Asian Labour-Sending Countries Meet on Migrant Workers’ Rights, Global Compact on Migration

Senior officials from Colombo Process countries meet in Kathmandu. Photo: IOM

Kathmandu – Senior officials and ministers from the 12 Colombo Process (CP) member states are meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal this week (15-16/11) to discuss the rights of migrant workers and implementation of the upcoming Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

The CP is a regional consultative process that brings together Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Viet Nam to address issues of regional migration governance, notably the management of overseas employment and contractual labour. It is currently chaired by Nepal. IOM, which provides technical and policy support, serves as its secretariat. 

CP member states, which account for about 30 per cent of the world’s estimated 150 million international labour migrants, played a key role in drafting the GCM. Many of their joint recommendations were incorporated in the final draft, which is due to be adopted by the United Nations in Marrakesh, Morocco, next month. 

These recommendations focus on following themes: remittances, recognition of skills and qualifications, international labour market analysis, fostering ethical recruitment, pre-departure orientation and empowerment. 

“We believe that formal adoption of the GCM in December is going to add importance to regional consultative processes like the Colombo Process. They will play a key role in implementing GCM objectives and actions underlying the global framework,” said IOM Regional Director for IOM Asia and the Pacific Dr. Nenette Motus, who is leading the IOM delegation in Kathmandu.

“We are confident that the Colombo Process will further develop concrete plans to implement this historic undertaking, the aim of which is to manage migration for the benefit of all,” she added.

“Migration is an increasingly important vehicle for the development of both the host and sending countries,” said Nepali Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista. “In this context, ensuring the human rights and well-being of the migrant workers has become a shared priority. This presents the Colombo Process with immense opportunities to facilitate strategic partnerships and collective efforts to address the existing challenges.”

For more information please contact Paul Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +977 1 4426250, Email: or Government of Nepal, Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security, Tel: +977 1 4211963, Email: