WASHINGTON — International migration has occurred throughout history and regions of the world. Human mobility to, from and within Asia, however, has certain distinctive features, and Asia represents arguably the most dynamic region, with significant intra- and extra-regional migration and some countries being simultaneously origins of and destinations for migrants.
The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific today launched an issue briefs series focusing in particular on labor migration in the region. The eight-part series also will examine diaspora engagement in Asia and climate-induced migration.
The first issue brief, Labour Migration from the Colombo Process Countries, examines labor migration from the 11 Colombo Process countries ( Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam). In 2010, an estimated 4.2 million workers migrated from these countries through official channels, many leaving on a temporary basis to work in the Middle East. The Philippines sent the largest number (nearly 1.5 million), followed by India (641,000) and Indonesia (576,000). Overall, an estimated 44.7 million migrants from the region are living outside their country of origin.
Since 2005, the Colombo Process countries have taken concrete, proactive steps to manage the migration flows and protect their citizens working abroad, strengthening their legislative and administrative frameworks addressing recruitment regulation and welfare protection, as well as signing new accords with key destination countries. Despite the progress, however, the brief details a number of remaining challenges and highlights ten possible areas of focus for governments.
“Governments in Colombo Process countries face a formidable task: creating efficient and equitable migration systems that benefit labor migrants and their families while contributing to long-term economic growth and development in countries of origin and destination,” said Andy Bruce, IOM regional director for Asia and the Pacific.
In June, MPI and IOM will publish the second issue brief, this one focusing on migrant health issues in the Asia-Pacific region. Subsequent briefs will be published every month through December, and will be available here.
“We are committed through this issue briefs series to explore some of the most pressing and important topics that are confronting governments in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to share knowledge of trends and developments in this very dynamic area more widely,” said Kathleen Newland, who directs MPI’s Migrants, Migration and Development Program.
For more information, contact MPI Deputy Director of Communications Burke Speaker at 202-266-1920 or [email protected]. Asia-based media on deadline should contact MPI Policy Analyst and IOM Regional Research Officer Dovelyn Agunias, in Bangkok, at + 66.81.833.4194 or [email protected].
The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, D.C. dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels. For more on MPI, visit www.migrationpolicy.org.
IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. As an intergovernmental organization, IOM acts with its partners in the international community to: assist in meeting the operational challenges of migration; advance understanding of migration issues; encourage social and economic development through migration; and uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. For more on IOM, visit www.iom.int.