June 15, 2021
By Aminata Phidelia Allie, Information Officer, MLSS
The Government of Sierra Leone, through the Labour Migration Unit of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, on Tuesday, 8th May, 2021, launched a five-year pilot project to tackle the problem of illegal and uncoordinated labour migration in the country.
The Project; titled ‘Transfer to Transform Project’ was launched in collaboration with SOS Labour Ghana (an international recruitment and job placement organization) at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown. A book titled ‘Deadly Work or Decent Work?’ authored by Rev. Dr. Princess Ocansey, the Chief Executive Officer of SOS Labour Ghana, was also launched.
The project comprises of three key components; the ‘Decent Work in Gulf States, the Diasporan National Service and the Graduate work-Study’.
In his opening statement, the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Alpha Osman Timbo, stated that globally, international migration flow had increased tremendously as a result of globalization, urbanization and geo-political tensions. He said that the developmental impact of international migration had been a source of debate in both academia and policy circles.
Though the negative impact of migration such as brain drain in migrants sending countries and pressure on social amenities in migrants receiving countries have historically dominated literatures, the Minister stated that recent data has shown that labour migration can contribute to socio-economic development in both origin and destination countries of Migrants.
Minister Timbo noted that one positive effect of migration is migrant’s remittances, which have promoted socio-economic development and contributed to poverty reduction in developing countries.
Chief Festus Keyamo, SAN, the Federal Minister of Labour and Employment, Federal Republic of Nigeria, stated that “migration is the world’s oldest poverty reduction strategy, an indispensable engine for human development, a driver of economic growth, a source of job creation and dynamic innovative cultures”.
According to recent data, there is an estimated 258 million international migrants across the globe, of which 150 million are migrant workers, he said. He added that one could not argue the fact that almost all migration today happens for work purposes.
Chief Keyamo pointed out that most nations had taken steps to further find mutually beneficial ways through which migration could continue to provide employment for job seekers and greater human security; and not place them at risk of trafficking, exploitation and abuse.
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Rado Swaray, on behalf of His Excellency the President, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada did the official launch of the ‘Transfer to Transform Program’ Scheme and the ‘Deadly Work or Decent Work? Book’
He applauded the positive strides made by his colleague Minister of Labour and Social Security for pushing the nation through the path of safe and decent employment. He admonished those who will be migrating to put their best foot forward and behave well as they would be travelling as accredited Sierra Leonean ambassadors. He cautioned that, any behaviour of theirs will positively or negatively affect the image of the country.