Bilateral Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding on Migration of Low Skilled Workers: A Review

ILO instruments have long recognized the potential of bilateral cooperation in the good governance of labour migration flows, and in contributing to the protection of migrant workers. In the recent past, bilateral labour arrangements (BLAs) such as bilateral agreements (BAs) and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on labour migration have gained significance as tools to facilitate the cross-border movement of workers. Through a systematic comparison of BAs and MOUs on low-skilled labour migration across regions, and using a set of good practice criteria based on international standards and norms as a benchmark, ILO/KNOMAD research undertaken in 2014 throws light on major issues involved. It places particular emphasis on provisions ensuring good governance in facilitating labour migration processes, protecting human and labour rights of migrant workers, and reaping development benefits of migration.