Ingram Symposium on Labour Migration in the Asia Pacific Region: The Challenges of Governance



Tuesday 21 October 2014, UNSW Law

There are over 100 million migrant workers globally, many working on temporary contracts in low-wage industries such as construction, agriculture, fishing, mining, manufacturing, hospitality and domestic work.   Over 53 million of those are in the Asia Pacific region. 

Together, the world’s migrant workers send home an estimated $530bn each year – more than triple the total global aid budgets, and three times more than a decade ago.  For many developing countries in South and South East Asia, labour migration is a key poverty reduction and economic development strategy.    

Nevertheless, many low-wage migrant workers continue to encounter fraud and overcharging of fees during recruitment at home. Many are made to do different work and paid less than they were promised at home, and subjected to unsafe work conditions and employer abuse.

The Symposium will provide a unique opportunity within Australia to engage with the Asia Pacific region’s leading policymakers, researchers, advocates and government and industry representatives on policy responses and viable business models for tackling exploitation of low-wage migrant workers in the region. It will also be the first international forum in Australia to address widespread misconduct in migrant worker recruitment which is mostly performed by private businesses and individual agents across South and South East Asia, in an industry has undergone rapid growth in the past two decades.

An audio-recording of the Symposium will be publicly available after the event.

The speaker's biographies can be downloaded by clicking here.

Draft Program:


2.45 – 3.00pm


3.00 – 3.15pm

Welcome & Opening Remarks


3.15 – 5.00pm

Panel 1

Labour Migration Governance and Protection of Low-Wage Migrant Workers: Key Challenges in the Asia Pacific Region

5.00 – 5.30pm

Wine and cheese reception

5.30 – 7.00pm

Panel 2

Q & A -  Recruitment of Low-Wage Migrant Workers: Key Governance and Protection Challenges in the Asia Pacific Region