Every year, temporary contractual workers from South and South-East Asian countries make the decision to pursue foreign employment in the Gulf region. Roughly 72% of foreign workers stationed in the Gulf are nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Under the patronage of the ADD, the Comprehensive Information and Orientation Programme (CIOP), spearheaded by the Government of the Philippines, centres on the premise that accurate and tailored orientation programmes for temporary contractual workers are powerful tools that benefit all stakeholders involved in labour migration. It acts to establish coherence between information delivered by countries of origin and destination, accounting for the entire migration journey.
These programmes aim to:
Information streamlined across countries of origin and destination will lead to more knowledgeable and better prepared foreign workers, with strengthened capacities to effectively navigate work and life abroad. This, in turn, contributes to higher level of wellbeing and productivity, benefitting all stakeholders involved.
Through a multi-phased process, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Government of the UAE, three orientations, harmonized across the labour migration process, form the heart of CIOP. These interventions are as follows:
To establish a regional model for streamlined orientation, a wide-ranging exercise has taken place, with support from the International Organization for Migration, across select ADD countries of origin and destination, to understand existing information programmes, their associated delivery methods, institutional architecture, content as well as identify common challenges. Based on these findings, a set of regional guides were put forth, containing an array of recommendations, best practices, proposed modules along with components of an effective management system.
As a result of this process of collaboration and consultations with various stakeholders, six CIOP knowledge products were developed and launched at the ADD 5th Ministerial Consultation on 17 October 2019 as follows:
These CIOP Background Reports and CIOP Regional Guides and Management Systems, act as key resources to ADD Member States in strengthening and further harmonizing information delivery initiatives that address information gaps of temporary contractual workers.
Using these resources, CIOP PEO, PDO and PAO modules will be piloted across three specific country corridors and sectors. During a dedicated workshop on the side-lines of the ADD Senior Officials Meeting in January 2017, the following country pairing and target occupations were decided and are as follows:
The pilot phase will involve developing pair-specific and accurate PEO, PDO and PAO curricula as well as train national master trainers in order to equip all participating ADD Member States with the institutional capacity to operationalize and administer harmonized orientation. Delivering PEO, PDO and PAO sessions across these corridors will enable a thorough analysis elaborating on how harmonized orientation impacts the capacities of temporary contractual workers to effectively navigate work and life abroad.
CIOP benefits a range of different stakeholders, including temporary contractual workers, employers, recruiters, governments and economies of countries of origin and destination, as well as different communities. As a direct result of project implementation, the following entities are considered immediate stakeholders:
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