Asian regional report based on the baseline survey and research done by the Migrant Forum in Asia and research partners in 11 countries in Asia

This is a pioneering Asian regional study on the recruitment situation, issues, and problems experienced by migrant workers in major countries of origin and destination, based on the perspective of the migrants themselves. This is pioneering in several respects: it is a collaborative action research conducted by migrant organizations and support groups ; it is based on a field survey of migrant workers – including pre-departing, onsite, returned migrants — in 11 of the major origin and destination countries in Asia; the analysis of the survey data, and the conclusions and recommendations, are enhanced by the inputs, analysis and recommendations of key informants, experts and advocates in the respective countries; and it provides the latest, and perhaps the only available, multi-country baseline data on recruitment of migrant workers in Asia.

Primary data were gathered during a one-year period, through two parallel processes – a baseline survey of 11 countries in Asia conducted in a six-month period (November 2014 to May 2015), and key informant/expert interviews and group discussions (conducted between December 2014 and March 2016, riding on selected events/meetings in various Asian countries, to optimize traveling and resources).

The field survey itself was based on an exploratory, quasi-random design; the results strictly apply only to the survey respondents, but can be used as indicative data on particular aspects of the migrant recruitment situation in the countries surveyed. The countries were selected based on the presence/availability of research partners or members of the Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), MFA being the lead proponent and coordinator of the Asia research.

This research is part of a broader global study on recruitment problems and issues confronted by migrant workers; one of its purposes is to provide data, analysis and recommendations for the global campaign on recruitment reform. The global campaign on recruitment reform ( is spearheaded by migrant groups and advocates through the Open Working Group on Labour Migration & Recruitment. The Open Working Group is composed of MFA, Global Coalition on Migration (GCM), Migration and Development Civil Society Network (MADE), and other civil society partners.

This is the Asia component of the research, which was undertaken and coordinated by MFA and research partners. The baseline surveys were conducted in the following countries, through the efforts and facilitation of the corresponding research partners and MFA members:

Countries of origin:
• Bangladesh – WARBE Development Foundation, BOMSA, Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP), Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU);
• India – Migrant Forum India, Center for Indian Migrant Studies (CIMS), APDWWT;
• Indonesia – IRDH Research, Migrant Care Indonesia;
• Nepal – Migrants Center of Asian Human Rights and Culture Development Forum (AHRCDF), Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC), Pourakhi, CMIRS, Youth Action Nepal;
• Philippines – Kanlungan Center Foundation, Batis Center for Women, Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA).

Countries of destination:
• Bahrain – MWPS;
• Lebanon – CLMC, INSAN;
• Malaysia – Migration Working Group Malaysia; Progressive Labor Union-SENTRO; United Workers for Mutual Protection, Advancement and Development-Malaysia (UNIMAD-SENTRO);
• Singapore – Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2);
• Taiwan – Hsinchu Migrants and Immigrants Services Center (HMISC); Hope Workers’ Center (HWC);
• Thailand – Human Rights Development Foundation (HRDF).

To download a copy of the full research click below:

PDF final Recruitment of Migrant Workers In Asia Public Service or Systematic Exploitation



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