Labour migration

Access to the labour market for admitted migrant workers in Asia and related corridors

This publication aims to help policy makers and stakeholders develop informed strategies and programmes supporting greater flexibility and decent work for migrant workers while enhancing labour market efficiency and labour migration governance.

National legislation in most countries contains restrictions that affect migrant workers’ free choice of employment. These restrictions directly limit migrant workers’ access to employment by regulating the circumstances in which they may change jobs.

This study aims to increase the knowledge base on international standards and practices related to labour market access for migrant workers. It provides an overview of the international legal framework with respect to relevant ILO instruments and examines the application of conventions and recommendations
across Asia. The report also looks at national policies, legislation and practices in five Asian countries and five OECD countries which are common destinations of migrant workers.

The report concludes that countries of destination in Asia should move towards greater flexibility in their labour migration policies and programmes concerning employment changes by migrant workers, particularly in sectors where the worker is already employed and for occupations where there is a recognized labour shortage. This will lead to greater rights protection, efficiency within labour markets, and better management of migration.