Strengthening labour migration management in Iraq

Baghdad, Iraq: The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Iraq has approved and endorsed the “Guide for the Regulation of Foreign Workers in the Republic of Iraq within Existing Labour Legislation”. The Guide was developed by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development and MOLSA to expand the labour migration rules and regulations in Iraq.

MOLSA’s Director General Raed Jabbar Bahedh Al-Lami said that “this guide is important in view of the fact that we have about 500,000 foreign workers in Iraq, most of whom need protection and service because some of them have an irregular status.”

The signing was done during the 2nd training for MOLSA on 21 October in Baghdad. Focusing on the topic “Strengthening Labour Migration Compliance and Modernising Labour Inspection for the Protection of Migrants’ Rights”, this training is part of the series of capacity building initiatives by ICMPD and MOLSA to strengthen the labour migration management in Iraq. Ten officials from MOLSA and three from ICMPD and MRC participated in the 2-day training on 21-22 October.

Among the agreements arising from the training are for MOLSA inspectors to participate in the global academy conducted biennially by ILO; ICMPD to facilitate discussions between MOLSA labour inspectors and labour attaches/relevant government officials from Pakistan and Bangladesh to identify inspection cooperation in both origin and destination countries; and MOLSA and MRC to facilitate further awareness raising among foreign workers on the laws in Iraq.

MOLSA claims that the lack of awareness on the protection mechanisms for foreign workers is the most common problem why compliance is not enforced because the foreign workers are afraid to report cases of erring employers to MOLSA.