According to a press release by United Nations Information Centre in Islamabad, the resource centers have been established with the support of International Labour Organization – European Union funded project “South Asia Labour Migration Governance” (SALM) and the ICMPD/EU funded project “Silk Routes Partnership for Migration”.
A three-day induction training has also being organized to quip the staff of the two Migrant Resource Centers with adequate knowledge and skills on how to best serve their clients from October 28 to October 30.
“One of the most effective ways to combat common abuses of migrant such as underpayment of wages, confiscation of passports, substandard working conditions and confinement in the workplace, is to ensure that migrants are equipped with knowledge and strategies to safeguard their labour- and human rights throughout the migration cycle”, the release read.
The statement stated that the centers will provide a range of support services to (potential) migrant and their families including information, counseling, referral and pre-departure orientation.
Khizer Hayat Khan, Secretary of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, said that Pakistan can be characterized as pro-emigration and that every year thousands of Pakistanis migrate mostly to the countries listed in the Gulf Cooperation Council in search of work opportunities.
He added that The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development is making efforts to improve its governance mechanisms, works hard to better regulate recruitment mechanisms and improve pre-departure orientation.
Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan’s Head of Cooperation Bernard Francois said that the European Union firmly believes in the rule of law, applied to every dimension of law, and in particular labour laws. We firmly believe in the need of providing reliable information on overseas employment opportunities, in order to build the capacity to match qualified job seekers with foreign employers, reduce migration cost, and protect migrant workers from abuse and exploitation in country of origin and destination as well.
Programme Analyst of ILO Pakistan Belinda Chanda said that the centres re essential to provide protection to migrant workers and their families from exploitation during recruitment and employment. She added that the labour organization is dealing with labour migration issues since its inception in 1919 and has pioneered international conventions to guide migration policy and protection of migrant workers.
“All major sectors of the ILO – standards, employment, social protection and social dialogue – work on labour migration within its overarching framework of Decent Work for All. The ILO adopts a rights-based approach to labour migration and promotes tripartite participation in migration policy”, Chanda added.