Egypt: IOM awards BWI trade union leader for fighting for migrant workers’ rights

 The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) bestowed its “Friends of Migrants” Award to General Trade Union for Building and Wood Workers (GTUBWW) President Abdel Monem El Gamal in appreciation of his role in promoting safe migration and fighting for the rights of migrant workers. 

IOM Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck gave the award to El Gamal, who is also the President of BWI Africa and Middle East’s Regional Executive Committee (AFRECO).  The IOM said that the award lauds the trade union leader’s “determination to upskill migrants and facilitate their access to employment, and his active role in engaging the Egyptian government on migrant workers issue."

El Gamal thanked the IOM for recognising his union’s efforts to help migrant workers. He said that the majority of refugees and asylum-seekers in Egypt were already highly vulnerable prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, and have been further impacted negatively by the evolving circumstances. 

The trade unionist also said that many migrant workers have lost their sources of income, cannot afford to buy basic supplies and were evicted from their homes. Unaccompanied and separated children are also becoming increasingly vulnerable, and cases of gender-based violence (GBV) continue to be reported.

The IOM award recognises Egyptian trade unions for their contribution to protect the rights of migrant workers. El Gamal is one of the 30 Egyptians leaders who received the award during IOM’s 30th Anniversary this year.

The IOM is one of BWI partners on migration in Egypt together with the GTUBWW.