Labor ministers from East and Horn of Africa states on have singned an agreement to guide their countries on harmonization of migration policies.
The ministers who met in Nairobi during a regional forum on labor migration within and outside the region said the agreement will govern and facilitate safe, orderly and regular labor migration in line with international and regional standards.
“We have agreed to enforce regional and continental initiatives on freedom of movement to facilitate employment opportunities, stem irregular migration and counteract smuggling, trafficking and forced labor,” says Simon Chelugui, Cabinet Secretary for Labor and Correctional Services.
The ministers further agreed to establish interstate collaboration on diplomatic and consular assistance for migrant workers in countries where some member states do not have diplomatic representation.
The ministers promised to provide information on job opportunities in the area of labor migration and allocate necessary resources to ensure the protection needs of migrants are met in terms of legal assistance, emergency shelter, health, return and reintegration.
They also agreed to increase inter-ministerial coordination and collaboration on migration management agencies.
They further agreed to cooperate on intelligence gathering and share information to prevent smuggling, trafficking of migrants and combat transnational organized crime.
The ministers who were drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Rwanda and Burundi promised to post labor attaches to foreign countries for effective protection of human rights of migrant workers to address impunity, provide remedies and ensure the rule of law.