104th International Labour Conference

High-level side event on migration

High-level side event of the International Labour Conference on "Better protected migrant workers and better governed labour migration".

The events unfolding in Syria, Yemen and other countries, and the repeated tragedies in the Mediterranean and Andaman Seas and elsewhere, call urgent attention to the humanitarian, social and economic needs of migrants and refugees. Recent events require the international community to invest in the creation of more and better jobs in countries of origin –ensuring migration is a choice rather than an obligation- and in addressing the shared burden of assisting the growing mixed migration and refugee flows. They also present an opportunity to the ILO and its constituents to reposition the decent work agenda squarely in the crisis context, emphasizing the acute need for employment generation, the creation of social protection floors, and mechanisms by which migrants can work in jobs that match their skills level.

This year marks two important anniversaries of international standards on migration: the 40th anniversary of the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (No. 143) as well as the 25th anniversary of the 1990 United Nations International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICMW). The Multilateral framework on labour migration (2006) will also commemorate its anniversary next year and it can be considered as a critical ILO instrument/ tool to act efficiently on this field. Together with ILO’s standards on fundamental principles and rights at work, and the core UN human rights instruments, these form a coherent legal architecture that can serve as a foundation for the protection of migrant workers, equality of treatment and social cohesion.

The interactive panel session between panelists and delegates will:

  • discuss actions to support the creation of more and better jobs in countries of origin;
  • identify means of opening legal channels for fair, regular and safe migration; and 
  • reflect on existing mechanisms by which to facilitate intra- and inter-regional labour mobility to enable the optimization of the development benefits of migration.