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Labour Migration is a Decent Work Issue

28 November 2011
A 40-member strong delegation of trade unionists will participate in three related events: the Fifth Global Forum on Migration and Development Civil Society Days, the Global Unions Forum on Migration and the People’s Global Action on Migration, Human Rights and Development from 29 November to 2 December in Geneva, Switzerland. PSI is leading the delegation together with sister global unions BWI, EI and ITUC.

This year’s GFMD Civil Society Days, focusing on the theme “Taking Action on Labour Migration, Development and the Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families,” will bring together 200 civil society delegates to discuss and make recommendations to governments in the areas of rights-based policy making for the benefit of migrant workers and their families, protection for undocumented migrant workers, labour mobility and development alternatives to migration.
“Trade unions are demanding governments shift their migration policies to ensure that they contribute to decent work objectives,” says Peter Waldorff, General Secretary of PSI, who heads the trade union delegation.

“However, labour migration should not replace decent work opportunities in home countries. Governments must strive to provide quality public services and sustainable jobs in the place where people live, so that migration only becomes an option, and not a dire necessity.”
At the Global Unions Forum on Migration, trade union delegates will build strategies towards the 2013 UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development, which will determine the future of the GFMD. The trade union movement is critical of the GFMD as it maintains a non-binding and exclusionary process led by governments.

“We want to see the global governance of migration brought back into the framework of the UN system, under the International Labour Organization,” says Annie Geron, PSI Vice President. “The ILO has the institutional mandate to protect migrant workers through a strong multilateral governance mechanism that puts decent work at the heart of migration policies.”

Trade unionists will join international and Swiss civil society members in workshops and public mobilisation as part of the Geneva Peoples’ Global Action on Migration, Human Rights and Development on 2 December.

For more information:
Global Unions Statement at the Fifth Global Forum on Migration and Development
GFMD Civil Society Days (www.gfmdcivilsociety.org).
Peoples’ Global Action on Migration and Development (www.migrantwatch.org)
Contact: Genevieve.Gencianos@world-psi.org
Coordinator, PSI International Migration and Health and Social Care Workers Programme

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