Labor Migration in Asia: COVID-19 Impacts, Challenges, and Policy Responses

Publication | May 2022

The pandemic has impacted migrant workers and raised challenges for policy makers through declining demand, shifting travel and repatriation protocols, and expanded policy focus on the epidemiological factors of international labor mobility.

Labor Migration in Asia: COVID-19 Impacts, Challenges, and Policy Responses analyzes the region’s labor migration outlook, corresponding economic and policy developments, and changes caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. It overviews labor migration to and from different Asian economies and details policy approaches in major origin and destination economies of labor migrants.

Chapter 1 examines the latest regional trends, including the pandemic’s effects on labor migration flows and remittances. Chapter 2 looks at migrant job losses and COVID-19 infections, as well as policy responses to the pandemic in terms of healthcare access, occupational safety and health, housing, social protection, and the resumption of labor migration. Chapter 3 focuses on return and reintegration challenges and policy measures in the wake of the pandemic.

The report provides up-to-date comparative statistics on labor migration flows in, to, and from Asia. Two statistical annexes offer detailed economy fact sheets and coverage of intra-Asia and cross-regional migration flows.

This report draws on discussions between policy makers and experts that took place at the 11th ADBI-OECD-ILO Roundtable on Labor Migration: Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic and Building Back Better, held in April 2021 and co-organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the International Labour Organization.

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Governance and public sector management
  • Social development and protection
  • ISBN 978-4-89974-255-5 (Print)

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