Friday, 13 October 2017

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) Thematic Session 6, which focused on “Irregular migration and regular pathways, including decent work, labour mobility, recognition of skills and qualifications and other relevant measures”, was marked by four complementary statements delivered by Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, representing the Colombo Process Member States.

At this last GCM Thematic Session convened on 12-13 October 2017 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Nepal as the Chair of the Colombo Process and Bangladesh, the Philippines and Sri Lanka as the Chairs of the Colombo Process Thematic Area Working Groups (TAWGs) respectively on “Fostering Ethical Recruitment”, “Pre-departure Orientation and Empowerment (PDOE)”, and “Skills and Qualification Recognition Processes”, delivered concrete inputs and recommendations to promote safe, orderly and regular labour mobility.

The GCM Thematic Session 6 was regarded as particularly pertinent to the efforts of the Colombo Process since its specific thematic foci corresponded to the current thematic priorities of the Colombo Process. The Panel 2 of the session, under the theme of “decent work and labour mobility” encompassed the fair and ethical recruitment and the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families. Labour market needs and the recognition and validation of qualifications, skills and competencies were covered under the Panel 3 of the session.

Given the pertinence of this Thematic Session as an avenue to make its thematic recommendations reflected in the global level initiative, the Colombo Process through its TAWGs invested time and efforts to prepare the respective thematic inputs. Through the respective TAWG Chairs’ initiatives and the convening of TAWG meetings between August and September 2017, the inputs respectively for ethical recruitment, skills and qualification recognition, PDOE, and labour market analysis were prepared and presented at the Colombo Process Consultation on the GCM, which was convened on 13-14 September in Kathmandu, Nepal. The respective inputs were refined through the consultation discussions, consolidated as concrete recommendation points and reflected in the joint Colombo Process contribution to the GCM.

H.E. Deepak Dhital, Permanent Representative / Ambassador of Nepal to UN and Other International Organization in Geneva, through his statement emphasized the need to create synergy and complementarity of migration governance at all levels to make the world of work more inclusive and productive, and highlighted the importance of strengthening Regional Consultative Processes to enable them to act as a bridge of migration governance at different levels. He cited various important initiatives taken and best practices put in place by the Colombo Process in this regard.

Bangladesh through Mr. Mohammed Hossain, First Secretary (Labour) of its Geneva Permanent Mission to UN Office, delivered a statement as Chair of the TAWG on Fostering Ethical Recruitment. The statement encompassed 20 recommendations, covering the issues of aligning national legislation with international standards of fair and ethical recruitment, capacity building of licensed recruitment agencies and employers, use of technologies to promote cooperation with destination countries such as electronic contract validation systems, formulation of gender sensitive employment terms and conditions, and recognition of private sector initiatives.

A statement of the TAWG on PDOE was delivered by H. E. Evan P. Garcia, Permanent Representative / Ambassador of the Philippines to Geneva, representing the Philippines as the Chair of the TAWG. Through the statement, eight recommendations were made with regard to the rights of migrant workers and their families in view of international human rights and labour instruments, the significance of orientations to empower migrant workers to make informed decisions and maximize the benefits of migration, the importance of a comprehensive approach to orientations through collaboration between origin and destination countries, and the promotion of social protection mechanisms for migrant workers and families. 

Regarding a statement of the TAWG on Skills and Qualification Recognition, Sri Lanka represented by Mr. W. M.V. Wansekara, Additional General Manager – International Affairs, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, presented ten recommendations. These recommendations emphasized the importance of mutual recognition of skills and qualification frameworks between origin and destination countries, the recognition of prior learning for migrant workers which can facilitate their reintegration upon return, the incorporation of soft skills in the process of skilling migrant workers, and the consideration of occupation- and gender-specific realities and outcomes in the design of skills training and recognition programmes.

The delivery of the statements were coordinated by the Permanent Mission/ Embassy of Nepal in Geneva so as to ensure synergies. This coordinated delivery of the statements showcased that the different countries lead the thematic priorities of the Colombo Process by leveraging their respective experiences and expertise and highlighted the level of collaboration achieved by the Colombo Process Member States.

The full statements are downloadable from the links below.



Statement by Nepal as the Chair of the Colombo Process

Statement by Bangladesh as the the Chair of the TAWG on Fostering Ethical Recruitment

Statement by the Philippines as the Chair of the TAWG on Pre-departure Orientation and Empowerment

Statement by Sri Lanka as the Chair of the TAWG on Skills and Qualification Recognition