Measuring the impact of migration

Outcomes for migrant workers in various migration corridors

The impact of labour migration is often looked upon from the perspective of the migrants’ origin or destination countries. There is usually lesser focus on migrant workers and their migration experience -- a void that the ILO is trying to fill with some of its current research.

The ILO’s Labour Migration Branch is keen on documenting the impact of existing labour migration programmes/schemes on a range of variables that concern outcomes for migrant workers, such as wages, working time, skills development, and social protection. “Labour migration programmes/schemes” in this context are programmes set up in common by migrant origin and destination countries, governing usually temporary stays of migrant workers, mostly concerning jobs that require mid-level or few skills, and often quota-based. It is expected that research in this area will ultimately help to identify programme designs/policies that make the migration experience particularly beneficial or problematic for migrant workers (for example regarding their treatment and future economic prospects).

Research on the migration corridor Indonesia — Republic of Korea

Based on an ILO-developed questionnaire, a survey has been undertaken in three Indonesian villages with a substantial number of return migrants from the Republic of Korea, to find out about their wages, working time, skills development and social protection before, during and after their migration experience.

KNOMAD Partnership: Measuring migration costs

The Thematic Working Group on Low-Skilled Migrants of the World Bank-led Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), co-chaired by the ILO, has developed a project with a two-fold objective: (i) to identify strategies to reduce costs for migrant workers and (ii) to identify elements in bilateral and multilateral agreements that produce positive outcomes for workers, employers and countries of origin and destination. Indeed, the ILO has traditionally seen inter-State cooperation as a powerful means to protect migrant workers, as testified by its adoption in 1949 of Convention 97 and its accompanying Recommendation 86 which features a model bilateral agreement on migration in its annex.

Under this project some 150 bilateral and multilateral agreements have been mapped, categorized and analyzed and are searchable in the online repository.

For more information, please see: Full Report
See also: Research Brief

Click on chart to enlarge
Based on model agreement topics.

It is now planned to deepen the knowledge and examine how bilateral agreements are implemented, with what outcomes for migrants, using a case study methodology in three to four migration corridors. In the area of cost reduction, besides financial recruitment cost, social costs will be included in the analysis, and a value chain analysis of migration costs will be undertaken.