A regional capacity building program in Beirut for Promoting the Rights of Migrant Workers in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia brought together 27 participants from Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey.
The training program aimed to build the knowledge and skills of civil society organizations to protect and promote the human rights of migrant workers. It aimed to enable participants to more effectively use internationally agreed standards and mechanisms in their advocacy for the human rights of migrant workers in the Middle East. The residential program also provided a valuable forum for the sharing of knowledge and skills, and for the building of support networks and collaboration between countries of origin and destination.
The participants from NGOs, trade unions, lawyers’ networks, faith-based groups, and migrant community representatives shared concerns about the treatment of migrant workers, and the abuse they experienced at the hands of their employers and officials, and the wider prejudice against migrants that underpins their vulnerability to exploitation.
The program schedule was a busy and balanced building of knowledge and skills with the development of personal networks. The program content included conceptual frameworks, international law, migration governance, approaches to advocacy and campaign building. There was a special focus on gender, and the rights of mainly women migrant domestic workers. The intersection of discrimination based on race/ethnic identity and because of gender, make women particularly vulnerable. These sessions were led by Jean D’Cunha from UN Women’s MENA regional office in Cairo.
There were also opportunities to engage directly with government officials from Lebanon and Sri Lanka. Participant reflections on program content, and the balance of knowledge and skills within the program were positive. The residential program also provided a valuable forum for the sharing of knowledge and skills, and for the building of support networks and collaboration across the region.
DTP and MFA recognize the critical role played by civil society in ensuring that governments and employers respect minimum standards of human and labour-rights. Civil society advocates and their organisations take up individual cases, seek redress for grievances, provide essential services and lobby and advocacy for much needed policy and law reform. MFA and DTP have worked together in partnership since 2004 to build the capacities of these committed individuals. DTP-MFA held the first capacity building programs in the Middle-East in 2012, bringing together participants from origin and receiving countries to build knowledge, skills and collaboration. The 2019 regional program continued this capacity building work.
For more information please contact William Gois of the MFA Secretariat at: firstname.lastname@example.org