National labour migration policies in Kiribati and Tuvalu
- Responsible Organisations: International Labour Organization (ILO) (International Organisation); UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) (International Organisation); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (International Organisation)
- ILO Regions: Asia and the Pacific
- Country(ies): Kiribati; Tuvalu
- Thematic areas: Migration and development; Policy coherence; Protection; Strengthening workers' and employers' organisations
- MLFLM: 15.; 1.(a),(b); 2.; 4.; 5.; 7.; 12.; 15.; 8.; 9.(a),(b),(c); 11.; 2.; 6.
International labour migration, particularly temporary labour migration, has been identified as a key development priority in Kiribati and Tuvalu. These countries both suffer from severe unemployment and underemployment due to their remote locations, long distance from markets and high sea freight costs; and comparatively high levels of skilled emigration ('brain drain'), but limited opportunities for lower-skilled migration. In addition, both countries face significant impacts of climate change such as sea level rise, drought, coastal erosion and ground water contamination. There is currently an absence of an overarching policy in each country to bring the relevant Ministries and stakeholders together to agree on objectives and strategies. Pursuant to an EU-funded project jointly implemented by UNESCAP and ILO (with the collaboration of UNDP), the ILO has worked closely with a range of relevant Ministries (including Ministries responsible for labour, education, planning, finance, fisheries, transport and women) as well as unions, employers and private recruitment agencies to develop holistic and practical labour migration policies which identify both short and medium-term strategies for facilitating access to decent migration opportunities abroad. In particular, the policies address the protection of migrants abroad, the identification of international labour shortages and opportunities, and tailoring training and education qualifications and curricula to facilitate labour market access. The overall work plan to develop the policies has consisted of three phases: during the Scoping, Design and Establishment Phase, the ILO conducted wide stakeholder consultations to establish consensus on the scope and process for developing the policy. During the Policy Development Phase, experts worked with the ILO to develop policies in line with global and regional best practice. In the currently ongoing Policy Endorsement Phase, the policies will again be reviewed and debated in stakeholder workshops, before being submitted to Cabinet for endorsement.