Migration and Decent Work: Challenges for the Global South

Recommendations to ensure workers in the Global South have access to decent work.

This policy brief builds on discussions held during a UNU-CPR migration policy roundtable, held in New York in 2023, which brought together representatives from the United Nations, Member States, international organizations, and civil society to examine the challenges of ensuring that migrants in the Global South have both the right to work and decent working conditions.

Securing access to decent work continues to be challenge, including for migrants in the Global South. According to ILO, around 90 per cent of international migration today is bound up in the world of work: an estimated 169 million of the 272 million people living outside their countries of birth or citizenship in 2019 were economically active.

The recommendations this policy brief advances target Member States and the achievement of SDG 8 (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all):

  • Ensure the inclusion, fair and equal treatment of migrant and refugee workers in the labour market, including respect for rights of freedom of association and the right to organize.
  • To interrupt the cycle of exploitation of migrant workers, governments should commit to and prioritize the protection of migrants’ rights and hold businesses accountable for forced labour.
  • Create more regular pathways for migrants in the Global South – to help migrant workers access decent work.
  • Ensure better policy coherence between migration and employment policies through social dialogue – to achieve fair labour migration governance and strengthen the sustainability and effectiveness of policies, legislation, and practices.

Access 'Migration and Decent Work: Challenges for the Global South' here

Suggested citation: Migration and Decent Work: Challenges for the Global South : UNU-CPR, 2023.

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