IOM says Ukraine is not protecting its labour migrants


According to the Head of the International Organization for Migration Mission In Ukraine, Geoffrey Labovits, Ukraine does not provide the proper legal support for its nationals working abroad. According to researcher into labour migration issues Oleh Pokalchuk the reason for this is the lack of protection for the rights of employees within the country.

The Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Policy Viktor Ivankevych has stated at a seminar on labour migration that the number of Ukrainian migrant workers is between 3 and 3.5 million, with only two percent working abroad legally. However Oleh Pokalchuk considers that any such figures are guesswork. “You can call those people labour migrants who go abroad and haven’t returned within 6 months”. He thinks that the average number of such people is around 5-6 million. Most often they seek work in the West.  He adds that the lack of progress in overcoming the shadow economy within Ukraine makes it impossible to protect labour rights of Ukrainians abroad. At the same time he points out that their legalization would mean guarantees of a decent wage, freedom of movement and to seek work. It would also deal a blow to the shadow economy within Ukraine and put an end to its being exported to Europe.

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