Kathmandu, Nov 16 : Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Raj Bista has urged all member states in the Colombo Process for collective leadership and shared responsibility to achieve the Process' objectives.
Minister Bista said this as the Chair-in-Office of the Sixth Ministerial Consultation of the Colombo Process here today.
He stressed that migration and development were closely linked, which get reinforced by the CP member nation's concerted actions and enhanced partnership, which the Colombo Process encompassed in a spirit of solidarity.
Stating that safe and dignified labour migration was receiving the attention it deserved from the international community which is evidenced by the inclusion of the international migration related elements in the SDGs and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to be adopted next month, he shared that Colombo Process recommendations have been incorporated in the draft GCM framework document.
"The Colombo Process marks its fifteenth year of existence since its inception in 2003. It is high time to reflect on the fundamental principles, relevance and effectiveness of the Process. We need to evaluate whether we have been able to fulfil our objectives
As we chart our way forward, these lessons should guide our activities so they are result-oriented with visible outcomes that make a difference to the migrant worker and their families," the Labour Minister insisted.
He stated that the shared experience as CP member countries have exposed 'us to many successes and challenges in migration governance and the shared commitment to minimize the challenges brings us together'.
"We have learnt that a few common challenges such as high recruitment costs, contract substitution, health and safety of migrants are better addressed collectively and deserve our attention," Minister Bista said, adding that in this context bilateral labour instruments that include clear provisions on basic terms of employment as per the international labour standards such as minimum wages, employer pays model, insurance and social security coverage would be required.
He went on the say that the CP platform presented opportunities to pursue these standards and to work with countries of destination to achieve a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved, especially the migrant workers.
"We all know that some categories of workers are more vulnerable than others and merit special attention and protection measures. In particular, low skilled workers and women workers are the most vulnerable, and as members of CP we should urgently seek ways for collaboration to jointly address this issue," he said.
Minister Bista underscored the need to develop a deeper understanding for the formulation and implementation of time-bound and outcome-oriented programmes based on dialogue, cooperation and collaboration.
In the context of Nepal, he said, "In Nepal, the foreign employment sector is currently undergoing major reforms with a view to ensure dignity and protect rights of the migrant workers at all stages of migration. We are continuing our efforts to extend our hands of cooperation with the destination countries with the spirit and objectives of the Colombo Process."