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The number of migrants in the world surpassed 244 million in 2015, growing faster than the world’s population. Nearly half of all migrants worldwide originate from Asia. Between 2000 and 2015, Asia added more migrants than any other major region, or a total of 26 million additional migrants. Most immigrants living in Asia, however, or 82% of the total, originated from another Asian country. This trend will not change anytime soon as structural factors driving international migration—demographic imbalances, economic inequalities, conflict, disasters, and the impacts of climate change—are likely to persist.

Well-managed migration, however, can contribute to sustainable economic growth and development in both countries of origin and destination. Evidence suggests that migration and remittances have an impact on income distribution, poverty reduction, and economic development. But none of this can be achieved without partnerships among important stakeholders: countries of origin and destination, the private sector, trade unions, and other civil society organizations.

At the same time, governments should not overlook the negative impacts of ill-managed labor migration: malpractice by private recruitment agencies, abuse and exploitation of migrant workers in host countries, brain drain in sending countries, and increasing irregular migration, including its worst form—smuggling and trafficking. Therefore, partnerships among stakeholders are crucial for effectively dealing with labor migration in Asia.

The eighth roundtable on labor migration organized by the ADB Institute (ADBI), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will be hosted by the Human Resources Development Service of Korea (HRD Korea) on 30–31 January 2018 in Incheon, Republic of Korea. With the theme, “promoting partnerships for migration governance in Asia,” the roundtable is significant because it will discuss lessons from Asian countries in building partnerships to effectively manage migration and contribute to achieving the UN Global Compact on for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

  • Discuss trends in regional migration, labor market supply and demand, and remittance flows
  • Examine recent policy changes and their impact on labor migration with a focus on bilateral agreements and those that address compliance and illegal employment
  • Discuss pressing issues in participant countries that need to be addressed by the Global Compact on Migration Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
  • Examine the situation of migrant workers in the electronics sector of countries such as Malaysia and the Republic of Korea

Around 20 senior officials of agencies responsible for labor and/or migration policies from 10 developing countries in Asia (Bangladesh, the People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Viet Nam), as well as international experts, representatives from multilateral banks, academia, and the private sector involved in labor and migration issues.

Participant responsibilities

Participants are expected to attend and actively participate in all sessions.

  • Better knowledge and enhanced capacity of Asian governments to manage cross-border labor migration and partnerships, including engagement with private stakeholders and legal issues such as the Republic of Korea’s employment permit system and portability of social security
  • Enhanced dialogue among government officials and experts regarding country experiences, best practices, policies and regulations, particularly those related to the UN Global Compact on Migration, and other issues to be discussed in the roundtable
  • Policy briefs and Labor Migration Report based on the roundtable’s proceedings and recommendations
  • Presentation materials and other documents to be uploaded on ADBI, ILO, and OECD websites
How to get there

Click here.

How to register

By invitation only.


International Labour Organization (ILO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Human Resources Development Service of Korea

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