Migrant workers bring pride to nation; their safety is top priority, says Pakistan minister

During Pakistan's term as chair of Abu Dhabi Dialogue, the country will focus on legal migration and universal skill development



by

Saman Haziq

Published: Wed 27 Oct 2021, 5:03 PM

Last updated: Wed 27 Oct 2021, 5:05 PM

For the first time, Pakistan was awarded the chairmanship of Abu Dhabi Dialogue, a high-level regional summit on labour and migration, for the next two years.

Accepting the chairmanship on behalf of the Pakistan government, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, the country's federal minister for industries and production, expressed his gratitude to the UAE for hosting the summit and thanked the member states.

He highlighted that Nepal, in particular, showed confidence in Pakistan by electing it as chair for the next term.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan placed special emphasis on the well-being and welfare of Pakistanis abroad and introduced many policy reforms for them, he added.

"Our migrant workers bring pride to our nation and are considered an effective bridge between their countries of destination and Pakistan," Bakhtyar said.

Speaking to the ministers of member states and senior officials at the summit, Bakhtyar outlined a vision for a new era of regional collaboration.

He said that legal migration, universal skill development, certifications and job and social security of workers will remain Pakistan's top priorities during its term as chair of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue.

“Digitisation of migration governance policies, data collation and use of innovative technologies introduced during Covid-19 have not only thrown new challenges, but also opened new vistas for us. We have to identify the gaps to be filled on both demand and supply sides," Bakhtyar said.

To meet new requirements, workers' skills must also be upgraded.

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"For that, we will have to collectively agree upon some mutually accepted standards and certifications. We can get some international stakeholders on board while working out strategies to meet the emerging challenges," he said.

Efforts need to be made continually to bridge gaps, he added. Legal migration must be encouraged and new migrants should receive policy-level support to protect them from exploiters and traffickers.

In his closing remarks, Bakhtyar said that Abu Dhabi Dialogue is an important platform for exchanging views between members states and sharing best practices. He reiterated that Pakistan will carry on with its efforts to serve and benefit everyone in the region.


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