By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Nigerian representative in the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU ECOSOCC) and the Chairperson, Social Affairs and Health Cluster, Dr. Tunji Asaolu, has been appointed a member of the African Labour Migration Advisory Committee (AULMAC).
The committee is established by the organ of the AU to promote and protect the rights of migrant workers and members of their families.
The committee members consist of one representative each of the regional economic communities, a representative of the Pan African Parliament, a representative of ECOSOCC, a representative of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, a representative of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of Welfare of the Children, one representative each from OATUU, ITUC- Africa, Business Afica, ILO, IOM, ECA, universities and research institutions, Women Cross Border Traders, and two representatives from the African Diaspora Organisations.
The committee will ensure and monitor the effective implementation of the AUC-ILO-IOM-ECA Joint Labour Migration Governance for Integration and Development; facilitate harmonisation of labour, social security and fiscal legal frameworks that promote and protect the rights of migrant workers between countries.
In a statement issuedÂ on TuesdayÂ by the Special Assistant on Media to the Chairperson, Mr. Olasunkanmi Oba, said Asaolu, who is one of the 22 members, is representing the AU ECOSOCC and is expected to serve in the next five years with the mandate of ensuring the follow-up on the implementation, promotion and protection of the rights of migrant workers and members of their families enshrined in the appropriate AU and International Charters and protocols.
This, he noted, is to progressively achieve the free movement of persons, and to ensure the enjoyment of the right of residence, the right of establishment and access to legal employment in host countries according to the Abuja Treaty, July 1991.
Speaking on his appointment, Asaolu stressed that labour migration has played an important role in filling skill gaps and labour needs in several sectors of member states’ economy.
He said: “There is the need for Africa to develop an up to date labour migration management policies and principles in view of improving policy frameworks and legal instruments at all levels which is one of our major responsibilities as members of the committee.
“I want to commend the AUC for taking this bold step that will ensure that the continent and its labour force enjoy the best of labour migration management.
“Africans have huge potentials in agriculture, fishing, tourism, trade, construction and other sectors contributing to economic development in the continent and these should be guided seriously to ensure that beneficial feed-back effects of migration such as remittances, knowledge and skills transfers, and return migration that can make major contributions to economies of origin countries are properly handled.
“Hence, promotion and protection of the rights of migrant workers call for our action. It can be easily foreseen that the accelerated industrialisation, progress in services industries and free movement of goods and persons in the continent, will increase labour mobility and migration in the continent. Within the framework of the AU Migration Policy Framework and the AU-ILO-IOM-ECA Joint Programme on Labour Migration, we will enhance the protection of the rights of migrant workers. The Labour Migration Advisory Committee will play a central role following its inaugural meeting in Dakar, in May 2018.”