Impact of COVID-19 on Indian overseas migrant workers challenges to safe repatriation and the way forward

Meeting report of National online meeting with Ministry of External Affairs, Protector of emigrants and overseas recruitment agencies

Record of proceedings | New Delhi, India (Virtual meeting) | 29 April 2020
The International Labour Organization (ILO), through its Work in Freedom (WIF) programme, hosted a dialogue to understand the challenges to repatriation and rehabilitation of overseas Indian workers, especially those in low-skilled and semi-skilled sectors. MEA officials including the office of the Protector General of Emigrants (PGE) and Protector of Emigrants (PoEs) from sending states, state-run recruitment agencies (RAs) and major overseas private recruitment agencies representing the industry participated in the national meeting. The ILO Director and PGE’s office lead the discussion. Representatives of the RA industry provided an update on their perceptions of the prevailing situation, expected challenges status of migrant workers stranded; based upon the destination and target skill sectors, such as health personnel including doctors and nurses, construction workers, service sector workers, domestic workers and others.