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Monday, 03 December 2018 05:23


Validation workshop looks at national migration policy


With growing concerns surrounding working conditions of some migrant workers in the country, the Ministry of Employment, Immigration and Civil Status initiated a validation workshop in regards to the new Seychelles National Labour Migration Policy.

Present were stakeholders from the health, business, tourism and financial sectors as well as from trade unions and recruitment agencies.

The half-day workshop was held at the SITE auditorium and was kicked off by opening remarks from the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) assistant director general and regional director for Africa Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon and the principal secretary for employment Jules Baker.

The Seychelles National Labour Migration Policy is a comprehensive policy which incorporates all previous policies together for a more cohesive approach to the flow of migrant workers in the country.

It has been conceptualised in line with the international standards and recommendations set by the ILO and the conventions signed by Seychelles.

Vanessa Dugasse, the director of labour migration at the department of employment, describes a migrant worker as any foreign person who comes to Seychelles to work for a set period of time which can be extended.

She explains that the policy has been in the works for over four years and stressed that incidents concerning migrant workers over the past few months have not been the catalyst to the finalisation of this policy.

However Ms Dugasse acknowledged that these unfortunate incidents have played a role in boosting public support as well as that from politicians and the private sector towards the realisation of the policy.

The policy is meant to contribute to the long-term vision of sustainable development for the country by enhancing the benefits of labour migration and minimising its negative impacts for the country’s economy, society as well as for the migrants themselves.

The policy’s key objectives include:

  • Effective governance of labour migration through policy coherence between ministries, coherent legislative and regulatory frameworks as well as the establishment of solid bilateral relationships with countries of origins of migrant workers.
  • The protection of the rights of all workers.
  • Attracting, retaining and developing skills
  • Fair and effective recruitment

It has been established that Seychelles has experienced a significant rise in the in-flows of migrant workers and they now represent one-third of the country’s workforce -- the numbers stood at 21,000 at the end of August 2018.

Their contribution to the development of the economy has been undeniable and they have filled the gaps where Seychellois workers have not been able to.

But their presence have also brought forth certain challenges for the country such as poor working conditions of migrant workers and abuse of the certificate of entitlement or other employment policies where Seychellois workers are overlooked in favour of foreigners.

“What happened in Seychelles is that we developed so fast that we could not anticipate the pace or the number of migrant workers we would need. Now we are trying to catch up and this is why we are implanting these programmes,” Ms Dugasse explained.

She added that certain elements of the Seychelles National Labour Policy will need to be regulated in order to be effectively enforced and Ms Dugasse said that this will come in due time.

Upon completion of the validation process, the policy will be sent to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval after which it will be implemented.

“We are expecting that this policy will come into effect by January or latest February next year,” Ms Dugasse stated.


Complements of Seychelles NATION.

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