ABSTRACT

Migration, especially for work, is a major issue for the twenty-first century. The scale of the transnational movement of workers is huge. While accurate statistics are not easy to locate, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there are roughly 96 million ‘migrant workers, immigrants and members of their families’ worldwide, with a remarkably conservative estimate of seven million in South and East Asia (ILO 2002). The ILO estimates that the rate of growth of the world’s migrant population more than doubled between the 1960s and the 1990s, with much of this growth having originated from developing countries and regions. Migration for work has become a central – albeit a contested – element of the current phase of globalization.