NLC, TUC set to validate Trade Unions Labour Migration Policy in Nigeria

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By Michael Oche

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have concluded plans to validate the Trade Unions Labour Migration Policy.

The move will assist trade unions in Nigeria institutionalise Labour Migration issues and mainstreaming them into their structures and operations.

The Policy was developed with support from the ILO-ACTRAV Abuja Office to guide trade unions engagement on Labour Migration and will also strengthen trade union voices in migration governance in Nigeria.

Our correspondent reports that while the Nigerian Government has intensified its roles in Migration Governance and developed two key policies; National Migration Policy in 2015, and the National Policy on Labour Migration in 2014.

However, for Trade Unions’ specific activities and effectiveness in Labour Migration governance, there is no policy to regulate Trade Unions. The slow pace of Trade Unions’ involvement in labour migration governance partly explains the veritable challenge of statistical data on labour migration indicators. It hinders the effective management of organised labour migration in the country.

With the Trade Unions Labour Migration Policy set to be validated, Trade Unions’ drive for a rights-based approach to labour migration with be strengthened.

“For Trade Unions, the primary concern is about the protection and defense of workers’ human and labour rights and the entrenchment of the Decent Work Agenda, including Migrant Workers and their families,” a joint statement by the NLC and TUC noted.

It stated further that, “Historical labour migration is now a growing phenomenon, especially International Labour Migration. It has become a policy priority issue, giving rise to a need for labour market institutions, including trade unions, to respond equitably to the interests of migrant workers in countries of origin and countries of destination, as well as to the interests of migrant workers.”

The statement explained that for Trade Unions to be effective in the migration sphere, they must develop and adopt policies based on substantial evidence, taking into account the peculiarities, dynamism and emerging issues, including the number of international migrant workers involved, their characteristics, and their employment patterns.

To develop the Trade Unions Labour Migration Policy, experiences were shared from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment on the overview of the National Policy on Labour Migration (2014), the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) on the development of their Trade Union Labour Migration Policy and its roadmap, Public Services International (PSI) Nigeria Office on policy issues and gender mainstreaming, and ITUC-Africa Deputy General Secretary on identification of key areas for the policy options.