Colombo Process Meeting Emphasizes Collaborative Efforts for Safe Migration for Migrant Workers
The 6th PDOE TAWG hybrid meeting in Bangkok brought together representatives from CP Member States, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam.
Bangkok - The Colombo Process's (CP) Thematic Area Working Group (TAWG) on Pre-Departure Orientation and Empowerment concluded its 6th meeting today (17 August). The meeting highlighted the critical importance of collaborative efforts in promoting pre-departure orientation and empowerment as key drivers for ensuring decent work and safe migration across South, East, and Southeast Asia.
The hybrid meeting brought together representatives from CP Member States, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam. The gathering also included participants from civil society organizations, trade unions, the private sector, and UN agencies.
The discussions centered on the need for policy development and implementation to address the vulnerabilities faced by women and men migrant workers. The Republic of the Philippines chaired the meeting with the support of the Colombo Process Technical Support Unit (CPTSU).
Patricia Yvonne M. Caunan, Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation, Department of Migrant Workers, Government of the Philippines, delivered her opening remarks during the 6th PDOE TAWG meeting in Bangkok. Photo by IOM.
In her address during the inaugural session, Patricia Yvonne M. Caunan, Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation, Department of Migrant Workers, Government of the Philippines, expressed, "We must ensure that our pre-departure orientation and empowerment seminars are comprehensive, accessible, and tailor-fitted to the varying needs of our migrant workers. This goes beyond mere preparation; it’s about equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and empowerment they need to navigate their journey confidently.” She added, “Leveraging technology and partnerships to respond to needs, tapping into the strength of community organizations, and adopting a systematic approach are principles that guide us on the way.”
During the 6th PDOE TAWG meeting, Member States provided updates on their national progress and deliberated on advancements made in alignment with the four-year work plan developed through discussions during the 5th PDOE TAWG meeting held in Manila in March 2023. They also discussed research gaps and priorities on labour migration.
Sarah Arriola, IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, called for enhanced regional cooperation and partnerships during her closing remarks at the 6th PDOE TAWG meeting in Bangkok. Photo by IOM.
In her closing remarks, Sarah Arriola, IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, stated, "This event has served as a platform for us to enhance regional cooperation and partnerships. I commend the commitment of Colombo Process Member States, non-state actors, and other development partners in addressing the challenges and potential risks associated with migration collaboratively. IOM stands ready to continue supporting the achievement of the milestones set in this agenda through strengthened coordination, information sharing, and policy dialogue."
The event also featured a strategic discussion regarding the future direction of TAWGs. The TAWG meeting garnered participation from over 40 attendees, representing Colombo Process Member States, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), partnering UN Agencies including ILO and UN Women, IOM CREST, the private sector, and regional and local observers from Migrant Forum Asia, as well as the South Asia Centre for Labour Mobility and Migrants.
About the Colombo Process
The Colombo Process is a twelve-country regional consultative process supporting its member countries to manage labour migration in a safe, orderly, and dignified way for the benefit of individual migrants, their families and wider society, allowing collaboration, knowledge exchange and the development of new policies and practices for implementation at the national level.
The Colombo Process (CP) is a regional consultative process of 12 Asian countries that focuses on the protection of and provision of services to migrant workers and optimizing the benefits of organized labour migration for sending and receiving countries for both migrants and their families. This is increasingly relevant in the region as Governments recognize that migration issues cannot be addressed unilaterally. The work of the TAWGs are supported by “Governance of Labour Migration in South and South East Asia” (GOALS) Programme, a joint UN programme implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UN Women, with financial assistance from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The Colombo Process addresses the five thematic priority areas of: Skills and Qualification Recognition Processes, Fostering Ethical Recruitment Practices, Pre-departure Orientation and Empowerment, Promoting Cheaper, Faster and Safer Transfer of Remittances and Labor Market Analysis.