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Monday, January 30, 2017

Four declarations to manage temporary labour contractual agreements

The Fourth "Abu Dhabi Dialogue" Consultative Ministerial Meeting reached four directives as per ‘The Colombo Declaration Draft’ which acts as a collaborative agenda for the next two-year cycle (2017 – 2018) tackling projects and initiatives relating to temporary labour contracts between countries of origin and destination in Asia.

The cooperation aims to enhance the outcomes of temporary contract employment in our region and improving the quality of the lives of workers and their families, and over the credibility that the Abu Dhabi Dialogue process today enjoys at a regional and international levels and the respect and support it receives from various international organizations.

This came at the conclusion of the meeting, which was held recently in Colombo, Sri Lankan, with the participation of H.E Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation alongside other ministers of labour and participating members delegations from, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman and Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

The first declaration tackled issues related to labour recruitment, as practices associated with the contract workers in our region’s corridors continue to represent a challenge and to compromise shared goal of fair and equitable governance of labour mobility. The meeting declared to lend priority to regional cooperation aimed at promoting lawful, fair and transparent labour recruitment practices and further empowering member governments to scrutinize and prevent unlawful practices and to hold to account any and all non-compliant actors in recruitment processes.

Secondly, on skill certification and mutual recognition, the board recognizing that training and skill development have become essential, both as an imperative for successful national employment policies in Asian countries of origin and to accommodate the growing need for skilled workers in the GCC’s transition to knowledge economies.

The certification of workers’ skills across all phases of the contract employment cycle is empowering to workers and employers alike, And builds on the progress achieved in implementing the Pilot Project on Skills Development, Certification, and Recognition.

Furthermore, the declaration sheds light on the use of technology to facilitate and improve the outcomes of labour mobility in Asia, following the increased use of technology and digital platforms by member states in administering labour mobility, as well as the development and deployment of successfully shared platforms by pairs of ADD governments, notably the Musanid platform developed by KSA and jointly implemented by KSA with Bangladesh and other member states.

And finally, the declaration advocates global consultations on the adoption of a  Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Especially referring to the large labour mobility flows in the Asia- GCC corridors and the immense contribution the mobility of temporary contract workers has made and is expected to continue to make to the development of countries of origin and destination alike.

It’s worth mentioning that back in 2008, The United Arab Emirates had taken the groundbreaking step of hosting an inaugural Ministerial Consultation in Abu Dhabi of Asian destination countries with the Colombo Process states on the theme “Contractual Labour Mobility in Asia: Key Partnerships for Development between Countries of Origin and Destination.” The meeting was meant to highlight the potential of contractual labour mobility to benefit overseas workers as well as the development of both countries of origin and destination in Asia.

This Ministerial Meeting brought together for the first time the Colombo Process states with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, plus Yemen and two additional Asian countries of destination, namely Malaysia and Singapore, in the first meeting of the “Abu Dhabi Dialogue”.

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