While Sierra Leone has largely been a country of emigration, it also serves as a host country for migrants, with the majority of migrants living in Sierra Leone from other West African Countries. It is a well-known fact that the diaspora can contribute to socio-economic development in their homeland through the transfer of skills and remittances, on the other hand, immigrants can also boost local labour supply and provide critical skills for engineering development in host countries.

Recognizing the importance of labour migration for socio-economic development and in an effort to implement the ECOWAS protocols and international conventions on the protection of migrants and their families, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security commenced, in 2013, the development a National Labour Migration Policy for Sierra Leone.

In 2015, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security approached the Demand Driven Facility (DDF) of the EU and ECOWAS funded project, “Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa” (FMM West Africa), for technical assistance for the review and finalization of the draft policy. After several consultations with relevant stakeholders in Sierra Leone, the draft policy was reviewed and subsequently finalized with the support of the DDF.
This validation workshop taking place from 19-20 September, at the Country Lodge Complex, Freetown, will mark the culmination of the DDF action, with the final presentation of the draft policy for technically validation by different stakeholders in Sierra Leone.

The review of the Labour Migration Policy is supported by the Demand Driven Facility (DDF) of the EU and ECOWAS funded project, “Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa” (FMM West Africa). The DDF is providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for the finalisation of the National labour migration policy, with the ultimate aim of enhancing the capacity of the Ministry to achieve its mandate in the area of managing labour migration.

Information Note on FMM West Africa Project
The FMM West Africa project is jointly funded by the European Union (EU) and the ECOWAS Commission. With a 26-million-euro budget and a five-year timeline, the project covers the 15 ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania on different thematic areas of migration, such as, trafficking in persons, border management, migration policy development and labour migration. The FMM West Africa project is driven by the ECOWAS Commission and implemented jointly by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
More information on the project is available on the project website: www.fmmwestafrica.com.

For more information
ECOWAS website: www.ecowas.int
EU Delegation to ECOWAS: www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/nigeria
EU Development & Cooperation Office, Migration & Asylum website: www.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/migration-asylum
IOM website: www.iom.int
ICMPD website: www.icmpd.org
ILO website: www.ilo.org

Ms. Amala OBIOKOYE-NWALOR, Programme Officer, +234 (0)9038852 647, amala.nwalor@icmpd.org