The Fifth General Assembly of the RSMMS was a major trade union event on migration issues. From 2nd to 4th July 2019, thirty organizations and more than 200 participants from West and North Africa as well as from Europe met in Tunis to discuss "The Interregional Trade Union Articulation at the Service of Decent Work for Migrants".
Tunisia, which hosted this international conference, is as a buffer country at the heart of the migration policy challenges. The country has been undergoing a democratic transition for several years, creating optimal conditions for the UGTT trade union to develop alternatives to the security-oriented approach to migration policy. Stronger trade union cooperation between North-South and South-South is urgently necessary to develop effective common protection mechanisms, to play an active role in developing mechanisms for legal migration and in shaping future national and international migration policy.
The RSMMS network, supported by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, and coordinated by the UGTT since its creation in 2014, is an innovative project that pools the resources and know-how of organizations from different regions to fight together for the rights of all workers against exploitation and discrimination. The idea behind inter-union coordination is simple: the transnational phenomenon of migration calls for transnational strategies. As the network brings organizations from countries of origin, transit and destination together, member unions take up the opportunity to discuss labour mobility issues and to mutually reinforce their role at national, regional and international levels.
The participants discussed challenges related to social security issues, dialogue between the social partners, and regularization and integration mechanisms based on the field experiences jointly conducted by the different members of the RSMMS network.
With the five new members from Belgium, Italy, Togo, Niger and Senegal, the RSMMS comprises now 29 trade union organizations from 16 countries, demonstrating the growing importance of a structured approach to tackle the challenges of labour mobility. With the “Tunis Declaration” the European, Maghreb and West African members of the network reinforce their commitment to better fulfill their mandate to advocate for a decent work for all.
Department for Middle East and North Africa
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has a network of eleven country offices in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and implements projects in a total of 14 countries. Some offices, such as Egypt or Sudan, look back at a history of more than 40 years of cooperation.