Migration Resource Center to be established in Punjab Pakistan
Lahore, Pakistan: The first ever Migrant Resource Centre in Pakistan will be set up in Punjab soon.
“The centre is housed at the Industrial Relation Institute in Lahore and is being established with the technical assistance of the ILO under its EU funded South Asia Labour Migration Governance Project”, says a statement issued by ILO office here. When fully operational, the centre will provide a range of services including information on safe migration, foreign employment options, country specific pre-departure training and legal counselling and support to Pakistanis interested in foreign employment.
The Secretary of the Department of Labour and Human Resource (DoL) Punjab, Ishrat Ali and ILO Country Director Francesco d’Ovidio jointly opened the first stakeholders’ meeting organized by the Migrant Resource Center recently in Lahore.
Representatives of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC), employment agencies, Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC), Punjab Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (P-TEVTA), International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), City and Guilds and other relevant institutions who provide services to migrant workers participated in the meeting.
While speaking at the meeting, Ishrat Ali, Secretary of Labour and Human Resource Lahore, acknowledged the important contribution migrant workers make towards Pakistan’s development, mainly in the form of remittances and transfer of new skills. He shared the department’s vision and commitment to facilitating safe migration of Pakistani workers and agreed to replicate the migrant resource centre-model at the district level through district labour offices in order to ensure that labour migrants’ access accurate and timely information as required. Francesco d’Ovidio, Country Director ILO, congratulated the department for successfully establishing the migrant resource centre. Given that there are some 8.1 million Pakistanis from Punjab currently working abroad, there is certainly a need for information services. Mr. d’Ovidio stressed the need to institutionalize such initiatives and suggested that a strong coordination network among relevant stakeholders needs to be built to serve the large number of potential clients.
Mr. d’Ovidio also emphasised on a need to prepare a forward looking strategy and more robust analysis on the labour market information of the migrant receiving countries to inform skill development initiatives in Pakistan.Participants provided feedback and inputs towards the implementation of the migrant resource centre and called for a strong media campaign so that those interested in migration can get required information and access other services provided by the centre.
The participants assured their unconditional support towards this very important initiative.