Basra, Iraq: Two new post-arrival orientation sessions (PAOS) for migrant workers were conducted in Basra and Missan through the Daewoo Company and PetroChina Company, respectively, as well as the relevant recruitment agencies. Around 110 migrant workers have participated from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and other Asian and African countries as well as local (Iraqi) workers.
The sessions were conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, through the MRC and MIGRAP flagship initiative, under the project Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes funded by the European Union.
From these sessions are various cases, inquiries or requests from the participants such as: the benefits that migrant workers can get out of the government retirement and social insurance programme; their inclusion or coverage under the government vaccination scheme; the case of confiscated passports without receipt/authorisation; the absence of contracts upon arrival in Iraq (which also applies to local workers); and extension of leave benefits due to non-use or inability to return to home countries out of travel restrictions.
Parallel to the PAOS sessions are 2 labour inspections of migrant workers’ worksites in Basra and Missan; meeting with employers to discuss the current situation of migrant workers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic; and the orientation of HR company staff on guidelines and regulations by MOLSA regarding occupational safety and health and migrants’ rights. The goal of these inspections and orientation sessions is to ensure employers and recruiters’ compliance with Iraq labour laws.