Labour Mobility and Human Development Unit
IOM Egypt’s Labour Mobility and Human Development Unit (LHD) works to provide positive alternatives to irregular migration from Egypt and to enhance the linkages between emigration of Egyptians and Egypt’s development. It does so by supporting the Government of Egypt foster regular mobility channels for Egyptian citizens, provide positive life alternatives to Egyptian youth to prevent irregular migration from Egypt, as well as foster dialogue on engaging Egyptian expatriate communities in Egypt’s development. In addition, the LHD works to support the integration of displaced populations in Egypt by addressing their needs as well as of those of the hosting communities.
Vision: IOM strives to protect migrant workers and to optimize the benefits of labour migration for the countries of origin and destination, employers and private sector interests, as well as for migrants themselves.
Building on the achievements of past interventions, IOM Egypt is working to establish an Observatory of Human Mobility (OHM), to conduct research, foster dialogue and mobilize stakeholders to promote the mobility of Egyptian citizens by fostering skills-matching in occupations/sectors of common interest to Egypt and potential destination countries in Europe.
This constitutes part of the efforts to respond to the challenges of Egypt’s high fertility rate and ensuing oversupply of the labour market, and the European Union’s decreasing workforce caused by ageing population.
While OHM is to initially focus on Egypt and EU member states, the initiative will eventually allow for its expansion to also include other countries across the Mediterranean, as well as other major countries of destination, such as those in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Ultimately, OHM will facilitate constructive and evidence-based dialogue between Egypt and EU member states on labour mobility, including for training/studying purposes, while simultaneously identifying relevant stakeholders and engaging them in this dialogue.
In parallel, IOM Egypt is contributing to the development and implementation of labour migration/human mobility policies in Egypt that meet international standards by improving data collection, enhancing the knowledge and skills of the national authorities on managing labour migration/human mobility, and facilitating the ethical recruitment of Egyptian citizens.
IOM has worked also with the Government of Egypt to address the implications of climate change for human displacement, focusing specifically on communities living in low elevation areas southeast of Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast.
Migration and Development
Vision: IOM aims to contribute to a better understanding of the reciprocal effects of migration on development and of sectoral development policies on migration, and to encourage mainstreaming migration considerations into development policy and development considerations into migration policy.
Engaging Expatriates in Development
IOM supports the Government of Egypt’s efforts to reach out to, establish a dialogue with, and mobilize Egyptian expatriates to contribute to Egypt’s development. Programming in this thematic area is framed by IOM’s 3E approach:
- Enable: maximizing the potential of transnational communities
- Engage: understanding and reaching out to expatriates
- Empower: mobilizing the transfer of skills and resources
Efficiently engaging Egyptian expatriates is particularly important since Egypt ranks 7th globally in terms of personal remittances received from abroad.
Activities implemented to support the government of Egypt mobilize the resources of its expatriates – today numbered at 9.5 million (2017 Census) – falls under five general project categories:
- Capacity-building of national authorities on migration and development
- Providing technical expertise for the design of a national strategy on expatriate engagement for development
- Mapping of and outreach to expatriate communities
- Setting up mechanisms for the transfer of skills from expatriates to local communities
- Supporting expatriates in contributing to local development
Supporting the Reintegration of Returnees to Egypt
Through its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programmes, IOM provides Egyptian returnees with reintegration assistance to facilitate their socio-economic integration in their communities of return. For more information on this, please visit the AVRR page.
Human and Community Development
Vision: IOM aims to ensure that migration is a decision voluntarily and that, in cases where migrants are instead driven by crisis or conflict, they have to opportunity to fulfill their basic human rights.
Advancing local community development to prevent irregular migration from Egypt
IOM combines awareness-raising of the dangers of irregular migration and the risks of trafficking with the provision of livelihood alternatives so as to contribute sustainably to the prevention of irregular migration. Programming thus enhances local community development by encouraging, among others, the creation of jobs, of micro- and small-businesses and other income generating activities through the provision of specialized technical trainings and other technical support.
To address the large proportion of youths lacking employment opportunities in Egypt, IOM also promotes matching skills with labour market needs: in this light, interventions include enhancing vocational training and education opportunities for youth at risk of engaging in irregular migration in key occupations in the tourism industry in order to increase their employment opportunities.
Supporting the integration of displaced populations and their host communities in Egypt
IOM Egypt provides assistance to displaced populations and their host communities through activities that foster community cohesion. Programming targets migrant and host communities through local-level social and economic interventions designed to enhance host community resilience. In the context of the Syrian crisis, for instance, livelihood and healthcare activities are implemented in an effort to build host community capacity and promote refugee integration.
To improve migrants’ ability to access services while in Egypt, IOM designed and implemented an online platform – Bosla – that details information about the various services made accessible to migrants in Egypt. Bosla also serves as a directory for organizations, who are able to create online profiles and upload updated information about the services they provide, the activities they implement, and the various referral mechanisms relevant to migrants living in Egypt.