Migrants need to be better informed and prepared for jobs abroad
Dushanbe, May 21, 2012 – A three day regional conference on migration started today in Dushanbe, bringing together around 50 participants from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries to exchange knowledge and experience and enhance regional collaboration on labor migration policies. This is the third regional event organized by the World Bank under the auspices of the Migration and Remittances Peer-assisted Learning Network (MiRPAL) and co-funded by the Central Asian Regional Migration Program (CARMP) of the UK Department for International Development.
Labor migration in Emerging Europe and Central Asia has become more pronounced in the last decade and requires coordinated interventions across the region. “In the aftermath of the global economic crisis, a more active role of the state in addressing migration policies and programs at domestic and regional level to protect the welfare of migrants has become critically important,” said Philippe Le Houérou, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, opening the MiRPAL conference.
The Third Regional MiRPAL Conference has been divided into two parts: (1) strategic plenary sessions focusing on the Role of the State in Managing Labor Migration Programs, and (2) a two-day technical workshop on Preparing Workers for Jobs Abroad: Role of Sending and Receiving Countries. In addition, the conference is also serving as a backdrop for discussion of ongoing and future activities of MiRPAL in the region.
In particular, the event is focused on the review of recent developments in labor migration and remittances in Emerging Europe and Central Asia, as well as their implications for labor market policies. Yvonne Tsikata, Director for Economic Policy for the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region stated that “remittance flows have been more stable during the crisis relative to other external flows. Hence, migration and remittances continue to be a key pillar of development strategy for many countries in the region. The World Bank and other international partners stand ready to support the design and implementation of policies that maximize the benefits of migration.”
The state’s role in developing an appropriate pre-departure infrastructure and social integration programs is crucial for a successful labor migration management mechanism. "Labor migration is not a problem to be solved but a process to be managed," said Manolo Abella, former Director of Migration Department in the International Labor Organization in Geneva. “If states can manage migration in such a way as to complement national resources and enhance productivity, and ensure decent work for all workers and greater security for their families, then migration will benefit all."
Regional collaboration and development of a common strategy to complement country specific priorities in managing labor migration is necessary to protect migrant workers and prepare job seekers for work abroad. “Despite the progress our country has made in policies and programs to improve migration management, our efforts need to be complemented by regional efforts to help protect the welfare of migrants,” said Matlubkhon Davlatov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan, in his opening remarks.
Participants of the event will have an opportunity to share their country specific experiences, hear from the leading international experts and practitioners in the field of labor migration and remittances, and observe pre-departure orientation workshops in action at the Adult Training Center of Dushanbe. Brainstorming sessions will help compile a set of possible strategies and approaches in facilitation of the labor migration mechanisms. In aggregate, the workshop aims at developing a specific action plan on creating an infrastructure for pre-departure training of migrants for better migration outcomes.
According to Sudharshan Canagarajah, World Bank Lead Economist and MIRPAL Program Coordinator, “addressing migration-related challenges requires specific policies not only in sending but also in receiving countries, in order to prepare workers for jobs abroad. This will be an integral part of MiRPAL work in the CIS countries over the coming year.”
MiRPAL is a peer-assisted learning network for migration practitioners in the CIS countries and is set up to collect, analyze, deepen, create, and share knowledge on migration issues as well as provide a forum for cross-country collaboration as a means to refine and harmonize approaches in order to initiate and guide CIS migration policies and practices. Currently, MiRPAL brings together nine CIS countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.