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Claudia Natali Labour Migration Programme Manager IOM Thailand Labour Migration Management in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen.

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Presentation on theme: "Claudia Natali Labour Migration Programme Manager IOM Thailand Labour Migration Management in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Claudia Natali Labour Migration Programme Manager IOM Thailand Labour Migration Management in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen University 14 December 2009, Khon Kaen Administrative Frameworks for Migration and Multi-Sectoral Approaches

2 Session Outline PART A: Rationale for Managing Migration and Challenges PART B: Administrative Frameworks for Migration


4 If effectively managed, migration contributes, among others, to strengthened economic integration, sharing and transferring skills  Benefits of migration. When not effectively managed, migration can translate in: exploitation of workers, brain drain, and social security and public health concerns  Risks of migration. Why managing migration?

5 Challenges of MM Migrants’ diversity and migration cross-cutting nature  different challenges and opportunities that require different programmes and policy responses.

6 Effective strategies to manage Labour Migration are developed. Human and labour rights, and status of migrant workers are upheld Security concerns are conciliated with economic ones. Interface between migrants and host society is managed. Migration policies and programmes take into account the new role of women in migration flows. Migrant health dimension is included in public health systems. Need for a comprehensive framework that acknowledges the interrelationship between the various issues and a common approach to deal with them in a holistic manner rather than in isolation. Can turn into opportunities if…

7 IOM… IGO established in 1951 Commit to humane and orderly migration 127 MS and 17 Observers More than 3,500 staff globally; 300 in Thailand Highly decentralized and service oriented

8 …and its cross-sectoral approach to MM Key work areas: Migration and Development Facilitating Migration Regulating Migration Addressing Forced Migration Cross-cutting activities : Promotion of intl. migration law Policy debate and guidance Protection of migrants rights Migration health Gender dimension


10 Perspective of CoO: elaboration of effective foreign employment policies and integration within the human resource development strategies. Perspective of CoD: find options to balance the facilitation of regular migration with prevention and reduction of irregular migration within a management migration programme. National Responses

11 International migration is translational  no country can manage it on its own. Need for International Cooperation in Migration Management

12 Multilateral Approaches GATS-General Agreement on Trade and Services  It provides for liberalization of trade in services. Mode 4 offers a multilateral framework for negotiations of movement of service providers (i.e. natural persons).  It does not provide a definition of service providers nor does it describe the range, depth of sectoral coverage of country commitments.  GATS Mode 4 is a trade agreement and as such it does not refer to social or labour standards but it only deals with entry and access of service providers

13 Scopes of agreements vary CoO and CoD have different objectives Thailand MoUs with neighboring countries. Focus on:  managing supply/demand;  reducing irregular migration;  ensuring temporary labour migration Bilateral Cooperation


15 Thai Migration Policies In-migration Limited opportunities for legal migration in the GMS Thailand has undertaken series of registration round since 1991 to register migrants who illegally entered the country. MOUs between Thailand and neighboring countries (Cambodia/Lao PDR and Myanmar) for sending and receiving migrant workers. Challenges: (1)The legal process remains time consuming, complicated and expensive and implementation is slow. (2) The majority of flows remain IRREGULAR with Thailand periodically opening up for registrations. Out-migration Thailand Overseas Employment Agency (TOEA) is the dedicated agency within MOL to: administer Thai workers overseas, centralizing information and protecting their rights; promoting labour migration opportunities for Thai workers etc. A few MOUs with main destination countries have been signed. Challenge: Recruitment agencies make large profits at the expenses of migrants.

16 In-migration current developments … Re-registration 2009  Before the new round of registration, about 500,000 migrant workers (Bur/Lao/Cam) were registered (I.e. had a valid work permit). 382,541 migrants renewed their work permit in 2009. New Registration 2009  Final registration round (7 th ): 1,054,261 migrants registered with MOI in July 2009.  Registration with MOL allows irregular migrants to stay and work in Thailand until 28 February 2010. After this date, all migration flows from neighboring countries into Thailand are to be regulated under the MOUs. Ongoing Nationality Verification with Myanmar  Under the MOU signed with Myanmar in June 2003, irregular migrants are entitled to legally stay and work in Thailand upon verification of their nationalities  The process of nationality verification of Burmese irregular migrant workers started on 15 July 2009. Very complex and expensive procedure. Way forward and challenges; after 28 February 2010…

17 Recommendations for improved MM in the GMS Governing Migration  Intensify participation in international fora and international agreements.  Integrate migration concerns into regional cooperation programs.  Work towards a comprehensive national migration policy that harmonizes and regulates all stages and aspects of migration.  Foster inclusive policy processes.  Ensure respect of migrants during arrest, detention and deportation.

18 Outward Migration  Strengthen protection of overseas workers at all stages of the migration process.  Devise information systems to better document irregular conditions of workers abroad. Inward Migration  Consider introducing more flexible options for durable immigration.  Improve the management system for seasonal and daily cross- border migrant workers.  Review existing registration, MOUs, and provincial decrees taking into account the human dignity of unskilled GMS migrants. Specific Recommendations


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