Zim sets up migrant resource centres

By Tichaona Kurewa

Zimbabwe is setting up migrant labour resource centres in Harare and Bulawayo to raise awareness on issues affecting migrant workers.

The Migrant Labour Resource Centres are meant to ensure that migrants get accurate information on employment opportunities and expose illegal employment agencies involved human trafficking.

This comes at a time when individuals working in foreign countries continue to be subjected to exploitation by unscrupulous recruiters, while there is limited protection of the rights of migrant workers.

Speaking after a five-day SADC ethical recruitment engagement organised by the International Organisation for Migration in Victoria Falls, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Professor Paul Mavima said the Resource centres will curb human trafficking and other related criminal activities.

“We have established what we call migrant labour resource centres in Harare and Bulawayo. The Harare one will be launched in April, so that one is already done and it is going to provide services to citizens who want to migrate highlighting the steps that they need to take in order to protect themselves and ensure that they can get maximum benefit as they go out. These resource centres by the way are also going to migrant workers who come into Zimbabwe, so it is not just for our citizens, it is also a resource centre that is going to help those who come to Zimbabwe as migrant workers,” said Professor Mavima.

Professor Mavima highlighted that government is also capacitating employment agencies.

“We are engaging with private employment agencies, providing training on ethical recruitment, and we are also providing the supervision that is necessary, in order for the process to be done.”

Human trafficking and unfair labour practices are still a major threat in the region and beyond, with the biggest scam in recent years being the Kuwait saga, which led to the imprisonment of perpetrators.