Labour migration in Indonesia and Timor-Leste

Indonesian migrant workers undertaking language training before placement
See more photos on labour migration in ILO Flickr photo library.
Migrant workers make an enormous development contribution to the national economies – through skills, labour power, services and competitiveness in countries of destination; and financial remittances, skills and knowledge on return to their countries of origin. In destination countries many migrants fill labour market niches by doing jobs that nationals do not want or cannot fill. Despite this, many migrant workers are subject to labour exploitation and abuse and studies of recruitment processes and working conditions for low-skilled migrants consistently reveal indicators of abuse commonly associated with labour exploitation.

Yet, the migration process implies complex challenges in terms of governance, migrant workers' protection, migration and development linkages, and international cooperation. The ILO is the only United Nations agency with a constitutional mandate to protect migrant workers, and it does so as part of its overarching goal of achieving decent work for all. Therefore, the ILO works to forge policies to maximize the benefits of labour migration for all those involved.