Senior Libyan officials return from migration study tour in Spain

Posted on Tue, Oct-08-2013
A delegation of senior officials from the Libyan Ministry of Labour and Capacity Building attends a four-day IOM-organized tour to Spain to get acquainted with international best practices in the field of labour migration. © IOM 2013

Libya - Eight Senior officials from the Libyan Ministry of Labour and Capacity Building have returned from a one-week IOM-organized tour to Spain to  become acquainted with international best practices in the field of labour migration.

While in Spain the delegation, headed by deputy minister for Labour, Ibrahim Abu Ridaa, met with Spanish high-ranking employment and immigration officials. The two sides discussed labour migration schemes, circular immigration and migrant community integration.

The delegation visited the Spanish-Colombian Centre in the capital, Madrid. The centre’s objective is to facilitate the full integration of immigrants living in Madrid into the community. The delegation was briefed on the centre’s services including job search workshops, employment exchange, occupational training courses and legal sessions on rights and responsibilities in the area of employment and residency status.

Faced with high unemployment, particularly among its youth, and experiencing influxes of irregular migrant flows across porous land and maritime borders, Spain's migration management challenges have several parallels with those faced by Libya. 

In order to better regulate and harness the potential benefits of labour migration, Spain has instituted border management policies and developed labour migration schemes, including a circular migration scheme, and thus serves as a strong model for other countries within the region facing similar challenges and exhibiting the potential to benefit from similar opportunities through better migration management. 

The Libyan officials also visited the Elcano Royal Institute, a research forum for analysis and debate on international affairs, including matters related to international labour migration and immigration challenges.

Upon their return, Ministry of Labour and Capacity Building officials intend to use lessons learned in Spain in order to further develop Libya's strategies on labour migration and border management.

The visit by the Libyan delegation to Spain was funded by the EU programme: “Stabilizing at-risk communities and enhancing migration management to enable smooth transitions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya (START)”, and was coordinated by IOM, the Government of Libya and the Spanish government.

At the end of the visit, Abu Ridaa said his country needed the support of the international community in the areas of migration management, improving labour migration regulations, institution of job matching mechanisms and in combating irregular migration and migrant smuggling.

Furthermore, drawing on lessons learned in terms of good practices witnessed in Spain, Libya will aim to develop and provide services and support mechanisms that will attract and facilitate the hosting of labour migrants.

IOM's three-year EU-funded START program seeks to stabilize at-risk-communities throughout Libya, Egypt and Tunisia by strengthening migration management, providing timely and critical relief to irregular migrants and by building capacities of relevant government bodies to enable them to anticipate and address emerging migration challenges.

For more information please contact

Othman Belbeisi
IOM Libya