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Migrant workers contribute to growth and development in their countries of destination, while countries of origin greatly benefit from their remittances and the skills acquired during their migration experience. Yet, the migration process implies complex challenges in terms of governance, migrant workers' protection, migration and development linkages, and international cooperation. The ILO works to forge policies to maximize the benefits of labour migration for all those involved. In many countries, skilled health and social care workers feel they must leave their families behind and work abroad to earn a decent income. They brave exploitation and discrimination, and their departure weakens health and social services in their home community. PSI works with unions worldwide to protect migrant workers. PSI also works to improve wages and working conditions – to reduce the economic pressure to migrate, and to improve the quality of health and social services.
This meeting will discuss the current state of affairs in relation to labour migration of health workers in Russia and CIS / Eastern Europe and its impact on health service delivery. It will also address the role of municipal services in terms of providing assistance to labour migrants and their integration, the role of trade unions in this respect, and share best practices. We will also discuss the issues of public budget cuts and privatization of health services, which often have a negative impact on working conditions, collective bargaining rights, agreements and their implementation, in connection with the right to organize of both migrant and local workers. Finally, we will also reflect on the role of trade unions in the region in view of the ongoing migration and refugee crisis. All these elements will contribute to the formulation of common actions to strengthen existing cooperation, building on on-going PSI, EPSU and ILO Programmes and global, regional and national plans of action.