Participants at the Tunis seminar to launch the project. (Photo: Tunisian Social Affairs Ministry)
Participants at the Tunis seminar to launch the project. (Photo: Tunisian Social Affairs Ministry)

A project that aims to protect migrant workers' rights in North Africa has been launched in Tunis. The project, titled "Support to Improving Migration Governance and Promoting Fair Labor Migration in the Maghreb," will support improvements in migration management.

A new project launched in Tunis aims to support improvements in migration management and the promotion of fair labor migration in North Africa. The project's mandate includes striving for better protection of migrant workers' rights in the area. 

The project's launch coincided with a seminar organized by the Tunisian Ministry of Social Affairs and the International Labor Organization (ILO). ILO will implement the three-year initiative with funding from the Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS) in a strategic partnership with interested parties in Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Mauritania. 

Support to develop migration statistics 

Mohamed Ali Diahi, director of the ILO, said the project — which is the continuation of other programs in the region — is an attempt to strengthen partners' skills in implementing strategies for good governance of migration. The new initiative will focus on using best practices and policies to deal with the migration issue. 

In Tunisia, for example, the project will promote better coordination between the various structures responsible for the development of statistics on migration, i.e. the National Statistics Institute (INS) and the National Labor Observatory, and will provide more up-to-date statistics, said the general director for migration and labor abroad at the Tunisian Ministry for Social Affairs, Ahmed Masoudi. 

Data on Tunisian migration 

Masoudi also noted that the number of Tunisians living abroad is estimated at 1.4 million people, most of whom have settled in European countries, especially France. The number of Tunisians that migrate abroad every year is roughly 13,000: 36% of whom go in search of work, 24% for their studies, and the rest for family reunification purposes. 

Regarding migration in North Africa, Masoudi said that there are an estimated 20,000 Tunisians living in Algeria and about 3,000 in Morocco, but that it's impossible to give an estimate for those in Libya due to the country's instability. The Tunisian Ministry for Social Affairs is preparing a strategic plan on migration that calls for the coordination between several structures, announced the head of migration at the ministry, Abdelkader Mhadhbi. 

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