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Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Labour Mobility in North Africa (THAMM)

Primary GCM Objectives

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


2019 - 2025

Type of practice


Geographic scope


Sub Regions:


Designed as a regional programme, THAMM supports partner institutions in North Africa to draft and implement policies and mechanisms for safe, orderly and regular migration, as well as fostering cooperation and regional exchange between relevant stakeholders in North Africa. It will contribute to improving the governance of labour migration and the protection of migrant workers in the North of Africa by supporting the development and implementation of coherent and comprehensive policy frameworks guided by relevant human rights and labour standards and based on reliable data and evidence, which are essential for fair and effective labour migration governance and decent work.

The THAMM programme builds on the experience of the implementation institutions in North Africa and beyond to foster mutually beneficial migration and mobility for North African countries. The programme addresses both the South-North and the South-South dimensions of labour migration and mobility through regional dialogue and cooperation. The programme covers the three countries Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia and is inclusive of and open to other North African countries for sub-regional activities. The programme also develops and pilots mobility schemes, in particular for young women and men in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, who are interested in a dual-track vocational training in Germany, or for skilled workers seeking employment in Germany, Belgium or France. It also includes a pilot regional south-south mobility scheme between Morocco and Tunisia. The project is co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF).


Main Implementing Organization(s)

Government of Belgium
International Labour Organization (ILO)
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Government of Germany
Government of France

Detailed Information

Enabel - Belgian development agency, International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Office Français de l'Immigration et de l'Intégration (OFII)

Partner/Donor Organizations

Governmental institutions
Public and private sector
Social partners

Benefit and Impact

Overall: THAMM aims to foster mutually beneficial safe, regular and orderly labour migration and mobility opportunities for North African countries. The programme draws on existing international standards and frameworks to promote fair labour migration and ethical and fair recruitment schemes.

GIZ: THAMM promotes a so-called triple win approach benefiting migrants themselves, countries of origin and destination. Those who migrate to Germany expand their qualification profile and thereby grow their professional prospects both in the country of origin and abroad. Cooperation countries benefit from new partnerships enabling them to offer an extended range of employment opportunities as well as from the knowledge transfer by migrants and by diaspora engagement. As receiving country, Germany benefits from scalable mobility models counteracting shortage of skilled workers in future.

ILO/IOM: Through THAMM, ILO and IOM promote the skills partnerships for migration in line with GCM objective 18 by providing comprehensive institutional capacity development at the national and regional levels with the aim of strengthening labour migration governance and coherence between labour migration and other policies. To ensure that labour migration policies are based on reliable data and evidence, ILO and IOM work closely with governments in North Africa. Also, ILO and IOM work towards improving mechanisms for assessment, certification, validation and recognition of migrants' skills and qualifications with public and private employment services in receiving and sending countries.

Enabel: THAMM tests the innovative “Global Skills Partnership” approach by piloting mobility schemes between Morocco, Tunisia and Belgium based on the assumption that labour migration better benefits the parties when talents are able to find a qualified job both in the country of origin and destination. The talents are preselected based on similar labour market needs. An intensive training is organised (technical, soft and language skills, and integration info-sessions) in the country of origin (Morocco, Tunisia). The talents are then put in contact with employers for national and international recruitments. A multistakeholder public and private cooperation is built and a transversal action-research component is integrated.

OFII: Through THAMM, OFII and the Tunisian Employment Agency (ANETI) aim to improve professional mobility between Tunisia and France or other European States. It deals with circular mobility understood as the possibility for the people who have opted for legal migration to consider periods of their life in Europe and others in Tunisia, without irreversibility. It concerns seasonal work, young professionals and the match between Tunisian skills and foreign demand. Finally, it fosters the attractiveness of Tunisia for its expatriate talents and skills. THAMM relies on prospective, digital tools, capacity building, broad communication and a lot of coordination.

Key Lessons

GIZ: A key lesson learned has been to invest significant time and resources in both the pre-departure orientation of the young migrants, as well as in supporting the integration phase with a practical and hands-on approach. Within the pre-departure phase, a particular emphasis should be put on learning the language of the new country.

ILO/IOM: Projects aiming at policy changes need an appropriate timeframe (longer than the normal cycle of 3 years) and require whole-of-government approach. To do this effectively, the governance structure should be well structured, having different levels of process (decision-making level and operational level), as well as setting up sectoral working groups. In addition, training and sensitisation activities should be foreseen continuously, combining different methodologies such as refresher trainings, workshops, roundtable discussions.

Enabel: The Global Skills Partnership approach is very relevant and innovative for all partners, and well appropriated by public and private partners at origin and destination. The key lesson learned and challenge concerns the mobilisation of the employers since the start of the project, especially in the country of destination. The building of trust within national and international public and private partners also takes time.

OFII: Not yet applicable as OFII joined the programme only recently.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

GIZ: For mobility programmes that support the migration of young people for employment or training purposes it is essential to have all actors in the fields of professional education, labour market, as well as on migration and integration in both the country of origin as well as the country of destination on board.

ILO/IOM: Replication implies that a whole-of-government approach is adopted from the outset in such a way that national partners see a programme such as THAMM as a window of opportunity for policy reform and operational innovation. Identified areas (labour migration governance, public employment services, labour migration statistics, skills anticipation and qualifications & competency recognition, social protection of migrant workers, South-South cooperation) all require long term structural intervention. Replication therefore also implies suitable timeframes and adjusted indicators of success. It is also recommended to inform governments about the advantages of Skills Mobility Partnerships which will work towards the benefit of both destination and sending countries: developing the skills not only for the people migrating abroad but for all nationals.

Enabel: For Global Skills Partnership labour migration schemes and in order to effectively respond to labour market needs, the talents should already have a minimal entry-level (in terms of diploma, experience and technical-soft-language skills). Joint implementation can ease the building of national and international public and private partnerships in terms of labour mobility schemes, trainings, integration info-sessions and action-research.

OFII: Not yet applicable as OFII joined the programme only recently.


GIZ: An innovative element of the THAMM programme is its specific focus on the integration support measures for young people. It starts with a wide range of modules taught online within the pre-departure orientation, covering technical, linguistic, and intercultural preparation. Once the programme participants arrive in Germany, the integration support continues with individual assistance, workshops, and online exchange sessions to ensure they settle well at their workplace and in their daily lives. The integration support also draws on existing services offered by local organisations in Germany which contributes to the sustainability of the measure. Furthermore, the establishment of a wide network of partners such as chambers of commerce and the private sector has been crucial for the successful implementation of the mobility scheme.

ILO/IOM: The THAMM programme is implemented jointly by ILO and IOM, taking a one-UN approach, maximising the technical expertise of the two organizations, modelling good working relationships, and avoiding overlapping. The governance structure engaging different level and thematic actors is seen as innovative, providing working structures and spaces for collaboration. The programme is also holistic in its approach in terms of whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches. It supports technical assistance in labour migration governance, consular services, public employment services, the regulation of private employment agencies, labour migration statistics, skills anticipation, recognition of qualification and competencies, social protection and South-South cooperation, all of which are key to strengthening regular pathways but most of the time envisaged in silos.

Enabel: The Global Skills Partnership approach is intrinsically innovative. THAMM indeed works on labour market needs in countries of origin and of destination, integrating a South-South component. Innovative national and international public and private partnerships are established to implement this project, aiming to develop a pool of talents in the countries of origin (notably through intensive technical and soft skills trainings, provided at origin). Pre-departure orientation sessions are delivered in countries of origin by Fedasil (the Belgian Federal Agency for the reception of asylum seekers) to all talents, in a very dynamic and participative manner. The talents are then able to better choose between national and international positions.

OFII: Not yet applicable as OFII joined the programme only recently.


Ylva Johansson et le patron de l'Anapec font le point sur l’évolution du projet Palim

Date submitted:

11 March 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.



*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).