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Realizing a Fair Migration Agenda: Labour flows between Asia and Arab States : Background Paper For discussion at ILO interregional experts’ meeting ( 3- 4 December 2014 )
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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. With a stock of over 22 million migrant workers, the GCC is also one of the main destination regions globally, and over 15 million of these migrant workers come from Asia. In the GCC States of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, the proportion of migrant to local workers is amongst the highest in the world.Migration to these wealthy States has provided countless jobs and generated billions of dollars in remittances for migrant workers and their families. In offering the chance to learn new skills and escape poverty in the home country while helping to solve the large labour shortages in the GCC States, migration is generally welcomed by both origin and destination countries.However, 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. From the largely privatized recruitment sector and its complex web of intermediaries, to the significant imbalance of power in the application of the sponsorship system in labour relations, a migration agenda that is fair to all parties – including migrant workers - is still a long way off. The issue has attracted the attention of ILO constituents and indeed the international community.
With these issues in the international spotlight, labour migration has become one of the centres of global, regional and national policy debates, a crucial aspect of the development agenda; and it is the ILO and its constituents who are particularly well placed to address the challenges that migration presents to the world of work. It is in this context and against the backdrop of the 2013 UN General Assembly High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development and the ILO Director General’s Report on setting an ILO Agenda on Fair Migration, that the ILO Regional Office for Arab States and the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, took the initiative to convene an inter regional experts meeting to assess the potential for reform and discuss ways forward on fair migration.
Governance of labour migration1 is of core importance to the ILO and its constituents (i.e. governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations) and the preamble to the ILO constitution highlights the need to protect workers employed in countries other than their own.However, the triple-win is currently not equitably distributed among the parties. So far, migrants do not receive a fair share of the prosperity they help to create. It is thus necessary to build migration regimes that are fair, and that respond equitably to the interests of countries of origin and destination, migrant workers, employers and nationals.
Publisher:
ILO ,   (2014 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Keywords:
LABOUR, LABOUR RELATIONS, LABOUR LAW, LABOUR MARKET, LABOUR POLICY, LABOUR PRODUCTIVITY, LABOUR MIGRATION, EMPLOYERS, WORKERS, MIGRANT WORKERS, FOREIGN WORKERS, WOMEN MIGRANTS, DEVELOPMENT, FORCED LABOUR, BONDED LABOUR, GENDER DISCRIMINATION, PROTECTION, DOMESTIC WORKERS, DISCRIMINATION, CHILD CARE, WORKING CONDITIONS, CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, RECRUITMENT, EMPOWERMENT
Thematic Group:
 ILO : International Labor & Labor
Thesaurus:
12.04.00  -  Labour Relations
Reference Link:
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