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Decent work, migration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Richard Mallett

Briefing/policy papers

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.

Richard Mallett