Managing International Labour Migration in ASEAN

International labour migration is a salient feature of regional economic integration and an integral component of development among countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It has brought benefits to migrants and their households, and to the wider economy in both sending and receiving countries. Policy and institutional responses to the challenge of managing labour migration flows are varied, however, and in many cases uncoordinated. Governments need empirically based research results to guide public policy choices so as to ensure that migrant workers are adequately protected.

This grant will allow the Philippines Institute for Development Studies and research partners in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to undertake joint research on existing policy and institutional arrangements for managing labour migration flows, and their development impacts. Researchers will examine two migration streams. The first is the relatively long-term migration of (usually skilled) workers and the second is the high-frequency short-term cross-border movement of (mostly unskilled) workers. The two streams have different policy implications and require different management arrangements.

The project will pay particular attention to unskilled migration, which is often an irritant in regional relationships.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, July 20, 2009

End Date

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


24 months

IDRC Officer

Due, Evan

Total funding

CA$ 499,100


Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Dr. Aniceto C. Orbeta


Philippine Institute for Development Studies

Institution Country


Institution Website