ADBI, OECD and ILO joint publication

Labor migration in Asia: Impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and the post-pandemic future

This joint publication of the ADBI, OECD, and ILO focusses on trends and the future of labour migration in light of the disruptions and developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides useful policy guidance and statistical reference to practitioners, authorities, and policy makers.

The current economic and social transitions in the global economy, as well as the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, have sharply affected labour migration in Asia and put pressure on policy makers and regulators to develop timely policy responses and innovative approaches for guaranteeing the effective management of labour migration.

The report analyzes the labour migration trends in Asia and puts them in the context of economic and policy developments and the changes wrought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. It examines the policy settings in the major origin and destination countries of labour migrants and the medium- and long-term factors that will shape the future of labour migration in Asia. It further provides important recommendations for building back better in a post-pandemic world.

This analysis draws partly on discussions that took place at the "10th ADBI-OECD-ILO Roundtable on Labor Migration: Future of Labor Migration in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities in the Next Decade," held in Bangkok, Thailand, in February 2020, an annual event co-organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the International Labour Organization that brings together regional experts and policy makers. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the publication focuses on the pandemic's impacts on labour mobility.

The report offers up-to-date comparative statistics on labour migration flows, including evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on flows and remittances. Two statistical annexes offer detailed country country fact sheets and coverage of intra-Asia and cross-regional migration flows. The report also includes discussions on the future of labour migration in the aftermath of the pandemic and the role of technology and digitization in labour mobility and its management.