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HomeARM ARTICLESAdvancing Social Protection for Migrant Workers in Central Africa: ECCAS Workshop Highlights...

Advancing Social Protection for Migrant Workers in Central Africa: ECCAS Workshop Highlights Path to Inclusive Policies

Government representatives from the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) are poised to convene in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, for a significant endeavor: validating a study on extending social protection to migrant workers in the region. This initiative comes at a critical juncture, as ECCAS is home to 4.3 million international migrants, the majority of whom migrate for labor purposes, as highlighted by data from the African Union’s third report on labor migration statistics in Africa.

Scheduled from March 26 to 28, this event is organized by the African Union, in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), under the auspices of the Joint Labour Migration Programme (JLMP). The workshop, themed ‘From Vision to Action: Protecting Rights of Migrant Workers through Social Protection Extension in ECCAS’, aims to provide a platform for technical experts to engage in dialogue and cooperation on issues pertaining to social protection across ECCAS Member States.

Mr. Sabelo Mbokazi, Head of the Labour, Employment, and Migration (LEM) Division at the African Union, underscores the importance of this gathering, citing the region’s low level of social protection coverage. He notes the existence of underdeveloped non-contributory systems that only reach a small segment of the intended populations, along with restrictive provisions hindering access to social benefits due to territorial constraints within social security systems.

Aligning with international labor standards and frameworks such as the Migration Policy Framework for Africa and Plan of Action (MPFA), the workshop seeks to advocate for the provision of social protection and social security benefits for labor migrants, thereby ensuring decent work and advancing social justice. Mr. Coffi Agossou, Deputy Director for Africa at the ILO, emphasizes the fundamental right of social protection, aimed at reducing and preventing poverty, vulnerability, and social exclusion. He acknowledges existing gaps in coverage for migrant workers, which this effort aims to address.

Supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the workshop will explore the potential results of adopting a roadmap to accelerate social protection extension within ECCAS member countries. This initiative holds promise not only for ECCAS but also as a reference for neighboring Regional Economic Communities, contributing to the broader agenda of enhancing rights-based governance for labor migration and mobility in Africa.

The Joint Labour Migration Programme (JLMP) stands as a testament to collaborative efforts between the African Union Commission (AUC), International Labour Organization (ILO), and International Organization for Migration (IOM). Emphasizing intra-African labor migration, the JLMP aligns with the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, working towards gender-responsive regulations, increased availability of labor migration data, and the establishment of systems promoting safe, secure, and equal working conditions for migrant workers.

In conclusion, the ECCAS workshop represents a pivotal step towards fostering greater inclusivity and protection for migrant workers in the region. By bringing together key stakeholders and leveraging international frameworks, this initiative strives to create tangible pathways for extending social protection, thereby advancing the broader goals of economic development, social justice, and human rights across Africa.

Cite this article as (APA format):

AR Managing Editor (2024). Advancing Social Protection for Migrant Workers in Central Africa: ECCAS Workshop Highlights Path to Inclusive Policies. Retrieved from


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