10th ADBI-OECD-ILO Roundtable on Labor Migration in Asia: Future of Labor Migration in Asia Challenges & Opportunities in the Next Decade

06 February 2020 to 07 February 2020

Aging population is a global issue and UNDESA estimates about 962 million people to be aged 60 or over around the world, which accounts for about 13% of the world population. Many Asian countries are also experiencing unprecedented population aging. Japan has the highest proportion of people aged over 65 in the world, and the country’s population size is shrinking. The Republic of Korea, Thailand, and the People Republic of China (PRC) are also catching up quickly to Japan and forecast to have negative growth rate by 2030. Similarly, Singapore and Viet Nam’s population growth rate are gradually decreasing and expected to have negative growth rates after 2040. Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines still maintain positive growth rates, but it is gradually decreasing. 

Given these circumstances, these Asian countries need to prepare for labor shortage and implement measures to attract foreign labor. In fact, the number of international migrants has been steadily increasing over the years, from 221 million in 2010 to 272 million in 2019. it is imperative for the governments of labor-importing countries to develop appropriate institutions and structures to assess the occupational needs and skill sets, set up mechanisms to secure appropriate workers from other countries, and ensure the fair treatment of migrating workers. Therefore, there is a growing need for effective governance and management of international migration. 

In line with these efforts, the inaugural meeting of the Colombo Process (CP) took place on 2003 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The CP meetings have the objective of sharing experiences, lessons learned and best practices in labor migration management. In 2008, Malaysia and Singapore joined the member states of the CP to form the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD), which serves as a platform to discuss the management of temporary contractual labor mobility in Asia. Afterwards, ASEAN adopted the Manila Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in 2017, renewing the commitment made in its 2007 Cebu Declaration. In 2018, the first-ever United Nations (UN) Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was adopted at the Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakech, Morocco. 

To complement these international efforts and to facilitate the implementation of effective approaches for labor migration management, the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), in collaboration with OECD and the International Labour Organization (ILO), has organized the Annual Roundtable on Labor Migration in Asia since 2011. The 2020 roundtable will commemorate the 10th year's anniversary by convening a high-level panel session followed by the annual Roundtable. The theme of 2020 Roundtable is agreed to focus on ‘forward-looking approach for labor migration in the next 10 years from the perspective of the future of work.'

Program and Learning Materials: 
Date Session / Activity Presentation Material Speaker(s)
06 Feb 2020 Welcoming Remarks Chul Ju Kim
06 Feb 2020 High Level Panel on the Future of Labor Migration in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities Muhammad Khair Razman, Ram Kumar Phuyal, Akiro Yoshida, Huiyao (Henry) Wang, Ruben D. Torres, and Trevor Sworn
06 Feb 2020 Session 1: Labor Migration Trends and Policies in Asia Jean-Christophe Dumont, Nilim Baruah, and Pitchaya Sirivunnabood
06 Feb 2020 Session 2: Recent Changes in Migration Trends and Policies in Asia Md Azimuddin Biswas, Zaki bin Zakaria, Lokahari Bashyal, Naveed Akhtar, Tran Anh Thu, and Bancha Chuenchom
Date Session / Activity Presentation Material Speaker(s)
07 Feb 2020 Session 3: Partnerships for Migration in the Health Sector
07 Feb 2020 Session 4: Going Digital
07 Feb 2020 Session 5: Breakout Session- Preparing for the Future of Labor Migration in Asia


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