First Labour Migration Workshop Launched in Timor-Leste

IOM Development Fund

Timor-Leste - Demographic pressures and the possibility of greater labour mobility as a future member of ASEAN – the Southeast Asian club of nations – means that labour migration could soon become a key contributor to Timor-Leste’s economic development.  IOM, in coordination with SEPFOPE, the government body responsible for labour, this week organized the young Pacific nation’s first consultative workshop to discuss the issue.

The aim of the workshop, which was funded by IOM’s International Development Fund, was to identify opportunities and challenges related to labour migration management and to take the first steps towards drafting a National Action Plan.

The workshop was attended by some 60 representatives from government ministries, development partners, the private sector, civil society and embassies.

While large numbers of Timorese work abroad, including at least 1,600 official migrant workers in South Korea and Australia, no accurate data exists as to how much money they send home in the form of remittances.

In 2011 World Bank estimates suggested that remittances received in Timor Leste could be over USD 130 million or 12 per cent of GDP.   

“This workshop is a first step in the implementation of an efficient and transparent labour migration management system in Timor-Leste. Labour migration will become a key issue for the government as demographic, economic and political factors make it increasingly appealing and accessible,” said IOM Timor Chief of Mission Dr. Bruno Maltoni.

Timor-Leste also hosts many foreign labour migrants who make valuable contributions to the country’s national development.

For more information please contact

Bruno Maltoni

IOM Dili

Tel. +670 331 3038