Decent work, migration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Briefing papers
September 2018
Fish is transported to markets in Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo: ILO/Nguyễn Việt Thanh (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This briefing explores international labour migration against the backdrop of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It uses a ‘decent work’ lens to explore how employment (in relation to its quality, terms and regulation) relates to migration (including the decision to migrate, integration, return and remittance-sending).

Key messages

  • Low- and semi-skilled labour migrants face significant difficulties accessing ‘decent work’ in host countries.
  • Globally, 40% of workers are in vulnerable or precarious forms of work – migrants are disproportionately represented in this share.
  • Low quality work at destination limits the potential economic returns of migration and can impede migrants’ integration into host communities.
  • Providing employment alone in areas of origin is unlikely to stop migration. Many people move abroad even when opportunities ‘at home’ are available.

This is the twelfth in a series of policy briefings on the relationship between migration and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The links between decent work, migration and SDG 5.
The links between decent work, migration and SDG 8.
The links between decent work, migration and SDG 8.