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Global Migration Centre

Review of International Practices: Migration, Labour Markets and Development

A comprehensive review of international experiences and practices pertaining to migration, labour markets and development was performed upon a request by the International Institute for Labour Studies (IILS) of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The review was designed to be part of a larger IILS project aiming at maximizing the contribution of labour migration to development in selected countries in North and West Africa.

Description and Objectives


The project delivered a comprehensive evaluation of international practises pertinent to migration, labour and development. Building upon ILO’s work the project assessed existing policies, while drawing on both academic literature as well as other sources, in order to capture information about policies and experiences which had not been formally evaluated. The following issues related to migration, labour and development were examined and elaborated:

  • Analysis of former well functioning policies, programmes, institutional arrangements and experiences regarding:
  • management of outward migration and aspects related to e.g. mitigating the loss of human capital and domestic education policies
  • management of inward migration concerning social cohesion, protection, development and destination  labour markets, including e.g. foreign credential recognition and mitigating impacts/opportunities for nationals
  • management of transit migration (e.g. protection, employment, housing)
  • management of urban/rural migration and issues of rural development, urban infrastructure development
  • best practices surrounding remittances and the linkages to origin country development
  • programmes and policies that encouraged a return and reintegration of migrant workers to their country of origin, including e.g. programmes targeting entrepreneurs or encouraging qualified persons to return.
  • The project provided examples of best practises in regards of countries implementation of policies, institutional arrangements, and experiences while taking into consideration their respective development stage.
  • Analysis and review included examples of policies, institutional arrangements and experiences that have proven less successful and lessons drawn from those experiences.
  • Overview and explicit discussion of the different country contexts from which the examples were drawn.
  • The review took into account and built on previous ILO work on the subject. The ILO’s Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration: Examples of Best Practices provided a starting point, but the project importantly went beyond these examples and included more detailed and up-to-date information.

Project Team


  • Jean-Louis Arcand, Project Director
  • Matthias Rieger, Narada Luckanachai, Research Assistant
  • Narada Luckanachai, Research Assistant

Project Result


N. Luckanachai and M. Rieger, "A Review of International Migration Policies", ILO, International Institute for Labour Studies, 2010.

This project results contributed to the ILO publication Making Migration a Development Factor: the Case of North and West Africa