Greater coordiantion needed to protect migrants' rights

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Dubai, Jan 22: Delegates attending the 'Abu Dhabi Dialogue' have called for greater coordination and cooperation between the labour-exporting and importing countries with a view to providing more security to the migrant workers.

Labour ministers and senior officials from 21 countries, including India, yesterday took part in the opening day's session of the two-day ''Ministerial Consultations on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia: The Abu Dhabi Dialogue''. Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi had been recommending on improving the market for temporary contractual labour.

Yousef Abdul Ghani, assistant under-secretary of the UAE's Ministry of Labour said, ''We want the labour exporting countries to make efforts to protect their workers' rights by regulating the mobility process and informing the workers of their rights and obligations according to the contracts.'' The dialogue would enable the participating countries to arrive at an understanding, which could be translated into bilateral or multilateral agreements, to regulate the workers' mobility, Khaleej times quoted Indian Organisation for Migration (IOM) spokesperson Jean-Philippe Chauzy as saying.

''The Abu Dhabi Dialogue will discuss the entire cycle of temporary contractual labour, beginning and ending with national and human development,'' Labour Minister Ali Abdullah Al Ka'abi had earlier said.

The meeting holds importance against the backdrop of exploitation faced by the migrant workers in the Gulf. It is the first time that a labour-receiving country has hosted the meeting.

US based NGO Human Rights Watch had urged officials to establish equal protection for domestic workers under labour laws and reform of the sponsorship system that makes it difficult for workers to change jobs or leave the country without consent. It also urged countries of origin to monitor recruitment agencies and labour-receiving states to give migrants access to justice.


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