In his opening speech on the last day of the Ministerial Consultations on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia, Al Kaabi said discussions should be held on partnerships in four main areas — knowledge about labour market trends, skill profiles, contractual workers and remittance policies and their interplay with development in the region.
The first partnership was to spread awareness about the trends in the labour market in both labour-sending-and-receiving countries and possibly build a database, and the second to build the capacity for better matching labour demand and supply.
The third step was to prevent illegal recruitment practices of labourers and promote welfare and protection measures for contractual workers.
The fourth partnership was to develop a framework for a comprehensive approach for managing contractual mobility that incorporated and recognised the particularities and foster international cooperation to protect the rights of workers.
“The governments of labour-sending countries bear the main responsibility for protecting the prospective workers against illegal recruitment practices.
“But it is also true that we, the receiving countries, have a stake in combating such illegal practices because they jeopardise the entire employment cycle.
“For this reason, our ministry is working closely with the Colombo Process governments to modernise recruitment in ways that reduce the risks of exploitative practices and streamline the processing of employment applications,” Dr Al Kaabi said.
The minister added, “On our part, we are fully committed to seeing to it that a guest contractual worker’s temporary stay in our country is beneficial to both parties of a work contract, but we are also committed to strict enforcement of the law when it comes to persons who are in our country illegally or those who violate the labour laws.”
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