The perils faced by migrants, like the thousands of Venezuelans who fled to TT earlier this year, should be considered in drafting a labour migration policy
This was the appeal from the Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, tostakeholders at a consultation at the Hilton on Friday.
“With 150 million migrant workers worldwide, the policy needs to take into account all the perils associated with migration, including but not limited to exploitation, human trafficking, prostitution and the like,” Baptiste-Primus said.
She said these dangers have to be deeply considered, as the policy would be the tool with which government would be able to protect immigrants coming into the country and those leaving TT to find a better life elsewhere.
Stakeholders at the consultation included officials of the THA, the International Labour Organisation, the International Organisation of Migration and representatives of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce
Baptiste-Primus asked them to think about what should be put in the policy along the lines of the institutional legislative and regulatory framework needed, the need for consistent and timely data, how to facilitate the contribution to national development of TT citizens employed overseas, how to give immigrants social services and how to manage regular labour migration.
The policy must also meet the requirements of the United Nations sustainable development goals for 2030, Baptiste-Primus pointed out.
“A robust national migration policy will ensure that the positive effects of this phenomenon are maximised and the negative effects are mitigated against. “These issues will set the basis of the discourse that we will engage in today,” she said.
The policy will replace a 119-year-old law last amended 89 years ago, the Recruitment of Workers Act.