03.12.2008 General News

Migration Experts meet in Accra

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Mr Kenwuud Nuworsu, Deputy Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, on Wednesday noted that issues of international migration had assumed both public and international interest and concern due to the growing link between migration and development.

Speaking at the Second Steering Committee Meeting of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), he said, “the issue of migration is as old as human existence and as complex as human behaviour”.

Mr. Nuworsu said what was required to make it mutually beneficial to both the sending and receiving nations was public-private partnership; inter-governmental agency cooperation; and bilateral and multilateral arrangements.

He said interest was generated in migration because of its socio-economic and political implications buttressed by the importance being attached to it by development economies, international financial remittances and its legal and cultural implications.

“No one person, country or organization could handle this complex and compelling subject,” he added.

The meeting, sponsored by the European Union and the Italian government was under the theme; “Facilitating a Coherent Migration Management Approach in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Libya by promoting Legal Migration and preventing further Irregular Migration.”

Mr Nuworsu said the absence of a coherent national regulation and coordinated operation of state institutions in the management of migration and foreign employment of migrant labour had resulted in the meting out of inhuman treatment and exploitation of compatriots and other citizens from the sub-region in foreign countries.

He announced that Ghana was working on common standard procedures and policies within the framework of Memorandum of Understanding to legally export skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour to some needy countries such as South-Korea, Libya, Spain and Italy.

He said collaboration efforts were also far advanced to establish overseas agencies to facilitate affective legal-migration, and expressed the hope that Ghana would take advantage of IOM programmes to formulate a coherent national policy and programme.

Germana Viglietta, Head of Division III, General Directorate for Immigration, Italian Ministry of Labour, Health, and Social Policies, identified lack of a system of organized transfer/exchange of exact and updated information on labour market needs and characteristics of manpower as problems facing migration policy management.

She said that, lack in the communication flow did not allow for the creation of appropriate preconditions for a system of labour migration management.

Those gaps, she said, fostered fertile environment for illegal migration, which could then also create an obstacle for migrant workers to be regularly hired and integrated in the destination country.

“It is crucial to solve the problem represented by the lack of exchange between representatives of the labour demand and supply, to fine tune, with all parties involved, the most adequate tools to meet the goal and to define shared rules of engagement and the communication flow between parties,” she added.

Mr. Filiberto Ceriani, Head of European Commission to Ghana, said a new joint migration and development initiative between the EC and the United Nations was launched to complement the international dialogue on the benefits of migration for development by supporting civil society and local government actors to be innovative and to scale-up existing grassroots initiatives.

The joint initiative, he said, had four focus areas, namely: remittances; migrants' capacities and skills; migrants' communities and networks; and migrants' rights.

He said the programme intended to capture lessons learnt and good practices and to feed them into policy decisions through an innovative knowledge management programme. Mr. Filiberto said the EC would continue to support the Euro-African dialogue on migration and development and also continue to act as a driving force in ensuring that it took the form of cooperation initiatives.

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