Malawi),

Invited Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to stand before you this evening on this occasion. My duty this evening Honourable Deputy Minister is simply to ask you to address the gathering here. But before I do that, allow me Hon Deputy Minister to say a word or two.

First of all, I would like to thank you for accepting the invitation to grace this occasion despite your busy schedule. Honourable Deputy Minister, Your presence here signifies government’s commitment towards the promotion of human resource development in Malawi. We therefore don’t take this for granted.

Hon Deputy Minister, Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen, the event taking place tonight is an indication of how serious the Institute is in seeing to it that the objectives of this organization are fulfilled by having a sound resource base. It is a well-known fact that organizations that plan effectively and are well organized; with adequate resources make a positive impact in achieving their agenda. I would therefore like to commend you for this initiative.

Hon Deputy Minister, Ladies and gentlemen, the Ministry of Labour feels proud to be associated with the Institute and would love to see the organization grow so that many people benefit from I

Since one of your objects is to promote best practices in the utilization of people, define codes of professional conduct and conduct research on people practices, I am sure that the future of this country in terms of labour market is best being prepared and planned for through your initiatives

Ladies and Gentlemen, Human resource as a labour force in any work place is of paramount importance since it is an ingredient for productivity and therefore a catalyst for economic growth and development. A well-nurtured human resource is the one that upholds professionalism. Professionalism ensures among other things high productivity,

That is why the Ministry of Labour, which is responsible for labour and employment matters works hard towards ensuring that human resources are well managed and developed. We are therefore happy with your initiatives for they are playing a critical role in instilling professionalism, discipline and integrity in matters of people management. We are ready to work hand in hand with you in all efforts aimed at promoting human resource development in Malawi.

Hon Deputy Minister, Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am mindful of the fact that this is not my function. It is now my singular honour to ask you Sir to deliver your speech.

I thank you Sir.

my speech at Lafarge Company on 26 June 2008

26TH JUNE 2008

The Managing Director of LAFARGE
Distinguished Invited Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

I feel greatly honoured and privileged to be with you here today to witness the commemoration of the LAFARGE safety month.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Ministry of Labour and in particular the Occupational Safety and Health Directorate has a mandate to regulate conditions of employment as regards safety, health and welfare of workers.
Occupational safety and health is an important subject in the world of work because it is an integral part of the Decent Work Agenda.
Decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives. Ladies and Gentlemen, people need to be safe at work in the same way that they want work that is productive and delivers a fair income. They need security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration. Working people need freedom to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives.
You will all agree with me that if a job is well paying but unsafe, it is not decent work; if a job is done freely but exposes the worker to health hazards, it is not decent work; if the contract of employment is fair but the work impairs the workers' health and well-being, it is not decent work. We therefore need to put occupational safety and health at the heart of our strategies for economic and social progress. To achieve this, we need preventive policies and programmes and extend effective protection to vulnerable groups of workers and all those that may be affected by our undertakings.

It is therefore very pleasing to note that LAFARGE is already implementing preventive strategies.
Ladies and Gentlemen, from what we have seen today, I would like to congratulate you, Mr. Managing Director and your team for the initiatives you undertake with the aim of ensuring safety and health of your employees, customers, transporters, communities, environment as well as safety of property.
Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may be aware, the main agenda of Government is to transform this country from a largely importing and consuming economy to a producing and exporting economy. In order to realize this vision, there is need to invest in safe and healthy working environments because productivity increases when the workforce is healthy.
A work force that is on and off health wise or affected by accidents affects quality and growth in production in an industry and therefore you cannot be assured of sustainable economic development.
Let me therefore take this opportunity to appeal to other employers to emulate the good example being practiced by LAFARGE.
Since in the Labour circles, we believe in tripartism, let me also urge the workers to always cooperate with Employers on matters of safety and health.
On our part as Government, we will continue to provide the necessary guidance to ensure that safety and health principles are adhered to at work.

Let me conclude by once again congratulating LAFARGE for the commendable work that you are doing in the interest of safety and health.

I thank you for your attention

May god bless you

my speech at an HIV/Aids candlelighting ceremony on 30 May, 2008


The Secretary General of MCTU Mr Robert Nkwezalamba and your team
Trade Union Leaders present here

Employer organization Leaders

Heads of Departments and Sections

Members of the Press

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

I am greatly gratified for having an opportunity to preside over the commemoration of this year’s Candlelight Memorial Ceremony in our Ministry on behalf of the Minister of Labour, who could have loved to be here but is tied up with equally important national matters.

2. Ladies and Gentlemen, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is a unique event that remembers and honours those who lost their lives to AIDS and support people living with HIV and affected households. The commemoration also raises community awareness of the pandemic and seeks to decrease its related stigma and discrimination. The campaign mobilizes communities and in our case, the workplace, to take part in the response to the pandemic as each community is affected through the loss of their beloved ones.

3. You will remember that for the time since the inception of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial in 1983, the global launch was inaugurated outside the USA and was held here in Malawi, at CIVO Stadium on Sunday, 18th May 2008 where His Excellency Dr Bingu wa Mutharika and other international diginitaries graced the occasion, and a great number of people gathered to show their commitment and solidarity to the national event to show dedication to the national cause.
4. This year, Ladies and Gentlemen, after the official launch on 18th May 2008, Malawians throughout the country are commemorating the event in their own districts, Traditional Authorities and community levels. Furthermore, government also requested institutions to make special commemoration arrangements hence the holding of this function today. Such an arrangement will provide an opportunity for us in the labour sector to commemorate the day while recognizing the fact labour plays a catalytic role in national development and therefore needs much attention when it comes to fighting the pandemic. I therefore, welcome you to this year’s candlelight memorial ceremony in the Ministry.

5. Malawi is once again joining the International Community in commemorating the 25th Candle Light Memorial whose theme is: “Never Give UP….Never Forget”. The significance of this theme is to encourage workers and employers, communities and individuals to remember and honour those who have lost their lives to AIDS and those that continue to actively engage in the fight against HIV and AIDS worldwide.

6. I wish to emphasise that the commemoration is being held because every one of us is infected or affected. Who, among us, has not lost a loved one due to AIDS? Who has not lost a close relative to AIDS? Nobody can deny the fact that AIDS is real and continually taking away lives of our loved ones and those that are economically productive in our communities and families.

7. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is therefore important that we collaboratively honour all those that lost their lives due to AIDS and those positively living with HIV and commendably contributing towards the economy of this country.

8. Ladies and Gentlemen, the commemoration this day in the Ministry is in line with the Ministry’s commitment to upholding such core values as ensuring the development of a productive workforce and ensuring a safe working environment. This commitment is also shown in that the commemoration is being conducted together with our social partners, employers and workers organizations who are present here in recognition of the fact the fight against the pandemic cannot be successful if handled by government alone, in the workplace.
9. Ladies and Gentlemen, management of labour in the workplace is of paramount importance towards the economic development of this country. That is why when it comes to the fight against the pandemic, government leaves no stone unturned in its strategies and involvement of all stakeholders in the workplace in the fight against the pandemic.

10. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is however disturbing to learn that there are still some people that stigmatise and discriminate people that are infected with HIV and AIDS in the workplace.

11. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me make it clear that discrimination is not acceptable in the workplace. It is clearly stated in Chapter Four of our Constitution. Government will keep on reminding you of this Chapter because you need to have a deeper understanding of its content and interpretation.

12. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is also imperative to remember to respect your self and others in the workplace. Minding about you protection will automatically mean protection for others. This will in the end ensure a healthy workforce and sustainable production for economic growth.

13. Ladies and Gentlemen, AIDS is real and it continues to devastate families and the nation as a whole. The pandemic has not spared the workplace in this country. I therefore call upon our social partners, employers and workers organizations to: “Never Give UP….Never Forge!!!!!t”. Remember, we need to join hands to fight HIV pandemic and have a Malawi without AIDS.

14. I also wish to assure you that the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS will continue to provide policy direction and guidance; and oversee the HIV and AIDS National response, and my Ministry will continue guiding the workplace response. On other hand, the National AIDS Commission will continue to coordinate HIV and AIDS Programme implementation monitoring and evaluation while MANETPLUS and all other stakeholders take part in programme management.

15. It is now my honour to declare the 2008 Ministry of Labour Candle Light Memorial officially launched.
I thank you and God bless you all

my speech at a child labour meeting- 21/12/07


The Labour Commissioner
Unicef Representative
ILO/IPEC Representative
Representatives of MCTU, ECAM, COMATU
The consultant Mrs Fiona Mwale
Distinguished participants
Ladies and gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure and privileged to preside over this final meeting on drafting the list of hazardous work for children in Malawi which is to be added to the Employment Act.
I am delighted because what we are to do here is part of the Ministry’s efforts in ensuring that labour administration matters are effectively handled for the betterment of the Malawi society especially children.

Ladies and Gentlemen, hazardous child labour has been defined as work which by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children. I am told that this is the final meeting in which the list will gradually be adopted then gazetted. Without hazardous work list, it is difficult to know where and on what to concentrate action to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may be aware, today’s children are tomorrow’s future and if we invest in them and protect our children today, we will be assured of a healthy generation of tomorrow. As the saying goes, the best preparation for tomoroow is to make sure that today’s work is superbly done, hence the importance of your seriousness at this meeting. On its part, government is committed towards ensuring that our children are safe and well protected in any forms.
That is why the Employment Act and the Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare Act prohibit employment of children in hazardous work for children under the age of 18. The Development of these regulations containing the list of hazardous work will therefore enhance the efforts to protect our children from such an environment.
Since previously there was no list attached to the Employment Act, I have the hope that the list which is being prepared after a lot of consultations with various stakeholders including employers and workers organizations will be finalized at this meeting.
Let us take note that when children are working in hazardous environment, they are exposed to accidents and illnesses arising from inhaling, absorption and ingestion of or contact with harmful substances in the workplace. Taking their welfare at heart today will therefore be good for the nation.
As we are gathered here, there is therefore need to finalise the list in cponsistent with other international labour standards so that thereafter it is formalized and given a legal force by attaching it to the Employment Act.

Ladies and Gentlemen, after formalizing the list, there will therefore be a need to promote its use. Parents, employers, workers, NGOs and the community at large will have to be informed about this list. Raising awareness will lead to stopping practices done out of ignorance as well as those undertaken with approval from parents and employers.
In conclusion, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me take this opportunity to thank UNICEF for their financial and technical assistance given in order to convene this meeting as well as for their untiring efforts in promoting the fight against child labour.

I thank you all for listening and I say let us strive to eliminate hazardous child labour as a matter of urgency and make Malawi child labour free.
May the Lord bless all the children of Malawi. I thank you for your attention.

my speech at a symposium-12 October, 2007


Prospective employers from both the public and private sectors
Final Year sociology students from Chancellor College
Members of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to stand before you this morning to open this Sociology Symposium/ recruitment seminar for the 2003-2007 Sociology graduating class. Great pleasure indeed realizing the importance of such a symposium to Malawi when it comes to identification of potential human resources as well as provision of information to the graduates as regards the operations in the industry.

It is from such forums that graduates make choices from a well informed point of view on where to serve in order to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country while prospective employers identify potential from the showcase of capabilities of the students.

As you may be aware, Government is committed towards ensuring that graduates get employed within the system without demanding experience as a prerequisite for one to be employed. In this context, His Excellency the President Dr Bingu wa Mutharika issued a decree two months ago that companies should follow what the government does with regard to employing university students fresh from college without requiring experience. It is government’s strong belief that from this forum, companies will take up that step.

Ladies and Gentlemen, government views sociology as one of the most important areas that are key to poverty eradication and wealth creation through social development programmes.
As you may be aware, broadly, the social development function is related to as social transformation of poor and vulnerable societies of the world. As such the role of sociologists in this endeavor cannot be overemphasized. The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy overriding philosophy is poverty reduction through sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development. Its framework which has five broad themes include social protection and social development. It is therefore this strategy that acts as a single reference point for policy makers in government, the private sector, civil society organizations, donors, cooperating partners and the general public on socio-economic growth and development in Malawi.

In government, social development turns out to be a function of various ministries and departments both at district and national level. Government therefore identified skills training and social security as priority areas for social transformation in Malawi.

The Ministries involved are Labour- through the establishment of village polytechnics which are taken as one potential area for skills transfer on gender basis; Health- through such programmes as HIV/AIDS, TB, Diarrhoea, use of contraceptives and child vaccinations; Education, Science and Technology- through increased enrolment, retention rate, reduced absenteeism, provision of quality professional training, vocational and skills training; Women and Child Development- through ensuring participation of women and men , girls and boys to reduce gender inequality; Youth, Sports and Culture- through Youth empowerment and HIV/ AIDS awareness; Irrigation and Water Development; Elderly and People with disabilities; Agriculture and Food Security; Economic planning and development and Local Government and Rural Development through the establishment of rural growth centres.

With several existing players tackling different programmes across government which are dealing with social development, government is charged with the responsibility of providing policy direction on all matters in the sector in order to produce and transform the Malawi society, with particular focus on the poor and vulnerable groups, into a gender responsive skilled and self reliant society capable of effectively contributing through participation in socio-economic development of the country.

Ladies and Gentlemen, government strives to achieve this by empowering communities to appreciate, access, participate in, manage and demand accountability in public and community based initiatives; protecting vulnerable persons from deprivation and livelihood risks; creating an enabling environment for increased employment opportunities and productivity for improved livelihoods and social security for all, especially the poor and vulnerable and ensuring that issues of inequality and exclusion in access to services across all sectors and at all levels are addressed.

Government also ensures that it monitors the mainstreaming of social development issues in social development programmes across sectors.

All these initiatives are aimed at empowering Malawians economically and reducing poverty through wealth creation.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a big task therefore lies before you as you intend to join the public sector to come up with fresh programmes, mechanisms and strategies in the system to improve the social development sector in view of such challenges as globalization and other international, regional and national trends impacting on our society.
You are today’s leaders and coming up with social development responsive interventions that support reduction in the vulnerability, inequality and powerlessness of the poor and strengthening them to manage and cope with livelihood risks that they face will ensure sustainable development.

Government therefore welcomes you to join the public sector and expects your meaningful contribution towards socio-economic development of the country

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


By Eunice Chipangula

Migration management has always been the bone of contention in countries in the region as well as internationally. Migration in itself is not a problem, but a phenomenon as old as history. As the trends indicate, it is likely to increase in future and this calls for strategies to regulate or govern it and not how to stop it.
Migration becomes a contentious issue particularly when it comes to labour matters. Migrants have in one way or another been viewed as a threat by the host society in terms of competition in accessing jobs and other social amenities or as criminals or terrorists. This is so because irregular (illegal) migration has generally been bringing about problems such as undermining of respect of national sovereignty, the integrity of borders, legal channels of border crossing and the rights of states to determine who will enter their territory or not; lack of respect for the rule of law; trafficking and human smuggling across borders and widespread corruption at borders and amongst enforcement agents whereby migrants obtain false documentation or pay bribes in order to avoid arrest and deportation.
Other problems include exploitation by employers of vulnerable migrants who are afraid of reporting violations of their rights to authorities; undermining of labour legislation since irregular migrants are used to undercut local workers and collective agreements and growing hostility and resentment towards migrants leading to violence against them, including those who are legally in a country such as refugees.
This has therefore exposed migrants to various forms of abuse, exploitation through forced labour, constraints on acquired rights of social security and their portability, discrimination and xenophobia. The most affected have always been women migrants in irregular status and trafficked persons.
Many governments in the SADC region have therefore been viewing migration as a significant and growing problem in the region. However, after a careful analysis of the issue, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the international community now see migration as a positive factor provided it is regulated well. The AU/EU joint declaration ministerial meeting made in Tripoli in 2006 on migration and development argues that “well managed migration is of benefit to both Africa and the EU and can help with the achievement of Millennium Development Goals in the area of labour migration”. It focuses on brain drain, its consequences and possibilities for mitigation and that migrants human rights be respected and promoted.
In view of globalization and other international trends, the benefits migration has brought to countries of migrant origin and destination cannot be ignored. In countries of origin, migration has in some instances reduced pressures on labour markets in labour surplus countries; brought in some returns in the form of skills, savings, social capital and investments; mobilization of transnational communities through investments overseas; transfer of skills and technology and has helped but not solved the problem of decent work deficits and lack of development.
In destination countries, migration has helped to tackle population decline and ageing; supported social security and welfare systems; addressed labour shortages; promoted entrepreneurship and therefore growth; promoted cultural and social diversity and contributed to fiscal systems.
It is also a well known fact that despite such benefits to both countries of origin and destination, there have been challenges. Treatment and protection of migrant workers leaves a lot to be desired, brain drain from developing countries especially health care drain, brain waste (lack of qualification recognition), growth of irregular migration, poor integration of migrants in host societies and poor governance of migration have been the other side of the coin of migration.
On the overall respect for migrant rights is essential for ensuring and sharing the benefits from migration.
“Current migration policies in many countries favour skilled at the expense of low skilled workers leading to serious brain drain for developing countries, channeling a substantial number to irregular economy, dramatic increase in trafficking and smuggling of human beings and preventing development benefits to the poor”, a senior migration specialist at the ILO office in Geneva, Piyasin Wickramasekara observes.
It is in this context that ILO approaches labour migration as a labour market and decent work issue through its work with labour ministries internationally, by encouraging a tripartite (government, employer, worker involvement) approach in migration issues, rights based approach and pioneered international instruments, multilateral framework on labour migration in 2006 and international cooperation.
The ILO 2004 resolution on migrant workers and the multilateral framework on labour migration provides a criteria for a sound and credible labour migration policy regime as one consistent with protection of rights of migrant workers in line with international instruments; based on recognition of mutual benefits; in line with labour market needs and expanding avenues for regular/ legal migration, building a public consensus on need for migrant workers. It is also based on circulation and mobility friendly migration policies; bilateral, regional and international cooperation; according greater role for social partners and civil society; decent work for migrants and facilitating migration by choice and not by need. In general, ILO is advocating for unilateralism, bilateralism and multilateralism when it comes to managing labour migration issues. Unilateralism through the establishment of national migration legislations and regulations within states, bilateralism through formal or informal bilateral labour agreements between origin and destination states of migrants and multilateralism through regional protocols and other international instruments on migration and labour signed and ratified by states.
Within the Sadc region, all countries have their own national immigration/migration legislation and regulations. The majority of the laws on immigration use an integrated system to grant permission for temporary employment, where the regulation of a person’s right to enter and reside in the country is combined with the right to work. Sometimes, persons who are granted a temporary residence permit for a purpose other than employment may also be granted permission to work. But generally, most Sadc countries explicitly take into account the effect of expatriate employment on domestic workers either directly through the consideration of domestic employment as a factor in the decision to grant the work permit or indirectly through a requirement of diligent search/advertisement for local workers.
Therefore in terms of regional efforts, Mr Arnold Chitambo, a Senior Official at the SADC Secretariat says there is need for Sadc to put in place policies, frameworks, legal instruments and structures to effectively manage migration.
“Sadc must move quickly to ensure ratification of the protocol on the facilitation of movement of persons in Sadc. It is also important to implement the directive of Sadc ministers of labour and social partners issued recently to develop a specific protocol on employment and labour which will contain issues of migration,” he says.
He also points out the need to seriously look at harmonization of policies to reduce inconsistencies as Sadc member states handle/manage issues of migration. “Collaboration in areas of brain drain, brain waste and remittances will ensure successful regional integration”, he says.
A representative of Sadc Employers groups John Mufukare from Zimbabwe says labour migration policies must be based on sound economic policies in view of the challenges brought about by each country’s economic status.
On his part, a government representative from Namibia Christian Horn says to ensure sustainable development in the region and positive contribution from migration, integrated policies on labour migration must be put in place in the region.
Workers representative from Swaziland Jan Sithole says migrants must be recognized as economic generators and taxpayers by treating them with dignity and regularizing their status and rights.
The bottom line here is therefore that a lot needs to be done in terms of harmonization of national policies, legislations within and among states if the region and the world are to effectively manage migration and reap benefits for both migrants and states that will result into successful integration. Since cross-border labour migration is one of the most visible forms of migration, it requires significant attention within and between states in the region. Regional structures, mechanisms need to be put in place to manage or regulate labour migration between member states through a joint collaborative regional initiative or bilateral and multilateral arrangements.
It is a well known fact that all states in the region have laws, policies and regulation that pertain to labour and migration separately. However, no states have any significant laws, policies and legislation that pertain to labour migration. There is therefore need for such significant laws, policies and regulations on labour migration.
The Sadc region and the world over need more and better migration policies- not more and better controls and policing.