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Measuring labour migration in ASEAN: Analysis from the ILO’s International Labour Migration Statistics (ILMS) Database
This report presents the latest statistics on international labour migration in ASEAN. The International Labour Migration Statistics (ILMS) Database in ASEAN was launched in 2013 and has been published annually since 2014. In validating, annotating and gathering together ASEAN Member States’ data from national surveys and administrative records, the ILMS Database in ASEAN fills a knowledge gap for national and regional policy-makers and for the broader research community.
Home truths: Access to adequate housing for migrant workers in the ASEAN region
The report highlights migrant worker living standards in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia and the steps needed to ensure decent and adequate accommodation.
Origin of World’s Largest Migrant Population, India Seeks to Leverage Immigration
As the world’s largest origin for international migrants, India has a rich history of immigration and emigration. The massive India diaspora, which can be found across the globe, includes millions of descendants of migrants and has taken shape mostly since the start of the colonial era, when large numbers of Indians were forcibly relocated to work on plantations and construction projects. The 1833 abolition of slavery in most parts of the British Empire transformed the colonial system, replacing slavery with indentured servitude. In the eight decades that followed, the United Kingdom relocated millions of bonded Indian workers to colonies across Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Later, India’s 1947 partition with Pakistan prompted the movement of millions of migrants throughout South Asia, in a vast reshuffling carried out along religious, ethnic, and other lines. India’s relationship with its neighbors has defined many aspects of its migration trends and foreign policy in the decades since.
TRIANGLE in ASEAN Quarterly Briefing Notes
TRIANGLE in ASEAN works with labour ministries, workers' and employers' organizations, recruitment agency associations, civil society organizations in six countries in ASEAN; Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Below Quarterly Briefing Notes give an update on our work during the previous quarter.
Guidance on Bilateral labour migration agreements
Bilateral labour migration agreements if based on international labour standards can be a key tool in labour migration governance which ensures safe, orderly and regular labour migration. To support the development of such agreements, this guidance was produced by a multi-stakeholder thematic working group under the United Nations Network on Migration, co-chaired by ILO with IOM.
Technological solutions to guaranteed wage payments of construction workers in China
For many years, wage arrears have been a prevalent problem facing rural migrant workers in the construction sector in China. The difficulties of addressing wage arrears are multifaceted, but are clearly exacerbated by the complex layering of subcontracting that occurs in construction sector. In recent years, China adopted a series of policies and laws to facilitate the timely and full wage payment to migrant workers. With the legal framework in place, central and local governments of China have implemented solutions to improve the efficiency of labour inspection system in addressing wage arrears, thanks to the application of digital technologies. This paper examines how technology was put to use in the design and implementation of an online information platform—National Construction Workers Management and Service Information System — that registers rural migrant workers and ultimately brings them under the realm of public policy to protect them against abuses. The paper examines in detail the Enterprise Wage Payment Online Supervision System (EWPOSS) of Zhejiang Province and analyses how the IT-enabled system has contributed to improving the efficiency of the local labour inspectorates in addressing wage arrears. The paper concludes that digital solutions offer great potential to tackle negative aspects associated to informality if accompanied by adequate policy and legal frameworks, sound digital infrastructure and effective and robust labour inspection systems.
Intervention Model: For extending social protection to migrant seasonal agricultural workers
A number of international labour standards include provisions that are relevant to migrant seasonal agricultural workers’ social protection. These include the ILO Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention, 2001 (No. 184), which reaffirms the principle of equality of treatment between agricultural workers and workers in other sectors, in access to social security; the Employment Promotion and Protection against Unemployment Convention, 1988 (No. 168), which states that they should enjoy protection from unemployment; and the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No.102), which calls on member States to ensure equality of treatment of non-national residents.
Tackling the Socio-Economic Consequences of COVID-19 on Migrants and their Communities: Why Integration Matters
The COVID-19 pandemic and the socio-economic downturn it has caused have had disproportionate impacts on migrants, many of whom were stranded without work or social protection in countries of destination, or forced to return to countries of origin where they struggled to reintegrate. However, some countries undertook special measures to ensure that migrants were included in COVID-19 socioeconomic responses, extending protection and addressing the vulnerabilities migrants faced.
China’s Rapid Development Has Transformed Its Migration Trends
As China has developed into a global power, it has also increasingly become a nation of people on the move. In 2019, the 350 million border crossings by mainland citizens and 98 million by foreign nationals again reached record highs, continuing a decades-long upward climb interrupted only by China’s strict border-control measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
IOM Strategy for the Gulf Countries (2021–2024)
The Gulf countries are currently undergoing changes in their labor migration systems and policies. In response, IOM is enhancing its whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to its work in the region in appreciation of the unique features of Gulf countries. This strategy will be guided by the MENA Regional Strategy 2020-2024 and adhere to the rich IOM framework stipulated by the 2019 Strategic Vision, the IOM Strategy on Migration and Sustainable Development, the 2030 Agenda and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Since its endorsement in 2018, the GCM was adopted by all six (6) Gulf Member States, and there are now five (5) Country UN Networks on Migration established to support Gulf countries as they aspire to achieve its objectives.
Socioeconomic Impact of COVID-19 on Migrant Workers in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted labour conditions and labour migration across Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand. This study assesses the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 on men and women migrant workers and their families in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand to inform a migrant-centred approach to socioeconomic recovery from the pandemic with evidence-based recommendations. The research applied a mixed-methods approach including a quantitative survey with a total of 2,187 migrants, 156 employers, and 63 key informant interviews.
Protecting the Rights of Migrant Workers in an Irregular Situation and Addressing Irregular Labour Migration: A Compendium
The Compendium presents the situations that can lead migrant workers into irregularity, the rights of migrant workers in irregular situations, and the relevant international standards and good practice. It highlights laws, policies and practices that can help address irregular labour migration, and facilitate respect and promotion of the human rights of all migrant workers, regardless of status”. The Compendium is not intended to be exhaustive but is instead a living document that will be regularly updated with new examples and experiences. It seeks to encourage the sharing of good practices by states, social partners, and other actors concerned and to contribute to the attainment of the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular migration.
Practical Guide on Developing Labour Migration Polices
This Guide is intended to provide practical and succinct guidance on the process to be undertaken by ILO constituents governments, workers’ organizations, employers’ organizations, in consultation with civil society organizations and other relevant partners, during the course of developing or revising a national labour migration strategy, policy and/or action plan.
Use of digital technology in the recruitment of migrant workers
This research report shows that digital technology can play a significant role in making safe labour migration and fair recruitment a reality. It also gives valuable recommendations for how to make this happen.
Spotlight on Labour Migration in Asia
To understand the future migration patterns for low-skilled labour in the Asia region and the underlying causes driving these trends, the study provides a broad, regional-level analysis on the drivers of low-skilled labour migration trends in Asia and their impact on future migration trends. Each factor will be will be assessed on its significance in driving current and future migration trends while assessing its impact on migrant welfare. The analysis is also supplemented by data and case studies.
Mongolia: Migration and Employment Study
Within the framework of the project, Understanding and Managing Internal Migration in Mongolia (UMIMM), a study on employment was conducted to improve evidence-based policymaking on internal migration. This report provides policymakers and key private sector stakeholders with information related to current challenges faced by internal migrants in accessing decent and formal employment; suggests mechanisms and policies to protect internal migrants from exploitation; and analyses the respective competencies and capacities of stakeholders, including the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar, to foster improved management of labour migration. It proposes systems and approaches to support internal labour migrants through training, employment promotion programmes and access to financial services to improve their economic situation. Rural–urban cooperation mechanisms to support labour migration must also be explored to contribute to reducing both urban and rural poverty.
Empowering landless migrant and former refugee women to claim their right to accessing land from the state fund in the Chui region
JIPAR led a Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) on rural women’s rights to land and natural resources (Land FPAR) between September 2018 and June 2020 with 20 migrant and former refugee women in the Chui region (Vasilievka and Krasnaya Rechka villages, YsykAta and Alamudun districts). The Public Fund “JIPAR” (from the Kyrgyz word “jipar” meaning snowdrop) is a women’s organisation working towards the improvement of migrant and former refugee women’s status in the families, communities and societies challenging poverty, patriarchy and fundamentalisms. Through the initiatives of this FPAR, JIPAR focused on empowering migrant and former refugee women to claim their right to accessing land from the State Land Redistribution Reserve Fund (SLRRF), which accounts for 25 per cent of the country’s land.
Protection, Not Restrictions! Organising and Mobilising Returnee Migrant Workers to Lift Gender-Based Migration Bans and Restrictions
Labour migration has been the main pillar of Nepal’s economy. The number of Nepali migrant workers in foreign countries ranges from 2.4 million to 3 million1 . Labour migration in Nepal is heavily male dominated with 95 per cent of labour permits being granted to men2 . However, the official data is unable to capture the number of workers who leave the country for work through irregular channels, which indicates that women migration might be as high as 12 per cent of the total workforce abroad. The majority of Nepali women migrant workers are employed as domestic workers, and the major destination countries are UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Malaysia and Hong Kong. In response to the reports of human rights violations of migrant domestic workers abroad, the Government of Nepal imposed travel bans and restrictions for women from working as domestic workers in foreign countries. Far from protecting the Nepali migrant women, the travel restrictions discriminate against women and endanger them by increasing the risk of human trafficking and exploitation.
Recognising and Empowering Migrant Sex Workers as Workers to Gain Legal Protection and Access to Health
An estimated 2.8 million female sex workers across India comprise service providers voluntarily, coerced and under-age1 . The involvement of migrants in the local sex trade is not limited to those classified as trafficked or smuggled: many new landed immigrants – women primarily – turn to sex work due to the lack of viable economic alternatives, often worsened by family breakdown. According to the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act (1956), amended in 1986 as The Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, sex work is not a crime in India as long as they conduct it in private spaces. However, multitudes of activities associated with it, such as pimping and managing brothels, are illegal. Consequently, it fuels multiple human rights violations toward sex workers, including a high rate of violence in the sex industry, child sex workers, lack of access to health care and a high rate of HIV/AIDS infection. Moreover, the policies around rescue and rehabilitation for sex workers are based on the premise that sex work is immoral, which is improbable to promote sex workers’ wellbeing effectively. In addition, migrant sex workers remain primarily outside of India’s legal, medical and social services structures. Poor language skills, undocumented status, limited understanding of laws and regulations as well as the absence of support networks put migrant sex workers at a greater risk of abuse and exploitation.
Global Gender Strategy
Better Work’s five-year gender strategy will empower women, reduce sexual harassment and close the gender pay gap in the global garment industry. Although women represent around 80 per cent of the workforce in the garment sector worldwide, they are concentrated in the lowest-paying, lowest-skilled occupations. Gender-based discrimination during recruitment processes and sexual harassment in the workplace remain widespread. Social norms and the predominance of working mothers also contribute to a sizeable gender pay gap, with female factory workers earning up to 21 per cent less per hour than their male counterparts. Building on it’s on-the-ground experience and compelling research findings, Better Work’s gender strategy aims to unite partners from the public and private sector to scale up what has proven to work to empower women, increase productivity and improve the lives of workers and their family members. The strategy will be implemented through targeted factory initiatives, and by strengthening policies and practices at the national, regional and international levels.
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