Type: Regional consultative process (region covered: Asia)

Formal association with regional or multi-stakeholder organization: None

Established: 2003

Objectives

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

  • Share experiences, lessons learned and best practices on overseas employment and contractual labor; 
  • Consult on issues faced by overseas workers, and labor sending and receiving states, and offers practical solutions for the well-being of overseas workers, particularly the 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 ministerial recommendations and identify further steps for action.

Current Thematic Focus

The Colombo Process addresses five thematic priority areas and while also incorporating four crosscutting themes into these priority areas:

Thematic Priority Areas:

  • Skills and Qualification Recognition Processes
  • Fostering Ethical Recruitment Practices
  • Pre-departure Orientation and Empowerment
  • Promote Cheaper, Faster and Safer Transfer of Remittances
  • Labor Market Analysis

Crosscutting Themes:

  • Migrant Health
  • Operationalization of the Migration-related Elements of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Promotion of equality for women migrant workers
  • Consular Support for Migrant Workers

Chairing Country

  • Incoming Chair: India
  • Past Chairs: Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh

Secretariat

IOM provides technical and administrative support to the Colombo Process. The Colombo Process Technical Support Unit (CPTSU), based in IOM Sri Lanka, provides technical support to the Colombo Process in its thematic areas of focus.

Members

Member States (12 States)

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Viet Nam

Note: Founding States: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Observers

Observer States

Several States (Australia, Bahrain, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, 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, regional, civil society and private sector organizations including but not limited to the  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 Labor Organization (ILO) , International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) , International Organization for Migration, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS ( UNAIDS ) , United Nations Development Program (UNDP) ,United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women ( UN Women ) , World Bank (WB) , and  Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) , have been invited on an ad hoc basis to observe Colombo Process events depending on the theme.

Meetings
  • August 17, 2023 Bangkok, Thailand and online, 6th Thematic Area Working Group (TAWG) on Pre-departure orientation and empowerment meeting
  • March 15-16, 2023 Manila, Philippines, 5th Meeting of the Thematic Area Working Group on Pre-departure orientation and empowerment
  • May 22–23, 2019, Bangkok, Thailand,  Consultation on the Colombo Process Engagement in the Global Framework related to Migration: Towards the Effective Implementation, Follow-Up and Review 
  • February 18, 2019, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Seventh Meeting of the Thematic Area Working Group on Fostering Ethical Recruitment Practices
  • December 19, 2018, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Fifth Meeting of the Thematic Area Working Group on Pre-departure Orientation and Empowerment
  • December 4, 2018, Bangkok, Thailand, Consultation for Labor Attachés of Colombo Process Member States on Recruitment Monitoring and Complaints Handling
  • December 3-4, 2018, Bangkok, Thailand, Regional Workshop for Labor Attachés of Colombo Process Member States
  • November 16, 2018, Kathmandu, Nepal, Sixth Ministerial Consultation ( Agenda | Kathmandu Declaration )
  • November 15, 2018, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fifth Senior Officials' Meeting
  • November 5, 2018, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Sixth Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Fostering Ethical Recruitment Practices 
  • October 23, 2018, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Fifth Meeting of the Thematic Area Working Group on Skills and Qualification Recognition
  • September 26, 2018, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Fourth Meeting of the Thematic Area Working Group on Labor Market Analysis
  • July 25, 2018, Manila, Philippines, Fourth Meeting of Thematic Area Working Group on Remittances
  • July 24, 2018, Manila, Philippines, Fourth Meeting of Thematic Area Working Group on Pre-departure Orientation and Empowerment
  • March 15, 2018, Bangkok, Thailand, Regional Workshops to share key findings from the Mapping of Complaints Mechanisms in the Colombo Process Member States
  • March 14, 2018, Bangkok, Thailand, Fifth Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Fostering Ethical Recruitment
  • March 13-14, 2018, Bangkok, Thailand, Third Regional Symposium on “Promoting Regulatory Harmonization of Recruitment Intermediaries in the Colombo Process Member States”
  • February 15 , 2018, Geneva, Switzerland, Ambassadorial-level meeting of the Colombo Process Geneva Expert Group
  • January 23-24, 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka,Joint Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Skills and Qualification Recognition and Labor Market Analysis
  • September 13-14, 2017 Katmandu, Nepal, Consultation on the Colombo Process Engagement in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: Towards a Colombo Process joint contribution to the GCM 
  • September 6, 2017, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Fourth Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Fostering Ethical Recruitment Practices 
  • August 26, 2017, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Third Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Skills and Qualification Recognition 
  • August 22, 2017, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Third Meeting of Thematic Area Working Group on Pre-departure Orientation and Empowerment 
  • 11 July, 2017, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Third Meeting of Thematic Area Working Group on Remittances 
  • May 18, 2017, Bangkok, Thailand,  Second Regional Symposium on “Promoting Regulatory Harmonization of Recruitment Intermediaries in the Colombo Process Member States” 
  • May 17, 2017, Bangkok, Thailand, Third Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Fostering Ethical Recruitment Practices  
  • March 30, 2017, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Second Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Labor Market Analysis 
  • February 20, 2017, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Second Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Fostering Ethical Recruitment Practices 
  • January 10, 2017, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Second Meeting of Thematic Area Working Group on Pre-departure Orientation and Empowerment 
  • January 10, 2017, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Second Meeting of Thematic Area Working Group on Remittances 
  • December 1, 2016, Online via Video Conferencing Facility, Second Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Skills and Qualification Recognition 
  • August 24-25, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Fourth Senior Officials Meeting and Fifth Ministerial Consultation of the Colombo Process
  • August 4, 2016, Bangkok, Thailand, First Meeting of Thematic Area Working Group on Pre-departure Orientation and Empowerment  
  • July 21, 2016, Bangkok, Thailand, First Meeting of Thematic Area Working Group on Remittances 
  • July 21, 2016, Bangkok, Thailand, First Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Labor Market Analysis 
  • May 31, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka,  First Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Skills and Qualification Recognition  
  • May 31, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka,  First Thematic Area Working Group Meeting on Fostering Ethical Recruitment Practices 
  • 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, Senior Officials' Meeting and 2nd Ministerial Consultation
  • April 1 - 2, 2003, Colombo, Sri Lanka, First Ministerial Consultation
Documents
Contact information

Colombo Process Secretariat 
IOM Mission in Afghanistan
1093, Street No. 4, 
House N 27, 
Ansari Square, 
Shahr-e-Naw, Kabul,  
Afghanistan 
E-mail: cpsecretariat@iom.int 
Telephone: +93 729 80 5018 
Fax: +93 729 80 5012
https://afghanistan.iom.int/

Colombo Process Technical Support Unit (CPTSU)
IOM Mission in Sri Lanka
Level 9, 80A ,
Elvitigala Mawatha,
Colombo 08, Sri Lanka
Email: cptsu@iom.int
​​​​​​​https://srilanka.iom.int/