Governance of Temporary Labour Migration in the Gulf: Employer Perspectives on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
This report is based on a one-day consultation with private sector employers held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 20 November 2017. The consultation was organised by the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) and the International Organization for Migrations (IOM), and in cooperation with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the Global Forum for Migration and Development – Business Mechanism (GFMD – BM).
The consultation brought together regional and international stakeholders, including representatives from private sector employers, the recruitment industry, government, international organisations, chambers of commerce, and civil society. The consultation consisted of five separate sessions, held in plenary:
- Opening remarks and keynote speeches.
- Context for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
- Governance of temporary labour migration in the Gulf region.
- Temporary labour mobility, upskilling, and recognition of skills and qualifications.
- Responsible recruitment practices.
The five sessions in plenary were followed by breakout workshops on recruitment, skills recognition and transfer, and engagement with the International Organisation of Employers. The consultation was notable for being the only employer-specific consultation held, to date, in preparation for the GCM. The private sector was represented by regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and businesses including Emirates Airlines, GE, Laing O’Rourke, McKinsey and PwC.
Key highlights from the consultation include:
- A commitment from the UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation to continue to consult with both the private sector and civil society beyond the stocktaking meeting in Mexico, with the UAE representing their inputs to Member States throughout the 2018 negotiations;
- Clear consensus from all parties that temporary labour migrants make a significant contribution to the Gulf region’s economy and society, and that government and employers are committed to ensuring that the labour and human rights of migrants are protected throughout all phases of the employment cycle;
- Employers’ emphasis on the importance of policy coherence on the issue of entry and stay, particularly for short-stay work undertaken by high-skilled workers;
- Recognition that the skills requirements in the Gulf are rapidly changing, due to technological advances and the emergence of a knowledge economy, with incentives needed from government to encourage business to invest in upskilling, skills recognition and transfer; and
- Examples from business on how employers can take the lead on responsible recruitment that is compliant with international standards, thereby reducing recruitment costs for temporary labour migrants, with assistance from programmes like IOM’s International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS).
GCM Business Event - Governance of Temporary Labour Migration in the Gulf – Employer Perspectives on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration