The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

The Global Compact for Migration (GCM) offers the international community the opportunity to improve workplace productivity and deliver decent work outcomes for migrant and national workers, as well as to shift current misperceptions of migration, by readjusting migration policies to effectively include all labour market aspects.  Laws, policies and institutions, in the country and across borders, matter greatly in achieving this goal. 
 
Most migration today is linked directly or indirectly to the search for decent work opportunities.  Even if employment is not the primary driver, it usually features in the migration process at some point.  ILO estimates that there are 150 million migrant workers, representing over 65 per cent of all migrants.  Migrant workers account for 4.4 per cent of all workers, and have higher labour force participation rates than non-migrants globally (73 per cent and 64 per cent respectively).
 
Evidence suggests that poorly governed labour migration can increase the incidence of irregular migration and raise the risk of exploitation for migrant workers and governance challenges for countries of origin, transit and destination. For low-wage workers, these risks include: being trapped into jobs with poor wages and working conditions, often in the informal economy; exposure to violations of labour and other human rights; dangerous workplace and health hazards; child labour; forced labour; debt bondage; trafficking in persons; and other decent work deficits.  Exploitative recruitment practices, at the very start of the migration process, add to the challenge through exorbitant recruitment fees and other costs charged to migrant workers. The mismatch of skills to the jobs available in destination countries; separation of families; and absence of social protection also contribute to the social and economic costs of migration.
 
Conversely, when labour migration is well-governed, fair and effective, it can deliver benefits and opportunities for migrant workers, their families, and host communities alike. It can balance labour supply and demand, help develop and transfer skills at all skill levels, contribute to social protection systems, foster business innovation, and enrich communities both culturally and socially.