Introducing the GCM for a Better Integration of Migrants workers in Tunisia

Within the framework of the “Human Rights, Trade Union and Quality Public Services for Refugees and Migrant Workers” project, implemented by PSI in partnership with Union to Union and the Swedish affiliate ST, PSI affiliated unions in Tunisia organized a workshop entitled “Introducing the Global Compact for Migration for a Better Integration of Migrants workers in Tunisia”.

On 14 September, at the Majestic Hotel in Tunis, 25 trade unionists (15 men and 10 women) from PSI affiliated unions : Fédération Générale des Travaux publics et de l’Habitat, Fédération Générale des Municipaux, Fédération Générale de la Santé, Fédération Nationale de l’Electricité et du Gaz, Syndicat Général des Eaux, Fédération Générale de l’Agriculture, Fédération Générale des Plans et des Finances, Syndicat Général de la Justice, held a hybrid workshop with the remote participation of the project coordinator, Chahnaz El Zein, from Beirut.

The workshop was divided into two main parts:

  1. Meeting with a group of migrant workers who joined UGTT:

The meeting provided an opportunity for the unionists to speak with migrant workers face-to-face and listen to their concerns and aspirations in light of their joining UGTT.

  1. The GCM and national laws:

This section was divided into two parts, a theoretical-analytical part presented by Latifa Grish and Nawfal Rhayem, and a second part where small groups were formed where they discussed the challenges and strategies to overcome difficulties and identify flaws in national laws.

  • The Global Compact on Migration (GCM):

Mrs. Grich focused on points 15 to 17; the discussions revolved around these points so that participants could interact and comprehend the GCM goals and aims that are compatible with human rights and universal values.

  • National Laws and Migrants:

Mr. Rhayem gave a presentation on national laws, articles concerning migrants and their legislative limitations in this area: The majority of these laws date from the sixties and seventies and are no longer applicable in the modern world, where Tunisia has become a country of transit, residence and asylum. Even the laws passed in 2016 and 2018 were the result of Tunisia’s ratification of the Convention on the prohibition of traffic in human beings. The amendments did not include the law on public service and the public sector and did not modify the Labor Code in relation to the private sector, which resulted in thousands of migrants working as slaves.

In the second part, the small groups gathered and came up with suggestions to amend national laws to protect the rights of migrant workers.