Inter-Regional Report on Labour Migration and Social Protection

Organization(s): ESCAP, ESCWA
Regions: Arab States, Asia-Pacific
Year: 2013
PDF of Resource

Since the 1970s in particular, the countries of Western Asia and those of the Asia-Pacific region have been closely linked to each other through highly extensive movements of people. Opportunities created by the rapid development of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), but also other countries in the ESCWA region, have attracted a large number labour migrants from the Asia-Pacific region.

This inter-regional migration is managed under a regime aimed at ensuring that migrants stay only temporarily in the countries of destination by linking foreign workers’ residency status to their employment. These trends have reshaped the economies and societies of both countries of origin and countries of destination in many complex ways.

The resulting changes raise a number of issues which are discussed in the present report, such as the protection of the rights of migrant workers, recruitment costs, reforming the kafala (sponsorship) system, the situation of migrant domestic workers, and the migratory experience of returned migrant domestic workers.

The report concludes with a summary of key concluding messages. Papers published in this report served as background papers for the workshop on “Strengthening dialogue between ESCWA and ESCAP countries to make migration work for development”, held in Beirut from 29 to 30 June 2011.

This publication is also available at ESCWA website:

Social Protection and Human Rights