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04 October 2023

Labour rights in focus as dialogue begins

By Staff Writer



The Ministry of Labour and the International Organisation for Migration open the first day of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue on Sunday for senior officials from 20 countries and observer states.

Labour Minister Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi (pictured above) said: “We are pleased to begin this dialogue with so many countries and institutions after intensive preparation and consultation on the agenda and draft declaration.”

Day one will be a preparatory meeting built around partnerships between labour-origin and labour-receiving countries in a number of key areas, including labour market information, remittance protection at origin and destination, labour rights, and multilateral co-operation in the administration of the contractual employment cycle.

Key presentations will be made by the Philippines, IOM, Bangladesh, Kuwait, and the UAE. Participants are expected to conclude the day by preparing a list of recommendations for action and follow-up by all states.

The Abu Dhabi Dialogue is the title given to the ministerial consultation on overseas employment and contractual labour for countries of origin in Asia.

It includes the original 10 countries that convene under what is known as the Colombo Process, in addition to 10 labour-receiving countries such as the GCC states, Yemen, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.

This is the first ministerial consultation taking place in a labour-destination country.

The regional consultative process on overseas employment and contractual labour for countries of origin in Asia, known as the Colombo Process, was established in 2003 by bringing together for the first time 10 Asian labour-origin countries from South and South-East Asia to initiate regional dialogue and co-operation on the management of overseas labour. The objectives of the Colombo Process are to share experiences and consult on issues faced by overseas workers, countries of origin and destination, among others.