International Trade Union Confederation of the African Region (ITUC-Africa)Supports the Global Day of Action for Migrants, Refugees and Displace People for 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.