Protection of the rights of migrant workers in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study examines the protection of migrant workers in Tanzania, a country which, in terms of current migration discourse, plays a threefold role, since it is a sending country, a transit country, and a receiving country. The study examines the adequacy of the laws that protect the rights of workers who leave their countries to take up employment in Tanzania. The national regulatory framework on labour migration is evaluated by using international, regional and sub-regional legal instruments that provide the standards for the protection of migrant workers. Comparative best practices from various countries are also described in order to examine and identify the gaps in the current legal and institutional framework. The study examines four key areas, namely, the admission of migrant workers and their access to the labour market, conditions of employment, freedom of association, and social security rights. These areas are examined by means of a thorough contextual, legal and policy analysis and an empirically based validation from which various observations and conclusions are made. The study establishes that pertinent legal and practical protection issues exist. First, there is no comprehensive labour migration policy or regulatory framework. The available framework comprises incoherent pieces of legislation and policy documents which sometimes differ, depending on what they seek to achieve. Second, the current regulatory framework, apart from being fragmented, is largely inadequate and overwhelmingly orientated towards immigration control. Third, the supervisory institutions are similarly uncoordinated and notoriously inefficient. All these factors impact negatively on the livelihood of migrant workers. The study consistently maintains that Tanzania can reap the economic benefits of international labour migration only if her regulatory framework is rational and responsive to the protection needs of migrant workers. With the guidance of international standards on migrant workers and comparative best practices from other countries, the study provides some suggestions to facilitate the formulation of a rational labour migration framework that addresses socio-economic realities without negating the rights of migrant workers. To achieve this goal it is recommended that the labour migration framework should be integrated into the overarching national socio-economic development strategies. In addition, the framework should adopt a rights-based approach and be aligned with international, regional and sub-regional norms on the protection of migrant workers.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (FOL THS HD5856.T34M37)
Migrant labor, Civil rights, Tanzania
Masebo, J. (2012) Protection of the rights of migrant workers in Tanzania, Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.