Asia has a disproportionate share of the world’s young, working-age population—which represents the most mobile cohort—with resulting major immigration flows to other regions of the world, and increasing intraregional migration as aging and demographic transitions occur at different levels within Asia. The research here focuses in particular on how the labor-sending countries of the region, notably the Philippines and other Colombo Process countries, manage these migration flows, engage in bilateral and multilateral cooperation with migrant-receiving nations, and engage their diasporas. The recruitment process and regulation of recruitment agencies also represent a strand of the work offered here.
In the Philippines, a pervasive culture of migration has led millions to seek opportunities abroad, particularly since an economic downturn in the 1970s. The government has long embraced exporting labor as official economic policy, but over time, the focus has shifted: first to protecting workers overseas and much more recently to linking migration and development. This article explores the evolution of Filipino migration policy and trends.
Given diverging demographics, rising educational attainment and wide variation in economic opportunities, countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are poised to see an expansion of both the demand for and supply of skilled migrants willing and able to move. The convergence of these megatrends represents unique opportunities for human-capital development and brain circulation, as this report explores.