Kathmandu, September 13
A two-day meeting of labour sending countries in Asia began today in Kathmandu with the objective of developing a joint contribution to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration preparatory process.
Senior officials of the Colombo Process Member States, who are responsible for supporting their countries’ endeavours to protect and promote the rights of their labour migrants going abroad, enhance migration governance and engage in the GCM process are aiming to come up with a set of actionable recommendations as per the expert level meeting of September 8 and recommendations to address priority issues and challenges in the GCM.
The discussions and recommendations will be based on the five thematic areas of the Colombo Process: skills and qualification recognition processes of labour migrants; fostering ethical recruitment; effective pre-departure orientation and empowerment for migrant workers; remittances; and international labour market analysis, read a press release issued by the International Organisation for Migration, Nepal, today.
The meeting will dwell on an opportunity for the Colombo Process Member States to provide the GCM with their collective experiences and effective practices to address migration challenges and opportunities and ensure that the regional perspective is reflected in the final outcome of the GCM process.
The outcome of this meeting — the joint Colombo Process contribution to the GCM — will be shared at the regional United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific consultation in Bangkok, Thailand, and submitted for consideration at the GCM stocktaking meeting in Mexico.
The Colombo Process is a Regional Consultative Process on migration comprising 12 Asian labour sending countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam — and is currently chaired by Nepal. Six of Colombo Process Member States are among the top 11 remittance-receiving countries in the world. The UN Migration Agency provides technical expertise to the Colombo Process.
Inaugurating the meeting, State Minister for Labour and Employment Dilli Bahadur Chaudhary said, “While we discuss our common position and recommendations to move ahead, we must not forget that the migrants from our countries immensely contribute to the development, prosperity and diversity of the transit and destination countries.”
He added, “This is an opportune time for us as the Colombo Process Member States to strongly raise the common concerns of our migrants and suggest better options to address the issue which will also be beneficial for the transit and destination countries to better manage the migrants and in providing services to the migrants.”
The meeting is hosted by the Government of Nepal Ministry of Labour and Employment and supported by the IOM and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
A version of this article appears in print on September 14, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.