Labour migration
ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations
Promoting jobs, protecting people
ILO home > Topics > Labour migration

Labour migration

  1. © AFP/OREN ZIV 2014

    Today, there are an estimated 232 million migrant workers around the world. Globalization, demographic shifts, conflicts, income inequalities and climate change will encourage ever more workers and their families to cross borders in search of employment and security. Migrant workers contribute to growth and development in their countries of destination, while countries of origin greatly benefit from their remittances and the skills acquired during their migration experience.
    Yet, the migration process implies complex challenges in terms of governance, migrants workers’ protection, migration and development linkages, and international cooperation. The ILO works to forge policies to maximize the benefits of labour migration for all those involved.


  1. © RichTea 2014


    The Labour Market Integration of New Arrivals in Europe
    18 November 2014

    Better Work for Immigrants: Tackling Joblessness and Stunted Progression in the European Union. This meeting will discuss the dynamics by which migrants get stuck in low-skilled work, and the role of training and employment services in helping them progress in their occupations.

Project in the spotlight

  1. Migrant Domestic Workers

    Global Action Programme on Migrant Domestic Workers and their Families

    This project seeks to promote the human and labour rights of migrant domestic workers worldwide by addressing the challenges that make them particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

UN-wide cooperation

  1. ILO and the Global Migration Group

    Improving global migration governance

    The Global Migration Group (GMG) consists of 16 international organizations that work in cooperation to address migration issues, worldwide. This year the ILO assumes chairmanship.

Policies and programmes

  1. Good practices database

    Our database provides a non-exhaustive list of current good practices implemented at the country level.

Focus on

  1. Social protection for migrant workers

    Although the 105 million migrant workers worldwide contribute fully to the economies of their host and home countries, migrant workers are among the most excluded from even basic coverage by social protection instruments and schemes, in particular undocumented migrant workers. Key principles are laid down in the ILO Conventions and Recommendations which make provision for the social security rights of migrant workers and their families.

Migrant myths

  1. What are your perceptions of migrants?

    The number of people migrating has risen from 154 million in 1990 to 232 million in 2013, and for many years migrants have made up about three per cent of the world’s population. Today there are more migrants than ever because of the growing world population.

Migrants make significant and essential contributions to the economic, social and cultural development of their host countries and their communities back home. But too often these contributions go unrecognized..."

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General

Did you know that...

  1. 48 per cent of all international migrants are women, who are increasingly migrating for work

© 1996-2014 International Labour Organization (ILO) | Copyright and permissions | Privacy policy | Fraud alert | Disclaimer