International Trade Union Confederation of the African Region (ITUC-Africa)Supports the GDA-2012

Dear Comrades,

I on behalf of the International Trade Union Confederation of the African Region (ITUC-Africa) with 87 affiliate’s national trade union centres of combined 17.5 million memberships in 51 African countries convey our warm appreciations for the laudable efforts and contributions toward the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers and their families. ITUC-Africa is a pan-African trade union organisation with international affinity and solidarity with global working class community. We are based in Lome, Togo. Please see www.ituc-africa.org.

We received a cross-posted mail reporting on some activities and decisions conducted and reached with respect to the subject matter and wish to further the engagement and correspondence. Amongst other things, the issues of migrant workers and their families have continued to be part of our focus and priority. However, other issues, especially at the national sites have tended to shift attention of our affiliates to urgent and pressing issues, unfortunately to the detriment of migrants rights. At our last organ meeting, it was decided to refocus our engagement on this issue bearing in mind how African migrants are faring within and outside the continent.

Xenophobia attacks have continued to increase just as exploitation of migrants by employers has taken sharp and dangerous practices. We have accounts where migrant workers who dare to organise themselves have been killed and some disappeared in mysterious circumstances. The recent developments and their aftermaths during and after the Arab Spring revolutions are still with us. Israel has joined the list of countries where African migrants are treated as economic sabotages and treated as criminal and unwanted elements. Indeed, we understand that the effects of the economic crisis is exacerbating these developments across economies and climes, but the issue of justice for these sets of workers will demand that we continue to build more collaborations and alliances.

It is on this note that ITUC-Africa welcomes the various initiatives and programs outlined in the report sent to us.

Though we might not be able to attend and participate at the Global Forum for Migration slated for November (I suppose), as we do not have a budget line or support for that yet, but let me also inform and assure you that we will be making serious plans to get our affiliates to participate in commemorating the International Day of Action for Migrants Rights.

Particularly, our attention will be focused on deepening organising of these workers so as to provide them with effective voice and representation as well as denounce xenophobia attacks. Issues of disappearances and human trafficking will also be consciously mainstreamed in our activities across the continent on the day. You can join us on our Facebook group (Human and Trade Union Rights Monitor for Africa)- linked to mine Facebook account (Joel Akhator Odigie).

My name is Akhator Joel Odigie and I coordinate Human and Trade Union Rights issues for the ITUC-Africa. Labour Migration is part of my responsibilities.

Many thanks and hope to keep up the communication.

------

Follow up information:

ITUC-Africa will be joining the rest of the world to mark this day we we plan to draw attention to the issues of migrant workers exploitation, absence of voice and representation and the lack of protection. Our activities will also focus on campaigns that will contribute to combating hate crimes and xenophobic attacks.

We will surely contribute our part to the GDA 2012. As parts of such preparation, there will be a HTUR meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa in early September where migration issues (displaced persons, trafficking, refugees and cases of disappearances) will be part of the agenda.

There is also a plan to have five countries campaign on these issues as part of our plans to commemorate the GDA2012. We will be providing resources to these selected countries (South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Kenya and Ethiopia). Pictures and other evidence of these campaigns will be posted on our webpage and Facebook accounts. So far, we are publicizing the GDA2012 on our webpage and social media platform as "coming events" - and by this, we are spreading awareness and mobilizing our affiliates and their members toward action.

Let us continue the collaboration and solidarity,