Key recommended actions

The following are the key recommendations pointed out in this report.

  • Labour migration can be mutually beneficial for employers and migrants as well as for residents of countries of origin and countries of destination. For all groups to benefit, the migration process must be well-managed. This entails making sure migrants receive complete and accurate information about employment and implementing regulations that would lead to a reduction of recruitment costs, minimize irregular migration, ensure that migrants are treated equally while abroad and assist with the return and reintegration of migrants.
  • The countries in the subregion as well as countries of destination for migrants outside South and South-West Asia should be encouraged to ratify and effectively implement all core international human rights instruments, including the ICRMW. Impediments to the ratification of this important instrument must be addressed. Also necessary are capacity-building and -strengthening activities on the scope and content of international human rights standards that protect migrants, with government officials, parliamentarians, national human rights institutions and civil society.
  • A large proportion of remittances are transferred through informal channels. To promote the use of formal channels, banking procedures need to be simplified and bank transfers must be more efficient and cost less. In addition, raising the level of financial literacy of migrants as well as of remittance recipients would increase familiarity with banking procedures and reduce obstacles to remit through official channels, and ultimately increase the flow of remittances.
  • In many countries of the subregion, investment opportunities and incentives must be made available to migrant workers. Currently, only a small proportion of remittances are used for investment purposes. This percentage could be increased by offering more investment opportunities catering to migrants. These types of remittance flows would ultimately generate long-term income as well as enable the offering of remittance-backed bonds.
  • Migration policies in the region should be gender-sensitive, taking into account specific needs of men and women. Women migrants should be placed at the centre of migration policy instead of being mere spectators to the process. Governments need to shy away from efforts to restrict the migration of women by making the process burdensome as this approach ultimately encourages irregular forms of migration. Instead, countries of origin and host countries should work together to create a structure that facilitates safe migration and provides skill training to boost the potential of migrant women for upward mobility.
  • Governments need to develop migration management policies that protect migrants and enhance their rights. This would include mechanisms that identify people in need of international protection and do not compromise the right of asylum. Additionally, providing protection and services to refugees and stateless persons is an ongoing issue in the subregion. To reduce the number of stateless persons, it is important to advocate for the adoption of appropriate citizenship laws and policies, consistent with international standards.
  • The scale of migration is expected to rise as a result of environmental change and the vulerability of the subregion to natural hazards and disasters. Therefore, governments need coherent policies, legal and institutional frameworks as well as stronger technical and operational capacities to effectively address migration resulting from environmental change and vulnerability. Policy is not a solution in itself but instead its effectiveness must be based on how it catalyzes local communities to become more involved in addressing this critical issue which affects migrants and those who remain.
  • In order to improve the health status and utilization of health services by migrants, monitoring variables related to migrant health should be promoted. Governments, in partnership with other stakeholders, must consider their national migration and health context and take the lead in translating these recommendations into policies and legal frameworks that spur the development of migrant-sensitive health systems. Ensuring the continuity and quality of care received by migrants throughout the migration cycle is a recognized priority in South and South-West Asia. Another area of importance in the subregion is building capacity of the health and relevant non-health service sector to address the health and social issues associated with migration.