Labour migration in Asia and the Pacific and the Arab States

This brief provides an overview of trends, recent policy developments and recommendations with regards to labour migration in Asia and the Pacific and the Arab States.

Labour migration is a prominent feature of labour markets in Asia and the Pacific and the Arab States. Migration to wealthier States within the region has provided millions of jobs and generated billions of dollars in remittances for migrant workers and their families. Labour migration potentially offers a triple win for the parties involved, providing opportunities to learn new skills, earn a living, and meet labour shortages. However, complicated and expensive processes associated with migrating for work have created a regime that lends itself to exploitative recruitment and working conditions and, to the detriment of migrant workers, an inequitable distribution of the benefits migration itself generates. To ensure that migrant workers receive a fair share of the benefits they help to create, countries need to build migration management systems that respond equitably to the interests of origin and destination countries, migrant workers, employers, and nationals alike.