Migration, with a specific focus on Labour Migration


This study group will be open to any person with an interest or involvement in migration, in particular labour migration. It will be of specific interest to researchers operative in these areas, but also to social partners, government agencies/institutions, policy-makers and -implementers, migration agencies (e.g., Global Migration Policy Associates) and experts, human rights bodies, adjudicators, multilateral organisations (e.g., ILO, IOM, UNDP), continental institutions and bodies. Involvement of interested persons from both the global south and the global north will be encouraged.

The area of migration is vast, multi-faceted and complex, and characterised by ongoing developments. Numerous challenges in this area and the changing contours of migration phenomena require constant consideration by scientists, in the form of cutting-edge research, in-depth investigation and analysis, and (ideally) engagement with practitioners. As a subset, but also closely integrated into the broader migration area, is the specific area of labour migration, which provides a more focused and manageable framework of study activity, and is aligned with the make-up of ILERA's membership basis.

The scope of research and related activity of the study group will be determined by the study group itself, on an ongoing basis. Nevertheless, it is envisaged that the study group will engage with typical challenges, topical developments and specific phenomena associated with labour migration in particular. There will be an emphasis on developing and changing contours, critical reflection on trends and fundamental questions, and a study of developments and responses. It is specifically envisaged that critical areas, which are either inadequately addressed, or not addressed at all, by way of scientific analysis and discourse, and engagement with practitioners, will be particularly investigated, including among others:

  • Social protection of migrant workers
  • Normative basis relating to the protection of migrant workers – for example, in terms of traditional standards and approaches (emanating from the ILO, UN and IOM, among others) vis-à-vis the impact of trade agreement-related obligations imposed on states
  • Country-of-origin measures to extend care and protection to their own migrant workers, in the wake of inadequate international standards and developing state practice
  • Role of bilateral and multilateral agreements to regulate migration flows and protection, including labour law and social protection of migrant workers and their families
  • Diaspora engagement
  • Remittance flows, uses and linkages with labour migration
  • Changing frameworks in relation to recruitment

The methodology employed would primarily involve comparative analysis and discourse, in order to learn from different experiences and approaches, preferably of a multi-disciplinary nature, which would include, for purposes of enhancing comparative work, foundational and country/regional perspectives.

The study group will primarily focus on joint research and discourse, and will meet at the occasion of ILERA World Congresses, but also ILERA regional congresses. In between it will liaise through online discussion groups and seminars, and may consider joint publications and presentations.

It is envisaged that the study group will foster understanding, primarily in the area of labour migration, and will draw on the experience and expertise of a range of specialists from different geographical, disciplinary and background/occupational contexts. It is intended to render a needed contribution to the ongoing and developing migration, and in particular labour migration, discourse in the world.