Labour migration: Guidance and tools

Labour migration

Guidance and tools

This multilateral framework aims to assist governments, social partners, and stakeholders in their efforts to regulate labour migration and protect migrant workers. It provides a comprehensive set of rights-based guidelines and principles so as a global compilation of good practices on labour migration developed by governments and social partners.

This publication provides guidance to national legislators in drafting legal frameworks in line with ILO Convention No. 181 and Recommendation No. 188. The guide is rich in many examples of country legislation and has collated specific provisions from both developed and developing countries. It is a useful resource for national legislators and social partners to identify possible gaps in their legislation and to find appropriate solutions. The guide provides an overview of regulatory and institutional requirements, so that countries can be free to adapt aspects of the legislation applicable to their own national situations.

The aim of this handbook is to assist States in their efforts to develop new policy approaches, solutions, and practical measures for better management of labour migration in countries of origin, of transit and of destination. It has been prepared primarily for use by decision-makers and practitioners in the OSCE area and countries served by the IOM and the ILO in the Mediterranean region.

This publication aspires to be a handy reference guide for rights that regular and irregular migrant workers should enjoy, irrespective of the particular labour migration policy of their home or host country. It explains these rights from the vantage point of the migrant worker to policymakers and practitioners.

These recommended guidelines emphasize the importance of improving recruitment processes in order to encourage safe migration and reduce the potential vulnerability of migrant workers to labour exploitation, including the worst forms of child labour and human trafficking.

This manual covers in a comprehensive manner the policy and administration issues faced by authorities in countries that are sending workers abroad. It draws extensively on the experience of States that have sought to manage the various stages of foreign employment, from regulating recruitment to ensuring that workers avail themselves of social security benefits. While it attempts to provide an in-depth account of the main issues in this area of social and economic policy, the manual has been written in a form that makes it a practical guide to policy-makers and administrators.

This manual aims to strengthen the rights-based management of labour migration in the context of the challenges it presents to policy makers and administrators in Asia. The manual begins with descriptions of the dimensions of migration for employment in the region and the problems and issues confronting migrants and national authorities in the countries they come from and go to. It raises decision-making issues typically encountered during the process of formulating policy or implementing it and provides comparative information, drawn from the experience of many countries, that should help in identifying options, assessing trade-offs and making optimal choices.

This booklet is one of six parts to the Asian Decent Work Decade Resource Kit, serving as a gateway into ILO expertise and knowledge on the regional priority area of protecting migrant workers. It explains in a brief and user-friendly manner why this is a regional priority, the issues it addresses and how the ILO can help its social partners, detailing the available approaches, strategies and tools and possible partnerships. Where applicable, examples of good practices or adaptable projects are included.

This guide, which includes six booklets, aims to enhance knowledge and understanding of the vulnerability of migrant workers, especially women, to discrimination, exploitation and abuse throughout the international labour migration process and to promote and improve legislation, policies and action to prevent these problems and to better protect vulnerable workers.

This smart guide introduces basic knowledge, skills and tools related to earning, spending, budgeting and using financial services and insurance. The guide is part of a training package aimed at mitigating the risks and maximizing the benefits associated with migration.

This manual is about strengthening the trade union movement's capacity to participate in the shaping of migration policies, promoting sound labour migration practices, reaching out to migrant workers; making sure that the benefits of migration, when it occurs, are maximized for all: for the countries of origin of migrant workers, for the countries of destination, and for both migrant and non-migrant workers.

The database offers access to worldwide good practices on labour migration implemented by governments, social partners and civil society in both countries of origin and destination, as well as regional and international institutions. Most of these practices are included in the ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration (Annex II), and relevant information has been expanded and updated for the development of this database. In order to make information readily available, the database is being launched with a limited number of practices that will be progressively expanded. Good practices are identified on the basis of a specific set of criteria included in an evaluation matrix designed and tested by the International Migration Programme of the ILO.


Thank you for your interest in the Global Migration Group.

Please be advised that following extensive system-wide consultations and the proposal by the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration, the UN Secretary-General decided, at a meeting of the Executive Committee on 23 May 2018, to establish a UN Network on Migration, as a successor to the Global Migration Group, to ensure effective, coordinated system-wide support to the implementation of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.


The UN Network on Migration can be contacted via its Secretariat at