During the technical seminar on Social Security Reforms which was held in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from 22 to 24 Mach 2011, the participants discussed the issue of social security protection for migrant workers once they leave the host country and particular concern was expressed regarding the lack of coverage and portability of benefit rights. It was noted that since there are no agreements or conventions covering administrative provisions between social security organizations in West Africa, migrant workers do not have social protection or lose their benefits once they leave the host country.
This problem is becoming more daunting with the increasing migration flow between West African countries. Social security systems that are easily accessible and open to migrant workers would strengthen cooperation between the countries and extend social security coverage.
In order to find concrete solutions to this challenge, CEOs and Directors in this region requested the ISSA Liaison Office for West Africa to establish a Working group on migrant workers and the portability of their benefits. The mandate of this Working group would be to discuss the various aspects related to this problem in order to produce a document with specific proposals.
This Working group is made up of experts from ISSA member organizations in West Africa and the working languages are English and French.
Three meetings are scheduled, the first one will take place in Conakry, Republic of Guinea from 24 to 27 October 2011.