16.04.13
Confederation of Labour of Russia developing migration strategy

On April 16 Moscow hosted a conference on management, representation and protection of labour migrants’ rights and trade unions’ experience and prospects. It was organized by the Centre for Social and Labour Rights, the Confederation of Labour of Russia and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF).

The conference’s task was to take trade unions’ stand on labour migration.

The conference brought together members of the Confederation of Labour of Russia, IUF activists from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Great Britain and experts in social and labour rights.

Roman Rybakov, an expert of the Moscow Office of the International Organization for Migration, briefed on trends of modern global migration processes.

ILO Moscow Specialist in Workers’ Activities Sergeyus Glovackas focused on international mechanisms for protection of labour migrants’ rights.

“Thirty-four ILO Conventions can be applied to protect migrant workers,” Glovackas said. “However, full-fledged interaction of national trade unions and governmental structures with international organizations is needed to make them work effectively. Unfortunately, today there is no enough coordination between national and international structures.”

Moreover, the ILO expert also stressed importance of attracting migrants to trade unions and friendly associations.

“Kyrgyzstan’s trade unions are ready to cooperate with trade unions of those countries where Kyrgyz migrants work,” said the chairman of the central committee of the Union of Agricultural Workers of Kyrgyzstan, Zheenbek Osmonaliyev. “We need to do this to improve conditions of our citizens working abroad.”

Participants in the conference came to a conclusion that trade unions’ labour strategy should be based on equality of social and labour rights of migrant workers and Russian employees. Many of them agreed that attraction of migrants into trade unions was an important element in increasing trade union membership.

Moreover, this will help influence the migration policy both at the national and regional levels.

“We believe that migrants should enjoy similar labour rights as Russian workers,” said the president of the Confederation of Labour of Russia, Boris Kravchenko. “We are confident that all workers should enjoy the right to decent work. In this we see our mission on labour migration.”  

Source: International Labour Organization

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