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[Work Plan]

Department of Social Development and Employment (SEDI)

1. Activities Assigned:

Pursuant to the recommendations received at its first annual meeting, held on March 16, 2006, the Program included the Department of Social Development and Employment as an implementer of the Program (in the Organs, Agencies, and Entities of the OAS category) and assigned it the following three specific activities:

• Establishment of an Inter-American Network for Labor Administration (RIAL), conceived as an integral mechanism that shares knowledge and relevant experiences for the strengthening and modernization of labor administration vis-à-vis the challenges of globalization

• Organize workshops on the labor rights of migrant workers in the framework of RIAL.

• Serve as a link between the Migrants Program and the Ministries of Labor in the Hemisphere meeting at the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML) of the OAS, whose technical secretariat is the DSDE.

2. Activities Carried Out

• The DSDE has initiated the first phase of RIAL 2006-2007, after applying for and ensuring financing for it from the Ministry of Labour of Canada. Three exchange activities took place with RIAL during 2006, the third of which is worth underscoring:

• Second Hemispheric Workshop on Occupational Health and Security – San Salvador, El Salvador, March 16 and 17, 2006, hosted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of El Salvador.

• Seminar on Labor Intermediation and Labor Observatories – Morelos, Mexico, November 7, 2006, hosted by the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare of Mexico (Chair pro tempore of the XIV IACML)

• Workshop “Migrant workers: Protection of labor rights and labor market programs” – Ottawa, Canada, November 28-29, 2006, hosted by the Labour Program of Human Resources and Social Development Canada.

• The Workshop on Migrant Workers was coordinated by the DSDE. Participants included representatives of the Labor Ministries and other government institutions of 28 member states, representatives of international organizations, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), and several observers. One notable participant was Commissioner Freddy Gutiérrez, Special Rapporteur for Migrant Workers and Their Families of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. During the Workshop, participants exchanged experiences and sound practices for the promotion of the labor rights of migrant workers, as well as specific bilateral programs and agreements aimed at achieving orderly management of migration flows. The specific experiences analyzed included programs and agreements of Canada, Mexico, Brazil, United States, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago. The DSDE has prepared a web page on the Workshop, containing all the information regarding it, including the names of participants, remarks, presentations, papers, and summaries: www.sedi.oas.org/ddse/migrantes. Among the major issues highlighted by the workshop are, in particular, the need to achieve orderly and transparent management of labor migration; the importance of bilateral or multilateral social security agreements permitting pension transfers; the need for legal, political, and ethical consistency in migration management; the importance of remittances; dissemination and communication strategies for informing migrant workers of their rights; the imperative need for cooperation between countries sending migrants and those receiving them; the coordination, legal enforcement, inspection, and surveillance functions of labor ministries in the management of the migration process; as well as others.

• With respect to linkage between the Migrants Program and the IACML, the DSDE presented the Program to representatives of the Labor Ministries of the Hemisphere during the meeting of the Working Groups of the OAS’s IACML, held on April 4-6, 2006, in Mexico City. It also invited the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs and the Secretariat for Legal Affairs (SLA) to the Workshop on Migrant Workers, held in November 2006, in Ottawa, Canada, and it kept them abreast of developments. Special mention must again be made of the participation of the IACHR’s Special Rapporteur for Migrant Workers and Their Families in this workshop.

3. Activities Being Planned

• In the RIAL framework, activities will be arranged to analyze and share experiences regarding a number of priority issues for the IACML. The following workshops are to be held in 2007: 1) Social protection; 2) Technical Assistance; and 3) Labor Dimensions of Free Trade Agreements and Regional Integration Processes.

• The XV IACML will take place in September, 2006 in Trinidad and Tobago. Its Declaration and Plan of Action will take into consideration the conclusions of the RIAL workshops, including the Workshop on the Labor Rights of Migrant Workers, held in November 2006, in Ottawa, Canada. The XV IACML will also establish new priority areas for INLA/REAL.

• The DSDE will continue to forge links between the Migrants Program and the IACML through presentations to the IACML Working Groups.

4. Calendar

• RIAL Workshops:
o Social Protection – March or April 2007
o Technical Assistance – May 2007
o Labor Dimensions of Free Trade Agreements and Regional Integration Processes – July 2007

• Meetings of the Working Groups of the IACML: May 2007 and during the first semester of subsequent years.

• XV IACML – September 2007

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