BRUSSELS, October 03, 2014 - EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, has announced a new project to promote and protect the rights of migrants moving between developing countries, worth over €10 million. The project focuses on two types of migrants: those who carry out domestic work in the recipient country (e.g. house-cleaning) and those who fall victim of human trafficking.
Currently, many developing countries without adequate migration or labour policy frameworks rely substantially on migrant labour force for their economic development. Migrants are vulnerable, and susceptible of being victims of forced labour, in particular in sectors such as domestic work, given the ‘invisible’ nature of their work. They also represent an easy target for human trafficking networks.
Commissioner Piebalgs said: “This project proposes an innovative approach focusing on migration between developing countries. It shows the EU’s genuine and firm commitment to address human trafficking and forced labour, some of the worst forms of modern slavery, and our will to improve migrants’ rights more generally. And it’s clear for us that we need to work with civil society to make sure that migrants' dignity is respected".
Thanks to the project, direct social assistance and protection will be provided to the migrants and their families. This support will for instance include access to healthcare, legal assistance and reintegration measures like training, or interpretation services. These concrete measures will be adapted to the specific needs of each category of migrants targeted through this initiative.
The project also aims to help civil society organisations (CSOs) to better protect the rights of these migrants: for example, by creating a network where all the CSOs can share best practices. Promoting well-managed migration, labour and anti-trafficking policies and legislation, and supporting dialogue with public authorities, employers’ associations and the private sector, are some other actions that will be pursued.
The project in funded under the Global Public Goods and Challenges programme – which is part of the Development and Cooperation Instrument. It will be implemented by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), targeting the following origin, transit and destination countries:
Ethiopia and Zimbabwe in Africa
Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Honduras in the Americas
Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan in Asia
Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco in Middle East and North Africa
The ‘Rights of Migrants in Action’ project was launched today at a joint event with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), during the Policy Forum on Development (being held in Brussels on 1-2 October). The two-day event brings together CSOs, local authorities from EU countries and partner countries with representatives of the EU Institutions to discuss, consult and exchange information and experiences. EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, delivered the opening address of the event on 1 October.
There are 232 million migrants worldwide, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Over half of these migrants reside in low- and middle income countries, and many developing countries are simultaneously countries of origin and destination of migrants. This increases regional and global mobility and creates opportunities for contributing for instance to poverty reduction and innovation. But it also requires effective governance in order to address challenges such as ‘brain drain’ (outward migration of educated people), migrant exploitation and the effects of migration on urbanisation.
Migration is a priority under the EU's development cooperation policy. Between 2004 and 2013, the Commission has committed over €1 billion to more than 400 migration-related projects. This support has focused on capacity building for migration management (e.g. sharing expertise, providing training) with an emphasis on maximising the development impact of migration.
For more information: Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm
Website of the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm
European Commission, Brussels