More than 83.7 million migrants, comprising almost 30 percent of international migrants globally, come from Asia-Pacific countries. Labour migrants and their families account for around 60 percent of international migrant worldwide, with Asia and the Pacific Region hosting 17.2 percent.

For workers, migration can provide opportunities to raise income levels, gain skills and competencies, and improve living conditions for their families and communities.

For countries of origin, labour migration reduces the stress of national unemployment or underemployment, and contributes to development through remittances, transfer of skills and the creation of business and trade networks.

For countries of destination, labour migration can help address critical labour shortages, especially within the context of ageing populations and changing labour force demographics.

Migrant workers are more vulnerable to exploitation, making up an estimated 1 in every 4 victims of forced labour. For this reason, IOM works with governments, civil society, the private sector and trade unions to improve migration management in the extensive value chains of Asia. Worker protection begins with ethical recruitment and decent work in line with the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Flagship Programmes
  • Migration, Business and Human Rights (MBHR)
    MBHR is an initiative implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that supports businesses in upholding the human and labour rights of migrant workers in key sectors and migration corridors.


    IOM implements the second phase of the regional PROMISE Programme (2021-2025) to support migrant workers in accessing skills development leading to gainful employment and promoting enhanced protection of migrant workers in collaboration with key stakeholders from public and private sectors.


    GOALS is a three-year programme implemented by IOM, ILO and UN-Women to support collaboration and effective labour migration governance in South and South-East Asia.  The ultimate goal is to ensure that labour migration is safe, orderly and regular for all women and men from Colombo Process Member States countries.


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