Migration in the Asia-Pacific Region

Postby admin » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:37 am

Over half the world's population lives in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2005, Asia hosted 53 million out of the world's 191 million migrants according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

In the 1970s and 1980s, international migration from Asia grew dramatically. The main destinations were North America, Australia, and the oil economies of the Middle East.

Since the 1990s, migration within Asia has grown, particularly from less-developed countries with massive labor surpluses to fast-growing newly industrializing countries.

Indeed, all countries in Asia experience both emigration and immigration — and often transit migration. But it is possible to differentiate between mainly destination countries (Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan), countries with both significant immigration and emigration (Malaysia and Thailand), and mainly source countries (Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam).

Migration agents and labor brokers organize most recruitment of Asian migrant workers both to the gulf and within Asia. Their dominance is partly due to the unwillingness of receiving states to make bilateral temporary-worker agreements with countries of origin. Although countries like the Philippines regulate such agencies, some recruiters have engaged in the smuggling and trafficking of workers.

Asian governments seek to strictly control migration, and migrants' rights are often very limited. Policymakers encourage temporary labor migration but generally prohibit family reunion and permanent settlement. While most migration in the region is temporary, trends toward long-term stay are becoming evident in some places.

This article examines the main Asian migration systems: movement to Western countries, contract labor to the Middle East, intra-Asian labor migration, movement of highly skilled workers, student mobility, and refugee movements. Most of these movements include substantial illegal migration. This often takes the form of tourist visa-holders overstaying their permits, but smuggling and trafficking of people is also frequent.

Asia includes the Middle East, but we focus here on South Asia (the Indian subcontinent), East Asia, and Southeast Asia, with some discussion of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific islands.
Site Admin
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:37 am

Return to Asia-Pacific