NIAMEY, Niger, November 30, 2021 / APO Group / –
In a step towards the regularization of labor migration, Libya and Niger today signed a memorandum of understanding that seeks to protect migrant workers by effectively issuing work visas before employment and better responding to the needs of the Libyan labor market.
“Bilateral collaboration plays a key role in promoting the labor rights of Nigerian migrants in Libya, to improve their working conditions and thus facilitate remittances to their communities of origin, through an economy and contribute to the development of their country of origin through remittances, ”said Barbara Rijks, Head of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Niger. “It will also contribute to combat the smuggling of migrants and human trafficking and promote safe and regular migration routes.”
Federico Soda, IOM Libya Head of Mission, said that it is essential to strengthen coordination and cooperation mechanisms in managing migration and labor mobility across countries’ borders. “There are more than 600,000 international migrants in Libya, with Nigerian citizens the most prominent group with 20 percent,” he said. “They play a critical role in providing a critical workforce in the Libyan economy and contribute to the development of their home country through remittances.”
According to an IOM report on the nature of migration dynamics between Libya, Chad and Niger, crossing the Sahara desert is one of the most dangerous migratory journeys in the world. Migration routes are remote and vehicle breakdowns and threats from bandits are frequent. Migrants often travel spontaneously, following in the footsteps of migration centuries before them, often without documents or legal status.
In response to these risks, IOM has worked closely with the governments of Libya and Niger to strengthen their capacities in various areas, including labor migration, migration data and the protection of migrants. The Organization has also acted as a facilitator to enhance policies and active dialogue and international cooperation mechanisms on labor mobility to foster partnership and support legal frameworks that will protect the rights of migrant workers.
IOM has also supported the organization of a round table today between the Libyan Minister of Labor and officials from the Ministry of Labor of Chad, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. Building on Niger’s experience, the aim is to foster dialogue and pave the way towards the establishment of an international cooperation framework in the field of labor mobility between Libya and key source countries.
These events are funded by the European Union Regional Development Protection Program (RDPP) and supported by the Delegation of the European Union in Libya.
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