Published in March 2019
This module is a resource for lecturers
Effective prevention strategies
Safe migration channels
Governments are primarily responsible for creating safe migration channels, enforcing international borders against traffickers and migrant smugglers and creating safe employment options for migrant workers. Relevantly, in December 2018, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was adopted, whereby States committed to address migration in a comprehensive and holistic manner. As noted by ICAT (2014), progress would be made by implementing the following:
- Allowing migrants from neighbouring countries to enter States to satisfy labour shortages, even if on a short-term basis. This includes ensuring that the approval process is cheap, simple, fast, free from unnecessary hurdles and readily understood. State employees responsible for administering such programmes should be trained on how to communicate and assist migrants in an appropriately sensitive manner. They could be assisted by translators recruited from the neighbouring country.
- Enacting laws and policies to meet their international obligations to refugees and asylum seekers. This includes ensuring all employees within immigration services act professionally and humanely, without discrimination or bias.
- Ratifying and enacting domestic laws to give effect to international instruments, such as the ILO Convention on Private Employment Agencies, 1997 (No. 181), the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, 1990 and the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and its 1967 Protocol.
- Actively licensing and regulating migrant recruitment agencies and employers. All such agencies and employers should be subject to periodic inspections. Those committing serious or regular breaches of relevant laws should have their licence revoked. Recalcitrant employers should be named and shamed and prohibited from employing migrant labour.
- Ensuring access to justice for migrant workers.