Regional Consultative Process on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia (Colombo Process)

Type: Regional consultative process (region covered: Asia)

Formal association with regional or multi-stakeholder organization: None

Established: 2003

The Regional Consultative Process on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia (formerly called the Ministerial Consultation on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia) or the Colombo Process aims to provide a forum for Asian labour-sending countries to:

  • Share experiences, lessons learned and best practices on overseas employment;
  • Consult on issues faced by overseas workers, labour sending and receiving states, and propose practical solutions for the well-being of vulnerable overseas workers;
  • Optimize development benefits from organized overseas employment, and enhance dialogue with countries of destination; and
  • Review and monitor the implementation of the recommendations and identify further steps for action.
Current Thematic Focus
The Colombo Process addresses 8 thematic areas which fall under the following migration management categories
- Labour migration:
  • Skills and qualification recognition process
  • Fostering ethical recruitment
  • Effective pre-departure orientation and empowerment
  • Reducing the costs of remittances transfer
  • Enhancing capacities of the Colombo Process participating countries to track labour market trends in support of Colombo Process goals

- Migrant rights:

  • Consular support for migrant workers

- Migration and development:

  • Operationalization of the migration-related sustainable development goals (SDGs) in a holistic manner

- Gender aspects of migration:

  • Promoting equality for women migrant workers

- Migrant Health

Member States (12 States)

Sri Lanka
Viet Nam

Chairing Country
Current Chair: Nepal
Past Chairs: Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia

Observer States
Several States (Australia, Bahrain, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America) have been invited on an ad hoc basis to observe Colombo Process events depending on the theme

Observer Organizations
Several intergovernmental or regional organizations (Asian Development Bank (ADB), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), , The European Commission (EC), International Labour Organization (ILO) , International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Organization for Migration, SAARC, UNAIDS, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women, World Bank (WB) have been invited on an ad hoc basis to observe Colombo Process events depending on the theme.

IOM provides technical and administrative support.

Contact Information

IOM Mission in Nepal (CP Secretariat)
768/12 Thirbam Sadak,
P.O. Box: 25503,
Kathmandu, Nepal.
E-mail :
Telephone :+977 1 442 62 50
Fax :+977 1 443 42 23

Colombo Process Technical Support Unit (CPTSU)
IOM Mission in Sri Lanka
No. 62 Green Path,
Ananda Coomaraswamy Mw,
Colombo 03, Sri Lanka

Official Website

September 13-14, 2017 Katmandu, Nepal, Colombo Process Consultation on the Global Compact for Migration “Colombo Process Engagement in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: Towards a Colombo Process joint contribution to the GCM”.
August 24-25, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 4th Senior Officials Meeting and 5th Ministerial Consultation of the Colombo Process.
March 15, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland, Ambassadorial level Meeting.
November 4-5, 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 3rd Senior Officials’ Meeting.  | Press Release
October 14, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2nd Senior Officials’ Meeting.
July 18, 2014, Colombo Process: Expert-level Meeting.
May 6-7, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1st Senior Officials’ Meeting.
April 10, 2014, Geneva, Switzerland, Colombo Process: 3rd Expert-level meeting.
February 14, 2014, Geneva, Switzerland, Colombo Process: 2nd Expert-level meeting.
January 15, 2014, Geneva, Switzerland, Colombo Process: 1st Expert-level meeting.
April 2011, Dhaka, Bangladesh, The Fourth Colombo Process Ministerial Meeting.
September 20 – 21, 2005, Bali, Indonesia, 3rd Ministerial Consultation
September 23-24, 2004, Manila, Philippines, SOM and 2nd Ministerial Consultation
April 1 – 2, 2003, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1st Ministerial Consultation

Colombo Process Recommendations to the Global compact for migration
Colombo Process Operating Modalities
Colombo Process Ministerial Declaration, 2016
Dhaka Declaration, 2011
Final Reports: Ministerial Consultations [2016 | 2011 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 ]
2008 Report Organizing the Association of Employment Agencies in Asia
2005 Workshop Report on the Second Labour Migration Ministerial Consultations for Countries of Origin in Asia
Recruitment Monitoring & Migrant Welfare Assistance: What Works?