regional trends

The chart below illustrates that approximately 75% of migrant workers are concentrated in four main areas, namely the Arab States, Eastern Asia, the South East Asia and the Pacific, and Northern, Western and Southern Europe. Looking at the Asian continent (excluding Middle East), the distribution of migrant workers across these individual sub-regions accounts for more than a third (39%) of the total distribution globally. By far the most represented regions are South-East Asia and the Pacific with 22%. This percentage is twice as high as in the East Asia region with its 11%.¹


  • Countries of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations try to ban female migrant workers from working in certain countries because they are not sufficiently protected there. However, these bans are not very effective in curbing labour immigration and are counterproductive as migrant workers use illegal channels for immigration, which exposes them to more risks. ³


  1. Migrant Data Portal (2019). Can data help improve migrant domestic workers lives?
  2. Asian Consensus on The Protection and Promotion of the Migrant Workers (2017).
  3. Yeoh, B. S. A., Goh, C. & Wee, K. (2020). Social Protection for Migrant Domestic Workers in SIngapore: International Conventions, the Law, and Civil Society Action. American Behavioral Scientist, 64(6), 841-858.