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The Impact of Labour Migration Policies on Migrants’ Socio-Economic Welfare: Improving Practice in Asia and Europe

Experts’ Workshop

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
8 - 9 November 2013 Ratna Mathai Luke Political and Economic Department Economy & Society



Venue:
Geneva, Switzerland

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) co-organised a 2-day Experts' Workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, gathering 25 Asian and European experts in the field of labour migration.

Today, Asia and Europe together host two-third of all international migrants. Considering these figures, the Chair’s Statement of the 9th ASEM Summit called ‘to identify appropriate means of maximising development benefits and responding to the challenges which migration poses to countries of origin, transit and destination, especially in light of the impact of the financial and economic crisis’.

In line with the above recommendation, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia, embarked on a new programme to provide a platform for ASEM-wide dialogue on the impact of migration policies on the socio-economic welfare of migrant workers and to examine and improve the formulation of migration policies in sending and receiving countries. As the 10th ASEM Summit took place in 2014, the policy recommendations resulting from the workshop were consolidated in a publication and shared with ASEM decision makers including the ASEM labour ministers and other relevant departments.

As an initial step, the two partnering organisations commissioned two experts, Mr. Manolo Abella, Senior Research Associate, COMPAS, and former Director of the International Migration Programme of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, and Mr. August Gächter, Project Manager, Centre for Social Innovation in Vienna, to draft a background paper mapping regional trends and highlighting best practices of migration policies in Asia and Europe.

The initial findings of the background paper were presented during this workshop where participants provided feedback on the draft paper, informing relevant migration policy makers and influencers about the best practices and emerging trends to track migration policy and practice in Asia and Europe. 

Based on the initial findings of the mapping and background paper, the workshop addressed the following themes further into detail:

Essential policies in support of fair and equitable migration systems
What lessons may be drawn from Asian and European experiences in meeting labour shortages through the admission of foreign workers? What institutions and policies must be
in place to generate win-win outcomes for both foreign and national workers as well as for countries of origin and destination?

Reducing migration risks and providing migrants access to protection
What lessons can be drawn from experiences to successfully prevent or minimise irregular forms of migration? How can malpractices and fraud in recruitment be minimized or
avoided? What services must host governments provide to give migrants effective access to remedies in case of abuse and exploitation?

Integration of migrants
What remedies have proven effective in promoting employment and curbing discrimination against migrants? What policies and strategies promote harmonious relations between
migrants and their host communities? What measures and institutions have proven valuable in promoting religious freedom and better inter-faith understanding? What procedures and
processes need to be in place to promote political participation of immigrants?

As the 10th ASEM Summit took place in 2014, the policy recommendations resulting from the workshop were consolidated in a publication and shared with ASEM decision makers via multiple events in 2014.

 

Partners

Sponsors

  • European Commission

Project Updates

  • At the 5th ASEM Labour and Employment Ministers’ Conference (ASEM LEMC5), on 3-4 December 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria, ASEF presented its work on youth employment and labour protection – through its projects on youth entrepreneurship, migrant workers, and human rights and businesses – highlighting the importance of decent work for all. Moreover, 4 representatives from the 1st ASEF Young Leaders Summit (ASEFYLS) – an Australian, 2 Bulgarians and a Japanese – had the unique opportunity to share the Asia-Europe Call for Action on Entrepreneurship and Youth Employmentand partake as observers during the ASEM LEMC5.

     

    In addition, ASEF also co-organised a panel with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) on Migrants Rights in an Unstable World at the 9th Asia-Europe Labour Forum which took place on 2-3 December 2015 in Sofia, ahead of the Ministers’ Conference.

     

    Speakers at this panel included Secretary Imelda M. NICOLAS (Commission on Filipinos Overseas), Mr August GÄCHTER (Centre for Social Innovation), and Ms Sulistri AFRILESTON (Confederation of Indonesia Prosperity Trade Union).

     

    The panel presented the findings and recommendations of the joint ASEF-FES publication, A Triple Win in Migration: Ensuring Migrant Workers’ Rights to Protect All Workers.

  • A Triple Win in Migration

    Published on 01 Oct 2014

    The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is pleased to announce its forthcoming publication A Triple Win in Migration: Ensuring Migrant Workers’ Rights to Protect All Workers based on the impact of migration policies on the socio-economic wellbeing of migrant workers.

    The report identifies good practices as well as key migration issues relevant to ASEM countries and their policy-makers. The focus is on essential policies in both regions in support of fair and equitable migration systems, reducing migration risks and providing migrants’ access to protection and the integration of migrants in sending and receiving countries. Through its evaluation of different policy measures, the report provides a useful toolkit of best policy options from across Asia and Europe.

    This publication is a result of a 2-year programme organised by ASEF and the German Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia which provided a platform for an ASEM-wide dialogue on labour migration. The report has been prepared by Mr ManoloABELLA, Senior Research Associate, COMPAS and former Director of the International Migration Programme of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, and Mr August GÄCHTER, Project Manager, Centre for Social Innovation in Vienna, with inputs from Ms Juliet TSCHANK.

    The publication will be online by mid-October.

    Download your copy!

  • Protecting Migrants’ Welfare

    Published on 04 Dec 2013

    The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), together with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung’s Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia (FES), organised an expert workshop on “The Impact of Labour Migration Policies on Migrants’ Socio-Economic Welfare: Improving Practice in Asia and Europe” from 8-9 November 2013, in Geneva, Switzerland.

    The two-day workshop was led by Mr. Manolo Abella, Senior Research Associate, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) of the University of Oxford and former Director of the International Migration Programme of the International Labour Organisation and Mr. August Gächter, Project Manager, Centre for Social Innovation. They were the two main researchers for the project.

    Over 15 labour migration experts participated in the workshop, comparing best practices and experiences across countries sending and receiving migrants to develop policy recommendations for protecting migrants’ welfare. Discussions were focused on essential policies in support of fair and equitable migration systems, reducing migration risks and providing migrants access to protection, and the integration of migrants in sending and receiving countries.

    This workshop is part of the two-year ‘Asia-Europe Migration Project’ which is a joint-collaboration between ASEF and FES on labour migration issues. The workshop report is currently under preparation. The final report and policy brief will be published in 2014 and will be sent to relevant policy makers and institutions. 

  • On 8-9 November 2013, 25 Asian and European experts gathered at the picturesque Ecumenical Institute at Château de Bossey, outside of Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss pertinent labour migration issues for Asia and Europe.

    The workshop brought together experts from international and regional organisations, academic institutions, trade unions, and the private sector.  Discussions focussed on the impact of migration policies on socio-economic welfare of migrant workers and to look at ways to improve migration policies in sending and receiving countries.

    The focus of the workshop was on 3 specific issues: essential policies in support of fair and equitable migration systems, reducing migration risks and providing migrants access to social protection, and the integration of migrants. These issues were identified through a specially commissioned background paper, by Mr Manolo ABELLA, Senior Research Associate at COMPAS, and Mr August GACHTER, Project Manager at the Centre for Social Innovation in Vienna.

    The workshop is part of the 2-year Asia-Europe Migration project, which is co-organised by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia. The policy recommendations from the workshop will be featured in a publication and shared with ASEM governments in 2014.