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Issue Paper: Fair recruitment in international labour migration between Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries

Issue Paper: Fair recruitment in international labour migration between Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries

Issue Paper: Fair recruitment in international labour migration between Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council Labour migration from Asia to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States represents one of the fastest growing and most dynamic labour flows in the world. While migration to these wealthy States provides higher wages for the workers, fills labour shortages in the destination country, and provides the origin country with lucrative foreign exchange remittances, the complicated and expensive processes associated with migrating for work have created a regime which lends itself to exploitative recruitment and working conditions for migrant workers. This paper was prepared for the ILO Regional Offices for Arab States and for Asia the Pacific, Realizing a Fair Migration Agenda: Labour Flows between Asia and Arab States Experts Meeting, held in Kathmandu in December 2014. The paper provides an overview of the international labour standards on recruitment, and current practices in countries of origin and destination, in particular the role that private recruitment agencies play. The main issues for achieving a fair migration system are analysed, including the political economy behind recruitment, and the potential to make international labour recruitment fair and transparent. The report concludes by putting forward a number of recommendations related to legislation and enforcement, expanding recruitment options beyond private enterprises, empowering powers to realise their rights, and promotion of fair business standards and practices.

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Issue Paper: Promoting international cooperation and partnerships in addressing labour migration between Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries

Issue Paper: Promoting international cooperation and partnerships in addressing labour migration between Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries

Issue Paper: Promoting international cooperation and partnerships in addressing labour migration between Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries Labour migration from Asia to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States represents one of the fastest growing and most dynamic labour flows in the world. While migration to these wealthy states provides higher wages for the workers, fills labour shortages for the destination country, and provides the origin country with lucrative foreign exchange remittances, abuses in the recruitment and living and working conditions of these migrant workers have been well-documented, and are of concern to a large number of stakeholders, both in origin and destination countries, in the private sector, and among trade unions and civil society partners. This paper was prepared for the ILO Regional Offices for Arab States and for Asia the Pacific, Realizing a Fair Migration Agenda: Labour Flows between Asia and Arab States Experts Meeting, held in Kathmandu in December 2014. The paper highlights the importance of cooperation among the many stakeholders involved in international labour migration and the forms of cooperation that have been implemented in the two regions. Best practices and areas for improvement of bilateral labour agreements (BLAs) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are presented. The paper also discusses the relative progressive that trade union agreements have made in the area of improving fair migration, with cases from South and South-East Asia and the Arab States analysed. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations.

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Preliminary assessment of impact of labour migration from South Asia on the South Asian employers

Preliminary assessment of impact of labour migration from South Asia on the South Asian employers

This particular study was undertaken based on discussions held during a meeting of the South Asia Forum of Employers (SAFE) on 3-4 October 2013 in New Delhi, India. The Bangladesh Employers’ Federation (BEF), taking the lead from the SAFE discussions, collaborated with ILO for this study. The study researched the reasons behind migration, the costs and benefits of migration, and impacts of migration on origin and destination countries, by reviewing theories and existing empirical studies. To understand the key research question of impact of migration on employers, an exploratory approach is used. Our objective is to understand the targeted respondents’ opinion better to do more rigorous research in future. Mostly open ended questions are used for this purpose. Guided by this research we can attempt to quantify responses to statistically inferable data. Based on review of existing literature and survey, policies are recommended for government, employers and employees.

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Labour Market Trends Analysis and Labour Migration from South Asia to Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, India and Malaysia

Labour Market Trends Analysis and Labour Migration from South Asia to Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, India and Malaysia

Despite the substantial benefits generated by the South Asia–GCC migration flow, many challenges remain to ensure a fairer distribution of the triple-win profits. Much has been written on the abuses of migrant workers during recruitment and employment throughout the migration cycle, but less is known about labour demand, its relationship to skills and the impact of the recruitment process on these aspects. Lack of information regarding qualifications, skills, wages and how demand will evolve inhibits informed decisions by public and private institutions as well as by migrant workers. This results in lost opportunities or mistakes with training investment in both source and recipient countries. Additionally, there is no system of mutual recognition of educational attainment and acquired skills based on comparable standards for low and semi- skilled occupations. This report addresses some of these issues with a special focus on the role of skills – including training, certification, accreditation, deployment practices and future labour demand – for both the countries of origin and destination. It is a summary of six studies, each related to a prominent destination country (India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) for migrants from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

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How the World Views Migration

Forthcoming IOM report based on data from the Gallup World Poll; IOM Migration Research Division, Geneva, January, 2015.

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MOU between Arab Trade Union Confederation (ArabTUC), ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC), and South Asian Regional Trade Union Council (SARTUC)

With the initiation from SARTUC General Secretary Mr. Laxman Basnet, the inter-regional trade union blocks - Arab Trade Union Confederation (ArabTUC), ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) and South Asian Regional Trade Union Council (SARTUC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the protection and well being of migrant workers. The MOU promotes an understanding to create a favourable, safe, secure and right based environment for the migrant workers. The provisions of the MOU seeks to create an environment conducive to migrant workers through joint and coordinated efforts on organising, advocating, communicating and supporting. It has identified 8 actions to be taken by the Trade Unions in the regions followed by other immediate activities. The MOU was signed by Mr. Mustapha Tlili, Executive Secretary of ArabTUC, Mr. Cedric Bagtas, Deputy Secretary of ATUC (on behalf of his general secretary Mr. Ernesto Herrera) and Mr. Laxman Basnet , General Secretary of SARTUC. ITUC-AP General Secretary Mr. Noriyuki Suzuki also acknowledged the signing of MOU and hailed the leaders for taking a historical step towards protection of migrant workers' rights. He also expressed his gratitude towards Mr. Basnet for taking the initiative.

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Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 193 Member States of the United Nations reached agreement on 2 August 2015 on the outcome document that will constitute the new sustainable development agenda that will be adopted this September by world leaders at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York. Concluding a negotiating process that has spanned more than two years and has featured the unprecedented participation of civil society, countries agreed to an ambitious agenda that features 17 new sustainable development goals that aim to end poverty, promote prosperity and people’s well-being while protecting the environment by 2030.

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2015 Trafficking in Persons Report

2015 Trafficking in Persons Report

The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue. It represents an updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons and the broad range of government actions to confront and eliminate it. The U.S. Government uses the TIP Report to engage foreign governments in dialogues to advance anti-trafficking reforms and to combat trafficking and to target resources on prevention, protection and prosecution programs. Worldwide, the report is used by international organizations, foreign governments, and nongovernmental organizations alike as a tool to examine where resources are most needed. Freeing victims, preventing trafficking, and bringing traffickers to justice are the ultimate goals of the report and of the U.S Government's anti-human trafficking policy.

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Irregular Maritime Migration in the Bay of Bengal: The Challenges of Protection, Management, and Cooperation

Irregular Maritime Migration in the Bay of Bengal: The Challenges of Protection, Management, and Cooperation

In recent decades, maritime migration in Asia has become increasingly contentious, as refugees and irregular migrants traversing the region by sea complicate the attempts of governments in the Asia-Pacific region to control their borders, regulate immigration, and fulfill their obligations under international law. In the spring of 2015, irregular maritime migration across the Bay of Bengal to Southeast Asia entered a period of crisis as a wave of migrants and refugees crossed or attempted to cross the Bay of Bengal to reach Southeast Asia. The discovery in April and May 2015 of smuggler camps on both sides of the Thailand-Malaysia border showed the critical dangers that attend the journey. At the center of the migration crisis is the exodus of stateless Muslims from western Myanmar (and in some cases, Bangladesh), mingled with Bangladeshi migrants seeking work opportunities in the wealthier countries of the region. Members of the Muslim minority, known as the Rohingya, have suffered extreme poverty and discrimination since the end of British colonial rule and establishment of the modern state of Myanmar. Communal violence between the Rohingya and Buddhists in Myanmar’s Rakhine state flared in 2012, resulting in the flight of Rohingya to neighboring Bangladesh, where at least 200,000 remain. Tens of thousands of others embarked on irregular maritime journeys from Bay of Bengal ports in Myanmar and Bangladesh. This MPI-International Organization for Migration (IOM) Issue in Brief attempts to put the crisis of 2015 into context, providing an overview of the routes and patterns of migration, the development of migration out of Myanmar’s Rakhine state over the past few years and how policy responses to it have assigned priority to the protection of migrants and refugees, to the management of the maritime flows and to cooperation on migration with countries in the region and beyond. The brief concludes with several recommendations, and a consideration of what recent history has to teach us about responses to maritime migration crises.

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Bilateral Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding on Migration of Low Skilled Workers: A Review

Bilateral Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding on Migration of Low Skilled Workers: A Review

ILO instruments have long recognized the potential of bilateral cooperation in the good governance of labour migration flows, and in contributing to the protection of migrant workers. In the recent past, bilateral labour arrangements (BLAs) such as bilateral agreements (BAs) and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on labour migration have gained significance as tools to facilitate the cross-border movement of workers. Through a systematic comparison of BAs and MOUs on low-skilled labour migration across regions, and using a set of good practice criteria based on international standards and norms as a benchmark, ILO/KNOMAD research undertaken in 2014 throws light on major issues involved. It places particular emphasis on provisions ensuring good governance in facilitating labour migration processes, protecting human and labour rights of migrant workers, and reaping development benefits of migration.

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VIDEO: ASEAN TRIANGLE Financial Education Campaign in Singapore: Development, Implementation and Results

The ASEAN TRIANGLE Financial Education Course is designed to be conducted for migrant workers from the ASEAN region. It has been piloted in Singapore and will soon be implemented in Malaysia and Thailand. This video shows how the financial literacy materials were developed, tested, and used.

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VIDEO: ASEAN TRIANGLE Financial Education Course: Enhancing the Development Contribution of Migrant Workers

The ASEAN TRIANGLE Financial Education Course is designed to be conducted for migrant workers from the ASEAN region. It has been piloted in Singapore and will soon be implemented in Malaysia and Thailand. This video will be shown to migrant workers during their post-arrival orientation in Singapore to encourage them to enhance their financial literacy skills.

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ASEAN TRIANGLE Project Newsletter, July 2015

ASEAN TRIANGLE Project Newsletter, July 2015

Funded by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), the Tripartite Action for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in the ASEAN Region (ASEAN TRIANGLE Project: ATP) is a five-year project that aims to promote and protect the rights of migrant workers. ATP works closely with ASEAN member states, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC), and ASEAN Confederation of Employers (AEC). The project promotes both bilateral and regional and tripartite approaches by engaging workers, employers and governments to make regionalism more effective and support the capacity building of institutions in ASEAN.

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VIDEO: The International Labour Migration Statistics (ILMS) Database for ASEAN

VIDEO: The International Labour Migration Statistics (ILMS) Database for ASEAN

The International Labour Migration Statistics (ILMS) Database for ASEAN gathers all official government sources of data on the stocks and flows of migrant workers within the region, as well as on ASEAN country nationals who work abroad. The data are published as 'special collection' on ILO's central ILOSTAT Database portal. The database is intended to facilitate evidence-based policymaking at the national, bilateral and international levels. The International Labour Migration Statistics (ILMS) Database for ASEAN is an initiative of ILO's Canadian Government-funded project on Tripartite Action for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in the ASEAN Region (ASEAN TRIANGLE Project).

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International standards related to dometic workers and women migrant workers

International standards related to dometic workers and women migrant workers

This booklet outlines the text of Domestic Workers Convention No. 189, Domestic Workers Recommendation No. 201 and CEDAW General Recommendation No. 26 on Women Migrant Workers. It is available in Khmer (forthcoming) and English. The booklet will serve as an educational and informational tool in the process towards ratification of the Convention of C189 in Cambodia.

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The Right to Health: Right to Health for Low-Skilled Labour Migrants in ASEAN Countries

The Right to Health: Right to Health for Low-Skilled Labour Migrants in ASEAN Countries

This report provides a comprehensive situational overview of low-skilled labour migration and labour migration governance within South-East Asia, alongside a review of the legal, social, and cultural factors affecting the right to health for migrant workers in the region. An overview of the international standards for the right to health, including their specific application to migrant workers, is included as context for this situational overview.

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Consultations with Labour Attachés and Consular Officials in Malaysia on the Protection of Migrant Workers

Consultations with Labour Attachés and Consular Officials in Malaysia on the Protection of Migrant Workers

One important measure for countries of origin in migration management and the protection of migrant workers is the appointment of labour attachés or consular officials in major countries of destination. As the first point of contact for migrant workers seeking assistance abroad, labour attachés and consular officials are required to vet prospective employers and contracts, respond to grievances and disputes, and facilitate the repatriation of citizens. In 2012, the ILO and the Bar Council Malaysia (BCM) Sub-Committee on Migrants, Refugees and Immigration Affairs3 collaborated in initiating and organizing a series of consultations for labour attachés and consular officials working in diplomatic missions of countries that deploy migrant workers to Malaysia. The practice has been replicated in Thailand, and has been shared with the relevant stakeholders in Singapore. This summary of discussions from the six consultations can serve as a reminder of the discussions and the recommendations, so that follow up action can be taken.

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Changing perceptions of migrants is a long-term challenge

Anna Olsen, Technical Officer for Tripartite Action to Protect the Rights of Migrant Workers, joined the ILO in Bangkok three years ago. She spoke with us about the latest initiative in Thailand to improve perceptions about migrant workers, which focuses on fostering long-term interactions with migrants in the community.

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