A two-day consultation on “Labour Migration: Advancing resilient, inclusive and sustainable policies and institutions in India, promoting decent work for all,” organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), began here on Thursday. It saw discussions, decent work and fair migration, and identifying overarching gender responsive policy perspectives and opportunities for improvement in social protection, fair and effective labour migration frameworks, occupational safety and health (OSH), skills, data, reintegration etc.
The meeting will also discuss advancing roles of employers and trade unions in the post-pandemic scenario, and will explore engagement opportunities for civil society organisations, think-tanks, media, academia and other relevant stakeholders to support safe, orderly and effective labour migration policy-making and governance. It will also work towards establishing a multi-stakeholder platform for knowledge sharing, support policy development, and ILO’s role in advancing labour migration goals.
Addressing the meet, Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav said the digitalisation of work emerged through the thicket of COVID-19 and the mode of working were transformed. “A progressive framework for labour reforms has been adopted by the government which is in line with the discussions at ILO Conference in Geneva regarding a safe and healthy working environment, decent work for all, and social security for every worker,” Mr. Yadav said.
Susceptible internal migrants
He said internal migrants are much more prone to face issues in relation to health services, food, and other social programmes in the country. He listed initiatives of the government to provide decent working conditions, minimum wages, redressal mechanisms, protection from abuse and exploitation, enhancement of skills among others, for migrant workers. Mr. Yadav said India has provided a legal definition for gig workers in the new Labour Code, which will enable the government to include them in policy decisions.
“The government has outlined the challenges as well as identified the possible solutions for the same and is committed to effectively acting on them, despite the many challenges that the pandemic has brought along,” he claimed.
The Consultation also focuses on themes such as educational and skill development investments, recognition of prior learning and effective practices of fair recruitment, as parameters for policy development and programme interventions to address specific labour migration issues for both women and men migrant workers.
“Migrant workers can help the economy reap the demographic dividend when quality jobs, adequate healthcare and nutrition and universal social protection, are provided. The ILO is committed to improving the working conditions for migrant workers through collaborative institution-based strategies, developed through tripartite dialogue” said Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa, ILO Regional Director for the Asia and Pacific.