Burundi to Develop National Labour Migration Policy with IOM Support

Migration Policy

Bujumbura – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is supporting the Government of Burundi to develop a gender-sensitive National Labour Migration Policy that aims to provide longer-term protection and good governance for migrant workers.  

The two-year project, supported by the IOM Development Fund (IDF) and implemented through the Ministry of Public Services, Labour and Employment, will include an analysis of the labour migration context in Burundi and data collection from major stakeholders, including migrant workers’ associations, national institutions, trade unions and employers’ associations.  

National authorities will also benefit from technical assistance on labour migration policy development and techniques for negotiating bilateral labour agreements. Combined, these actions will facilitate the development of a National Labour Migration Policy that will help authorities, particularly the Ministry of Labour, to have an improved understanding of the flows and dynamics of migrant workers.  

Such a policy, if made into law, will provide clear guidance on foreign labour admission policies, including the rights of migrant workers. It will also set up mechanisms for preventing or reducing irregular labour migration while strengthening international cooperation through bilateral labour agreements with selected countries, particularly with Gulf states. 

AJ Morgen, the head of IOM mission in Burundi, emphasized the importance of developing a well-defined framework for dignified labour migration and called upon stakeholders to continue their engagement in this domain.  

“At IOM, we believe that migration policies and strategies supported by relevant and comprehensive data will contribute to safer and more orderly migration,” said Morgen.  

The National Labour Migration Policy will complement the labour management legal frameworks currently being created by national authorities. This includes the recently developed strategic plan to implement the National Labour Policy (2018-2022) and the East African Community (EAC) Labour Migration Policy Framework. 

This project will align with the labour migration section of IOM’s Regional Strategy for East and Horn of Africa as well as its sub-regional strategy for the Great Lakes region. Further, it will enable the Burundian government to deliver one of the recommendations of the recently validated Comparative Study on the Free Movement of Workers in the EAC.  

The study suggests that all partner states formulate and adopt labour migration polices and laws which are open and transparent, based on best practices from the African Union framework and as recommended by the United Nations and the International Labour Organization.  

IOM has worked with the Government of Burundi on migration management services since 2007.  

For more information please contact Odette Bolly, at IOM Burundi, Tel: +257 75400221, Email: obolly@iom.int 

  • Burundi’s National Labour Migration Policy will provide longer-term protection and good governance for migrant workers. Photo: IOM