2020 International Migrants Day

International Conference to Commemorate International Migrants Day

The Asian Research Center for Migration (ARCM) at the institute of Asian Studies (IAS), Chulalongkorn University is organising its annual international conference to commemorate International Migrants Day on the 17th December 2020. This year’s theme examines the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on migration, mobility and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Thailand, ASEAN and beyond.

Although COVID-19 is a global health crisis, state securitization, closure of borders and restrictions on travel have affected all types of migrants, migration and mobility. Disruptions made to national economies have affected migrants’ incomes and livelihoods. Pre-existing inequalities in terms of access to health care, education and other basic needs have become magnified as well as new forms of disparities created. Growing evidence also shows that the impacts of the pandemic are deeply gendered, including increased risks of violence against women and children.

What is now clear is that the pandemic presents a transnational challenge that will re-shape economies into the foreseeable future with repercussions for migrants, migration and mobility. Impressive gains made in recent years in terms of migrants’ rights, welfare and protection (for both voluntary and forced migrants) under the 2018 Global Compact for Migration and the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) frameworks may come to a halt with states looking more inward and prioritizing national interests to prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19.

As we navigate through these uncertain times, this conference will bring together academics, government, civil society, national and international organisations, activists and the private sector to present, discuss and exchange knowledge and perspectives on the unfolding situation concerning migration, mobility and sustainable development in Thailand, origin countries in ASEAN and beyond this region.


1. To better understand the social, economic and political impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on migration, mobility and sustainable development in Thailand, origin countries in ASEAN and beyond.
2. To enhance academic cooperation and networks with international, regional and national organisations, government and CSOs working in the intersecting fields of migration, mobility and development.

Activities and Duration:

The 1-day conference will comprise of 5 panels.

Panel 1: COVID-19, (Im)mobility and Responsive Policies for Labour Migration
Panel 2: The Status of Children During and Post-Pandemic
Panel 3: Voices of Migrants and Situation Update from the Origin Countries
Panel 4: Beyond the Pandemic: The Future of Work and Sustainable Development
Panel 5: Post-COVID-19, Resilience and Safe Cities

During the event, ILO’s TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme will launch and present the key findings of its report
Ensuring migrant workers access to justice: An assessment of Thailand’s Migrant Workers Assistance Centers.