Big Boost For Labour Ministry

By Ayodele Deen-Cole

The International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) has donated new electronic equipment to the Migration Unit at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Society.

The donated equipment is part of efforts by ICMPD to strengthen the Labour Migration Unit through the capacity building of its officials in the labour migration governance.

According to the Project Officer of ICMPD, Huyo Tavales Augusto, the donated equipment, which included computers and internet accessories, was supported by the Demand Driven Facility (DDF) implemented by ICMPD within the European Union (EU) and ECOWAS funded project titled “Support to free movement of persons and migration in West Africa.”

He noted that while Sierra Leone has largely been a country of emigration, it also serves as a host country to migrants with the majority of migrants living in Sierra Leone coming particularly from neigbouring West African nations.

Huyo Tavales Augusto furthered that the DDF action in Sierra Leone compromises strengthening of human resources, infrastructure capacity of line Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) dealing with labour migration through training, and support to the ongoing revision of the national labour migration policy. He disclosed that very soon they would be organising a technical validation of the new policy and also conclude the training courses for migration and human development.

Prior to the handing over ceremony, ICMPD organised its second training workshop on the protection of rights of migrant workers and their families, the promotion of a peaceful co-existence and protection against exploitation and xenophobia and on the measure to be adopted to combat trafficking of persons and smuggling of migrants. Receiving the donated equipment, the Permanent Secretary in the Labour, Employment and Social Security Ministry, described labour migration as a new phenomenon and said there was no way the government could control it.

The Permanent Secretary reiterated the challenges government is facing to address the issue given the rate of youth unemployment in the country. He expressed gratitude to ICMPD for the donation and promised to work collaboratively on the validation of the new policy.