The Government of Kenya supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), hosted a one-day consultative workshop that brought together various key stakeholders to discuss labour mobility in the East African Community (EAC).
The workshop was organized to sensitise stakeholders on an ongoing comparative study in the region supported by IOM consultants, who are undertaking a research on factors which promote, impede and undermine the mobility of labour in the EAC region.
The workshop held on 14 September in Nairobi, brought together various key stakeholders such as the National Coordination Mechanism on Migration (NCM), the Department of Immigration Services, the Department of Civil Registration, National Employment Authority, as well as, the African Migration and Development Policy Center and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights among other partners.
The workshop also provided a platform to discuss roles of stakeholders present on labour migration management within the national and international context, as well as agree on modalities for data collection in light of the study.
Speaking at the event, Head of IOM Kenya Country Office, Mr. Michael Pillinger stated: “Harmonizing both national and regional policies is a key factor in promoting safe and legal migration”.
He added: “Labour migration needs to be seen as catalyser towards stable economic development in which Governments efforts require support from international partnerships.”
The participants further discussed the need to share data from government agencies with non- state actors. The establishment of the Kenya Labour Market Information System in July 2017 was lauded as a good practice by the participants.
They noted that the system presented relevant and comprehensive labour market information that can be used to advise stakeholders in the country on existing skills, supply and demand in various sectors of the economy, as well as provide periodic reports on key labour market indicators in the countries in the region. Among the key outcomes of the workshop included the need for harmonized labour migration policies in the region, based on Annex II of the EAC Common Market Protocol on Free Movement of Workers.
The workshop was conducted as part of the on-going IOM Development Fund regional project on Labour Mobility which aims to support the EAC towards greater harmonization of national and regional policy.
The project:“Supporting Labour mobility in the East African Community: Operationalizing the
Common Market Protocol Provisions on the Free Movement of Persons and Labour,” aims to support legislative and institutional frameworks on free movement of persons and labour identified in Annex I and II of the EAC Common Market Protocol.
Similar workshops will be held in Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi on 25 September, 3 and 5 October 2017 respectively, with a validation workshop planned after the data collection process is complete.