Lack of information, research, preparation and adequate analysis has placed the aspiring migrant worker in severe danger, says a recent report. The report by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Ghana has indicated that the lack of decent working conditions has compelled many Ghanaians to migrate to other parts of the world for better jobs.
The report cited the migrant worker’s vulnerability to illegal recruitment practices and harsh working conditions which are largely linked to lack of adequate information. ‘’The lack information about jobs available may expose them further as they face many complex administrative processes upon arrival to their destinations.’’
According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) glossary on migration law, migrant workers, like other workers, have rights, including the right to form or join a trade union. Migrants are often exposed to extreme forms of exploitation. The rights, labour standards, integrated employment policies and social security systems ought to be thoroughly considered and reviewed to protect migrant workers.
Trade unions promote, protect and defend not only its members and workers but vulnerable migrant workers who are seeking equality and social protection. The report indicates that, for years, migrant workers have been stereotyped as part of the traditional trade union constituency
The global trade labour market, however, is beginning to see a change and is characterised with mobility as workplaces now comprised of various nationalities. According to the United Nations (UN), there are over 232 million migrants who now form part of the global community of workers. This forms a significant constituency which can be a great source of strength and survival for the trade union movement for migrant workers.
The report suggests that since trade unions are social partners in the broad framework of labour relations and social dialogue, they have to be visibly involved in policy creation and debate on giving the migrant worker a voice.
By Mawuli Yao Ahorlumegah