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Unions launch ‘Migrant Desks’ in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana

11 September 2012
Affiliates of the global union federation Public Services International launched the Migrant Desk initiative as part of the PSI Migration and Health and Social Care Workers Programme in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana. The official launch was marked with a ceremony in South Africa in early September 2012.

The Migrant Desk is the focal point of the trade union outreach programme. It will provide information, counselling, organizing, support services and networking for migrants, prospective migrants and returning migrants. This is a key element of the PSI campaign to defend quality public health services by tackling migration and human resources for health issues.

“The Migrant Desk is a pioneering initiative among trade unions in our country. It brings visibility to the work of the union in providing information and services to its members and prospective members who are migrant workers. A core component of the Migrant Desk is organizing,” says Abu Kuntulo, General Secretary of the Ghana Health Services Workers’ Union (HSWU).

“We are very excited to launch the Migrant Desk. At the same time, we will also host a symposium bringing government representatives, trade unionists, employers, non-governmental organizations and various stakeholders to bring attention to the migration of our health workforce and commit to ways of promoting decent work and quality public services in our country so that people are not forced to migrate,” says Milka Isinta from the Kenya Union of Domestic, Health, Educational Institutions and Hotel and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA), and national coordinator of the PSI Migration Programme in Kenya.

“In addition to bringing visibility to the work of our unions in addressing migration, we also aim to bring more stakeholders on board by launching the national Alliance for Ethical Recruitment. A lot of violations of migrant workers’ rights are happening because of the illegal practices of certain recruitment agencies. It is time to come together and put a halt to these illegal practices,” says Thembi Mngomezulu, PSI Sub-Regional Secretary for Southern Africa.

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