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.