Labour-sending Asian Colombo Process Countries Meet on Global Migration Compact in Kathmandu

Capacity Building, Global Compact, Global Compact on Migration

Kathmandu – A two-day meeting of labour-sending countries in Asia ended yesterday (14/09) in Kathmandu, Nepal. It brought together senior officials from Colombo Process Member States to develop a joint position as part of the preparatory process for the forthcoming Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

The officials, who are responsible for supporting their countries’ efforts to protect and promote the rights of their labour migrants abroad, enhance migration governance, and engage in the GCM process, were tasked with producing actionable recommendations to address the priority issues and challenges of the GCM.

The discussions focused on the five thematic areas of the Colombo Process: skills and qualification recognition processes of labour migrants; fostering ethical recruitment; effective pre-departure orientation and empowerment for migrant workers; remittances; and international labour market analysis. 

The meeting offered participants the opportunity to share their collective experiences and best practices to address migration challenges and opportunities and ensure that the regional perspective is reflected in the final outcome of the GCM process.

The outcome of this meeting – the joint Colombo Process contribution to the GCM – will be shared at a regional United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) consultation in Bangkok, Thailand in November. It will then be submitted for consideration at the GCM stocktaking meeting in Mexico at yearend.  

The Colombo Process is a Regional Consultative Process on migration and comprises 12 Asian labour-sending countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam, and is currently chaired by Nepal. Six Member States are among the top 11 remittance-receiving countries in the world. IOM, the UN Migration Agency provides technical expertise to the process.

Colombo Process Member States recognize that the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrant workers should be respected, irrespective of their legal status, and the welfare, dignity and well-being of their families, in particular women and children, should be promoted and protected.

“While we discuss our common position and recommendations to move ahead, we must not forget that migrants from our countries also immensely contribute to the development, prosperity and diversity of the transit and destination countries,” said Dilli Bahadur Chaudhary, Nepal State Minister for Labour and Employment, opening the meeting. “This is an opportune time for us to strongly raise the common concerns of our migrants and suggest better options to address these issue. This will also be beneficial for the transit and destination countries to better manage and provide services to the migrants.” 


The meeting was hosted by Nepal’s Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) and supported by IOM and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The GCM was announced during the UN General Assembly on 19 September 2016 as part of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. It aims to establish an international cooperation framework on migration and human mobility.

 The GCM is intended to be closely linked to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include key migration targets. It is expected to be finalized and adopted by UN Member States at an intergovernmental conference in late 2018.

For more information, please contact:

Paul I. Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +977 1 4426250, Email:

Government of Nepal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Tel: +977 1 4211963, Email:

  • Colombo Process delegates gather in Kathmandu on 14 September. Photo: IOM 2017