African Trade Unions converge in Abuja to discuss emerging migration issues  


By Michael Oche 
Trade Union migration experts will converge in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city as they seek to develop new strategies in deepening the protection of the rights of migrant workers.
The Trade Unionists under the umbrella of African Trade Union Migration Network (ATUMNET) said the two-day meeting which it described as “strategic” will hold 25 – 27 May, 2022.
The ATUMNET is a platform for all national trade union organisations in the 52 of the 55 African countries affiliated to the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) and are engaged on migration issues.
Nigerian Pilot reports that the Network has over the years built the capacities of  trade unions migration focal persons and has been championing advocacy campaign for improved welfare for migrant workers from Africa.
According to a letter addressed to participants by ITUC-Africa General Secretary, Kwasi Adu‐Amankwa, given the role migrant workers have to play in recovery efforts in the post Covid-19 era, it is important for trade unions to seek out ways to ensure the rights of migrant workers, especially domestic workers, are well protected.
Comrade Adu-Amankwa explained that trade unions have taken several positive and pragmatic initiatives to assist migrants, migrant workers, members of their families, as well as their communities, to cope with the lingering effects of the COVID‐19 pandemic which particularly impacts the enjoyment of their human and labour rights.
He said the Abuja meeting will therefore enable trade unions discuss and devise ways and means to contribute to the effective implementation of the ILO Fair Recruitment Initiative (FRI) as a process of
actualizing and deepening the protection of the rights of migrant workers.

The meeting will also take stock of the 2022 IMRF (key challenges and emerging issues) and to identify systematic ways that trade unions and CSOs can further their contributions to attaining the GCM Objectives that ATUMNET has selected for
critical focus.
The letter reads further: “Late last year, in Dakar, Senegal, when and where the last ATUMNET meeting was held, it was agreed that the network will work more closely with Trade Unions and CSOs from countries of Origin and nations to make real and tangible impacts in the protection of the rights of migrant workers, especially domestic workers who are seldom seen and accessible for support.

“Given the urgency to help build and improve recovery efforts, the first meeting of the African Trade Union Migration Network (ATUMNET) in the year 2022 will be convened with a view toward the attainment of the following objectives:

“To quickly review actions and activities of the ATUMNET from December 2021 till May 2022 in terms of identifying results, challenges and opportunities.”