Bilateral agreements for the protection of migrant workers and status of ratification of key international instruments

The Government of India has put in place measures to ensure safe and orderly migration, to engage productively with the country’s diaspora and to protect its migrant workers. The MOIA, established in 2004 (as the Ministry of Non-Resident Indians’ Affairs and later renamed), deals with issues affecting overseas Indians. Through the Ministry’s activities, protection measures for the benefit of the skilled and semi-skilled workers, such as the labour welfare and protection agreements with GCC countries and Malaysia, have been concluded. A number of other important bilateral agreements have also been established, including, among others, social security agreements with Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland.

India has not signed any of the key international conventions related to refugees or migrant workers, but has signed the protocols on trafficking and the smuggling of migrants (table 4).