International migration in Asia-Pacific is on the rise, with 53 million documented migrants in 2010 (one in four of the world’s migrants) and a high number of non-recorded migrants. More than 3 million people in the Asia-Pacific region leave their countries every year to work abroad. Whether undertaken for work, study or marriage, migration has major social and economic impacts on the region, both positive and negative.
Cross-border movements of people within East and South-East Asia have risen with rapidity, much of them driven by the prospect for gainful employment. Although there has been a growing number of articles and publications on international migration in countries in East and South-East Asia, these often focus on selected issues of migration. The present report provides a comprehensive overview of migration in East and South-East Asia and country reports that provide a concise analysis of the key national issues and how they are linked to other countries in the region.
Since the 1970s in particular, the countries of Western Asia and those of the Asia-Pacific region have been closely linked to each other through highly extensive movements of people. Opportunities created by the rapid development of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), but also other countries in the ESCWA region, have attracted a large number labour migrants from the Asia-Pacific region.
Asia-Pacific Governments commit to key regional priorities in international migration and development
10 January 2013 – ESCAP, on behalf of the UN Regional Commissions, assumed the chairmanship of the Global Migration Group on 1 January 2013, for a period of six months. The Group is an inter-agency body bringing together 15 UN entities and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to promote the wider application of relevant international and regional instruments and standards relating to migration and development.