The Togo-based civil society organisation, ‘Visions Solidaires’ has recently published their report entitled « Situational Analysis – Smuggling of Togolese migrant workers and people trafficking in the Middle East and Central Africa ».
By providing an important contribution to present evidence of the exploitation and vulnerability of African migrant workers moving in a South-South and trans-regional context, it also connects its detailed findings to the substantive work undertaken by the Migration and Development (MADE) Civil Society Network, and more specifically to its Open Working Group on Labour Migration and Recruitment. MADE, guided by the 5 year 8 point Plan of Action, has advocated for ethical recruitment standards and safe labour migration on a global and inter-regional level to protect and empower migrant workers at every stage of the labour cycle.
In terms of outcomes, the research found that the main factors behind the departure of these migrant workers from Togo relate to their prospects within the socio-economic conditions in their country of origin, and their local community. Migrant workers traveling to the Middle-East and Central Africa are recruited by persons who work informally on behalf of employment agencies located in the countries of destination. Upon arrival in their destination country, Togolese migrant workers face difficult working conditions, often combined or exacerbated by their employers’ failure to respect their fundamental rights. For those returning from these countries, the challenges of reintegration in Togo lead many to leave again.
The methodology employed in this social research study is mainly based on qualitative analysis comprising literature reviews and interviews with victims and Togolese stakeholders working on the phenomenon. The research also reviews the existing public institutions and authorities dealing with this issue in Togo. Shared good practices developed by various countries on the subject in question allowed for the diffusion of several recommendations aimed at Togolese authorities to better accompany and protect Togolese migrant workers.
The situational analysis was carried out thanks to the financial support of the French Embassy in Togo and a strong collaboration among state actors, civil society, the Togolese diaspora and Togolese migrant workers living in Lebanon and Gabon.