Belgian experts gather at event on the irregular employment of third country nationals organized by the Belgian Contact Point of the EMN
Today, the Belgian National Contact Point of the European Migration Network organized an event in Brussels to discuss the irregular employment of third country nationals.
The Belgian National Contact Point of the European Migration Network (EMN) gathered some 50 key stakeholders – including representatives from the Inspection Services, the Immigration Office, Myria, or NGOs - to discuss the irregular employment of third country nationals in Belgium.
Philippe Vanden Broeck - from the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue - first presented the main findings of the recent EMN report on “the illegal employment of third country nationals in Belgium”, which addresses different aspects of irregular employment (including preventive measures, inspections to detect the irregular employment, sanctions for employers and consequences for migrant workers).
The following two presentations focused on the consequences of irregular employment for the (irregularly staying) migrant workers, including risks and protective measures. Omar Garcia – from the NGO ORCA – focused on the Belgian case. On the basis of ORCA’s experience, he identified some good practices (e.g. possibility for migrant workers to lodge a complaint) and challenges (e.g. information on their rights not always accessible to migrant workers; difficulties with access to legal assistance, etc.).
Michele Levoy – from the NGO PICUM - provided a European and global perspective on the issue. Among other topics, she stressed the importance of an effective complaints mechanism for labour rights violations, based on five key components: a firewall (clear separation between labour/social authorities and immigration authorities); a complaints body with sufficient power and resources; fair legal proceedings; residence status for the worker (at least for the duration of the procedure); and a mechanism to ensure that compensation is actually received.
The powerpoint presentations used during the event are available below.