The first meeting of the Asia – EU Dialogue on Labour Migration took place on 29 - 30 April, 2008 in Brussels, within the framework of the Colombo Process. It is an inter-regional forum which seeks to develop and enhance inter- and intra-regional exchange of ideas and strategies on facilitating managed and legal migration between Asia and the European Union (EU). While at present only a small share of labour migration from Asia is directed to the EU, a significant rise is to be witnessed, transforming rapidly in response to changing internal labour migration flows within the EU following the ‘enlargements’ of the European Union in 2004 and 2007. Flows are likely to continue to increase as EU countries look to address gaps in their labour markets linked to demographic change (ageing populations).
The format of this meeting comprises of all eleven member countries of the Colombo Process (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam) and all EU27 countries. It brings together representatives from the different governmental entities involved in the labour migration process, such as ministries of labour, employment, immigration, expatriate welfare, specialized agencies, embassies etc., as well as experts from outside the governmental sphere.
The Asia – EU Dialogue on Labour Migration aims to improve understanding of the key trends and issues, support the identification of common policy concerns, and promote actions which will facilitate safe and legal labour migration between the two regions and its impact on development.
It seeks to achieve these objectives by ensuring that the different regional and national perspectives and policies are given due consideration, thus allowing for origin countries to better understand the challenges faced by destination countries and vice versa. Examples of best practices/lessons learned from ongoing research, projects and programmes are analysed, along with recent legislative and policy developments.
• development of safe and legal labour migration between Asia and the EU
- improving data and its dissemination to relevant governments, employers and potential migrant workers
- matching labour needs with labour supply
- high-skilled migrants; students
- mobility partnerships
• protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families
- monitoring of recruitment agencies, codes of conduct
- providing reliable information to potential migrants
- support for grievance redress
• combating irregular migration (in origin and destination countries)
- prevention in origin countries
- sanctions for employers in destination countries
• development potential of labour migration for origin and destination countries
- potential of circular migration concept
Secretariat functions are performed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The Asia – EU Dialogue on Labour Migration 2011 is funded by the European Union under the Thematic Programme on Migration and Asylum.
From Asia-EU Dialogue on Labour MIgration, 29 - 30 April 2008:
From the 2nd Asia-EU Dialogue on Labour MIgration, 08 - 09 February 2011: