Fair migration agenda

One of the ILO’s predominant concerns since its inception has been with the protection of migrant workers. ILO’s Constitution of 1919 calls for the “protection of the interests of workers when employed in countries other than their own.” Labour migration has received renewed impetus recently through the Declaration of the UN General Assembly High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD) in October 2013, which acknowledged the important contribution of migration in realizing the Millennium Development Goals, and recognized that human mobility is a key factor for sustainable development.

Working on labour migration issues fits squarely within ILO’s mandate for social justice. The ILO is promoting the rights of migrant workers through its body of standards, including the ILO fundamental rights conventions, the ILO Conventions No. 97 and 143 on the protection of migrant workers and the governance of labour migration, and accompanying Recommendations No. 86 and 151, as well as through its Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration. The ILO also brings together the actors of the world of work, including Ministries of Labour, employers’ and workers’ organisations, and civil society to build consensus on a fair migration agenda that takes into account labour market needs, while protecting the interests and rights of all workers.

At the International Labour Conference in June 2014, in his second report as Director-General, Guy Ryder chose the subject of migration, “a key feature of today’s world of work and one which raises complex policy challenges”. The paper called for “constructing an agenda for fair migration which not only respects the fundamental rights of migrant workers but also offers them real opportunities for decent work”. This means a fair sharing of the prosperity they help to create, and to build migration regimes which respond equitably to the interests of countries of origin and destination, migrant workers, employers and nationals.

What does the ILO’s Fair Migration Agenda consist of?

See also: Key policy area