Sharing Best Practices to Enhance Labour Migration with Ukraine

Posted: 
03/29/07

A group of 12 representatives from Ukraine's Regional Employment
Service Centres, NGOs and IOM-backed Centres for Migrant Advice
(CMAs) are ending a five-day visit to Portugal, which has become
the main destination country for Ukrainian labour migrants in
Europe.    

The aim of the visit was to discuss the scale of labour
migration between Ukraine and Portugal, to examine key issues of
interest to Ukrainian migrants in Portugal, such as integration and
migrants' rights and to identify best practices addressing these
issues.

"It's important to ensure best practices in EU Member States on
key issues such as integration are shared with neighbouring
countries," says Monica Goracci, IOM's Chief of Mission in
Portugal. "Programmes developed in Portugal to ensure the
integration of migrants have been extremely effective and could be
replicated in countries such as Ukraine."

In February 2003, Portugal and Ukraine signed a bilateral
agreement on the temporary labour migration of Ukrainian nationals
to Portugal. The number of Ukrainians currently employed in
Portugal stands close to 44,000, making the Ukrainian diaspora the
third largest after those of Cape Verde and
Brazil.   

Since October 2005, IOM with the support of the Ukrainian
government and civil society has provided advice on safe and legal
channels for migration to Europe to some 10,000 Ukrainians through
a network of five CMAs in Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv, Ternopil and
Odessa.

The Centres, which are funded by the European Union are operated
by non-governmental organisations, such as the Regional Initiatives
Fund, the Western-Ukrainian Resource Centre, Caritas Kharkiv,
Revival of the Nation and the Southern Ukrainian Centre of Young
Lawyers, respectively.

The Centres provide information on the current realities and
possible dangers that labour migrants can face abroad and the
consequences of irregular entry and stay in foreign countries. This
includes information on workers' rights overseas, legal methods of
migration and the risks of irregular migration and human
trafficking.

Ukrainians can also get information via a dedicated website ( class="paragraph-link-no-underline" href=
"http://www.migrantinfo.org.ua" target="_blank" title=
"">www.migrantinfo.org.ua) or by calling toll-free hotlines
operated by partner NGOs in Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv Ternopil and
Odessa. 

It is estimated that more than 2 million Ukrainians are living
abroad and potential migrants are in increasing need of accurate
information before making the crucial decision of whether to go
abroad for work, study or travel.

For further information, please call:

Monica Goracci

IOM Lisbon

Tel +351 21 324 29 47

E-mail: "mailto:mgoracci@iom.int" target="_blank" title=
"">mgoracci@iom.int

Natalia Krivtsova

IOM Kiev

Tel: + 380 44 568 50 15

E-mail: "mailto:nkrivtsova@iom.kiev.ua" target="_blank" title=
"">nkrivtsova@iom.kiev.ua