News and statements on labour migration

  1. Bahrain: Decree 79 aims at ending sponsor system

    31 August 2009

    In 2009, Bahrain adopted the strongest sponsorship reform in the region by permitting migrant workers to change employment without their employer’s consent and in the absence of allegations of nonpayment of wages or abuse. Majeed al Alawi, the minister of labor in Bahrain, likened the kafala (sponsorship) system to slavery when justifying the reform.

  2. Facing the global jobs crisis: Migrant workers, a population at risk

    13 August 2009

    The global economic crisis is posing new challenges for the world's 100 million migrant workers. They may face reduced employment and migration opportunities, worsening living and working conditions and increasing xenophobia. Although no massive return of migrant workers has been observed so far, the crisis is having repercussions on their earnings and the remittances they send home. Ibrahim Awad, Director of the International Migration Programme at the International Labour Office, published a new study entitled "The global economic crisis and migrant workers: Impact and response". Interview with ILO Online.

  3. Migrant working girls, victims of the global crisis

    10 June 2009

    More than 100 million girls are involved in child labour worldwide, according to a new ILO report for World Day against Child Labour 2009. The report warns that the global financial crisis could push an increasing number of children, particularly girls, into child labour. ILO Online reports from Moscow where migrant workers and their children are the first to be hit by the crisis.

  4. The global economic crisis and the impact on migrant workers

    02 April 2009

    The impact of the downturn in global economic activity on migrant workers is likely to be different depending on their distribution among economic sectors most likely to be affected by the crisis.

  5. Message by the Director-General of the ILO on the occasion of International Migrants Day

    18 December 2008

    Of the 200 million international migrants, 50 per cent are women and men migrant workers who have left their homes and communities to find work and better opportunities elsewhere in the world to support their families and communities.

  6. Message by Juan Somavia on International Migrants Day

    17 December 2008

    Of the 200 million international migrants, 50 per cent are women and men migrant workers who have left their homes and communities to find work and better opportunities elsewhere in the world to support their families and communities. They make huge but often unrecognized contributions to growth and development of both their host countries and home communities. While the full impact of the crisis on migrant workers is yet to unfold, there are reports of direct layoffs, worsening working conditions including wage cuts, increasing returns, and reductions in immigrant intakes.

  7. ILO, China launch first HIV/AIDS prevention campaign for internal rural migrant workers

    17 December 2008

    The 200 million internal migrant workers in China play a vital role in the country’s mining, construction, and transportation sectors. But the lack of awareness about HIV puts them at risk of contracting the disease. Last November, the ILO and China’s State Council AIDS Committee Office jointly launched the country’s first HIV/AIDS prevention campaign for internal rural migrant workers. ILO Online reports from Beijing.

  8. From high fashion ‘alta moda’ to dress-making in Ukraine

    17 December 2008

    At 16 per cent, the region of Chernivtsi in Ukraine has the highest unemployment rate in the country and the lowest number of women employed. This is why the region was chosen for an ILO project, funded by Development Cooperation Ireland, that addresses the root causes of labour migration and tries to stem irregular migration and trafficking through training, job placement and entrepreneurial activities. ILO Online reports from Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

  9. Migrants in times of economic crisis: ILO/UNDP join forces to make Tajik migration safe

    16 December 2008

    Tajikistan is the poorest of the Central Asian republics and a huge supplier of migrants: 800 000 of its 7 million inhabitants, most of them men, are working abroad. While many migrants are already at risk of all kinds of abuse, they may also become the first victims of the current financial and economic crisis. ILO and UNDP have joined forces to empower migrant communities and make migration safe. Olga Bogdanova from the ILO Moscow office reports from the Tajik capital Dushanbe.

  10. ILO welcomes Manila Call to Action to protect rights of migrant women

    30 September 2008

    Governments from 38 countries, trade unions, employers’ organizations, the private sector, civil society organizations including women’s and religious associations, academe and international organizations adopted a Manila Call to Action here to enhance opportunities and protect the rights of migrant women and their families all over the world.