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Published on January 22nd, 2018 | by Georgia Archonti

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Labour Rights, Skills Development Needed to Improve Migration Outcomes in Southeast Asia, Say IOM, ILO

Labour migration can lead to long-term improvements in the lives of migrant workers if their labour rights are protected and if they are given opportunities for skills development, say the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), in a new study.

 Released for International Migrants Day on 18 December, Risks and Rewards: Outcomes of Labour Migration in South-East Asia provides a timely assessment of labour migrants’ experiences within ASEAN.

According to the most recent UN statistics, the number of migrants headed to other countries in the region has increased more than fivefold since 1990, reaching nearly 6.9 million. Millions more are employed without legal status and are not captured in official data.

“Despite rapid growth in the numbers of women and men migrating in South-East Asia, the outcomes for migrant workers are not well understood,” said Ben Harkins, ILO Technical Officer and one of the report’s authors.

To inform their work, the ILO TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme and the IOM PROMISE programme collaborated on a large-scale regional survey of over 1,800 migrants from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam, who had been employed in Thailand or Malaysia.

The study developed a Migration Outcomes Index (MOI) to measure changes in the lives of migrant workers from before to after their migration. The Index broadens the way migration outcomes are measured by incorporating both social and economic elements.

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