COVID-19 and the Deployment of Labor Migrants from Asia: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward
This brief analyzes how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted labor migrants in Asia and the Pacific, assesses the socioeconomic vulnerabilities it exposed, and lays out steps to better protect overseas workers.
It explains why labor migrants face additional costs due to higher airfares and stringent health protocols, and details how remittance inflows to developing countries have largely remained resilient despite travel restrictions. As labor migrant flows return to pre-pandemic levels, the brief emphasizes the need for employers to share the burden of rising migration costs. It also recommends that countries assess progress with the digitalization of overseas employment administration and work to strengthen ties with destination countries to better protect workers.