World Day against Child Labour Marked around the World

World Day against Child Labour focuses on the trafficking of children, as it is estimated that 1.2 million children are compelled through trafficking into various forms of unwanted work, ranging from hazardous of forced labour to sexual exploitation.

Press release | BANGKOK | 11 June 2003

BANGKOK (ILO News) – The issue of labour migration is at the heart of an International Labour Organization (ILO) Regional Tripartite Meeting on Challenges to Labour Migration and Policy Management in Asia, which begins at the Amari Watergate Hotel on Monday.

Flows of labour, ranging from low-skilled workers to professionals and managers, have increased significantly in Asia and the Pacific in line with growth in trade and capital flows. Economic growth rapidly fuelled the demand for migrant workers as some of the most dynamic countries quickly exhausted their labour reserves, while tightening labour markets allowed national workers to seek higher paying and better protected jobs.

Labour migration has therefore become a structural feature of economic growth in the region, and is likely to become more so in the future due to declining population growth and the closer integration of the region’s economies through trade and investment. However, the processes of migration in host countries and the Middle East have frequently led to a situation where migrant workers face abuse and exploitation. Recruitment fraud and abuse, trafficking and forced labour, exploitative wages, poor working conditions and social exclusion have robbed many migrant workers of the potential benefits of working in another country.

The development of labour institutions, such as treaties on social security or reciprocal treatment of skills certification for transnational labour, has fallen far behind the growth of migration itself. The application of human and labour rights norms to non-citizens is inadequate or seriously deficient in many countries in the region, particularly regarding irregular migrants and female migrants. As a result of these developments, labour migration has emerged as a high-profile issue in the development agenda of many countries in the region.

The ILO’s regional tripartite seminar, including representatives from governments, employer and worker groups from 21 countries1 in Asia and the Pacific will gather to review migration trends and issues in relation to economic and social development and the evolution of labour markets in the region. Issues relating to the protection of migrant workers and trafficked victims will be discussed in depth with a special focus on the role of tripartite constituents and other agencies.

Participants will share experiences and good practices in migration policy and management in the region with the aim of identifying options and strategies for sustainable migration policy and management.

The seminar will officially open at 8.30 am at the Amari Watergate Hotel, Bangkok.

You, or your representatives, are cordially invited to attend the meeting, outlined in the attached agenda. I have also attached a copy of a working paper prepared by Mr Manolo Abella for your information.

Please note that interviews can be arranged with the following:

Mr Manolo Abella, Chief of ILO’s International Migration Programme
Mr Assane Diop, ILO Executive Director for Social Protection
Mr Piyasiri Wickramasekara, Senior Migration Specialist, ILO

Other interview opportunities are likely to arise during the event.

1Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.