Migration Policy Institute - Asia and the Pacific
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One of the most rapidly aging societies in the world, Japan is looking to immigration to address increased labor shortages—albeit slowly and largely without public debate. This country profile offers a brief overview of Japan’s migration history and examines the current immigration system, in particular policies and programs to bring in foreign workers, particularly on a temporary basis.
While it has been years since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed accords to facilitate the movement of professionals in seven occupations, implementation of these Mutual Recognition Arrangements remains "painfully slow and uneven across countries." This final report in an MPI-Asian Development Bank series explores MRA implementation by sector, and offers recommendations to help achieve the goal of greater skill mobility in Southeast Asia.
Faced with labor shortages in key sectors of the economy, South Korea has moved carefully in recent decades toward accepting greater numbers of workers—albeit in temporary fashion. Its Employment Permit System, launched in 2003, earned international accolades for bringing order and legality to immigration in the country, although several challenges remain to be addressed as this Country Profile explores.
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.
As Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States work to facilitate the movement of professionals, the experiences of other countries hold promise for policymakers and licensing bodies in Southeast Asia as they deepen implementation of mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) that seek to establish a uniform and transparent way of recognizing the qualifications of foreign workers. This report offers key lessons.
Climate-related displacement is not hypothetical: An average of 21.5 million people per year have been displaced since 2008 by natural disasters, and thousands more have fled slow-onset environmental hazards. While migration can serve as a safety valve to adapt to changing conditions, few orderly, legal channels exist for climate migrants (also known as environmental migrants), as this article explores.
Having emerged from a long era of military rule, Myanmar's leaders and many citizens are looking outward. In particular, with Burmese labor migration abroad on the rise, policymakers are examining ways in which to harness remittances as a vehicle for economic development, particularly in impoverished rural areas. This article explores Burmese labor migration flows, financial reforms, and challenges on migration and development.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States have approved Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) in the tourism sector and in six regulated occupations to ease the movement of professionals within the region. This report compares the approaches taken to facilitate mutual recognition of qualifications within the region, the factors that shaped each MRA approach, and their tradeoffs and policy implications.
With many countries in East Asia facing unfavorable demographic shifts in the form of aging populations, low fertility, and shrinking workforces, governments in 2016 continued to explore immigration as a potential policy solution. However, a tradition of cultural homogeneity and wariness among publics about increased immigration is leading policymakers to test the waters with very small steps.
In stark contrast to a Europe that is erecting new barriers and reinstituting border controls, other regions around the world are moving toward greater mobility for intraregional travelers and migrants. Regional blocs in South America and Southeast Asia have been working to ease intraregional movements of workers, and the African Union in 2016 launched a new biometric African passport.
Marking the release of All at Sea: The Policy Challenges of Rescue, Interception, and Long-Term Response to Maritime Migration, this book discussion explores the different facets of maritime migration and the challenges governments, civil society, the private sector, and international organizations face in tackling this issue together. Presenters discuss the overwhelming Mediterranean crisis and movements across the Bay of Bengal/Andaman Sea, the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden, in the Caribbean, and the waters around Australia; and the particular challenges for policymakers in each of these cases.
Hong Kong is home to more than 340,000 foreign domestic workers, who can be found in one of every seven households. Despite efforts by the governments of Hong Kong and top sending countries, these workers remain uniquely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. This article examines the conditions foreign domestic workers face, the policies governing their employment, and the challenges in protecting their rights.
With maritime migration the subject of significant policy and public focus in Europe, Australia, and beyond, this timely volume reviews the policy responses to irregular maritime arrivals at regional, national, and international levels. The book includes case studies of the major global hotspots—the Mediterranean, Gulf of Aden, Bay of Bengal/Andaman Sea, Australia, and the Caribbean—and examines trends and policy responses.
A book discussion that explores the different facets of maritime migration and the challenges governments, civil society, the private sector, and international organizations face in tackling this issue together.
Human displacement, asylum movements, refugee and stateless populations, and irregular labor migration flows have long posed challenges for Southeast Asia. This report analyzes migration flows in and through the region and the policy challenges and responses to these flows, particularly the May 2015 humanitarian crisis resulting from the maritime migration of Rohingya and Bengalis in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
Two years on, the Australia-Cambodia refugee relocation agreement—the first of its kind involving a traditional resettlement country relocating refugees to a country with no resettlement track record—has proven to be underwhelming in its outcomes. Only five refugees have been voluntarily relocated under the deal, of whom just one remains in Cambodia. This article explores where the deal went wrong and what lies ahead for Australia’s detained asylum seekers.
The Armenian diaspora, which significantly exceeds the country's resident population, has played an instrumental role in Armenia's political and economic development since independence in 1991. Yet a picture emerges of divergent currents within the diaspora, often seen from above as a unified entity. Delve into differences in engagement among Armenia's "old" and "new" diasporas with this feature article.
In August 2015, India and Bangladesh officially exchanged 162 enclaves, marking the end of a 300-year old anomaly that saw the fragmented territory of one sovereign power located inside another sovereign territory. Enclave residents have lived in virtual statelessness since partition in 1947, without identity documents or access to essential services. As part of the deal, India and Bangladesh allowed residents to choose their country of citizenship.
Afghanistan, once the world's largest origin of refugees, is increasingly experiencing mixed migration, including seasonal and permanent outflows for both economic and humanitarian reasons, internal displacement, and refugee returns. This feature article examines the current trends with a focus on return migration and the development impacts at the intersection of displacement and urbanization.
This report by MPI and the Asian Development Bank lays out a realistic roadmap toward freer movement among skilled professionals within the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), encouraging cooperation among ASEAN Member States in recognizing foreign qualifications and making government investments in training and educations systems that prepare workers in accordance with common standards.