The region of Southeast Asia is extremely diverse in terms of culture, language, ethnicity, economic development, forms of government and degrees of political freedom. Migration of all types has played and continues to play a crucial role in the political economy of the region and is central to the contemporary economies of all of the states within it. In terms of protection and migration policy analyses, Southeast Asia is often folded into the larger ‘regions’ of Asia, the Asia-Pacific, or a hybrid sub-region consisting of East and Southeast Asia, depending on the type of migration, and the policy issues under consideration Given the diversity of migration dynamics in Southeast Asia that could be considered within this paper, this article focus primarily on challenges for protection and policies concerning irregular migration, both because of the growing economic importance and political impact of irregular migration.


Legal Documents Brunei. Employment Order 2009. Brunei. Labour Law 1954, amended 2002. Brunei. Trade Unions Act 1961. Thailand. Alien Employment Act. Government Gazette, Vol. 125, Part 37 Kor, dated 22nd February B.E. 2551 (2008). Books and book chapters Anderson, Bridget. Worker, helper, auntie, maid?: Working condition and attitudes experienced by migrant domestic workers in Thailand and Malaysia. Bangkok: ILO, 2016. Arisman, Jaya and Ratnawati Kusuma. Protection of Human Rights and Labour Migration for Employment Purpose Across. Jakarta: CSEAS, 2018. ASEAN Secretariat. ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat, 2018. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development. The right to unite: A handbook on domestic worker rights across Asia. Chaing Mai: APWLD, 2010. The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Towards Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in the Asia‑Pacific Region Challenges and Opportunities. Bangkok: United Nations, 2018. Hall, Andy. Migrant Workers’ Right to Social Protection in ASEAN: Case Study of Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Singapore: Fridrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia, 2011. International Labour Organization. Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour. Geneva: ILO, 2014. IOM and United Nations. International Migration in Thailand. Bangkok: IOM, 2009. IOM. Migration and Development in Indonesia. Jakarta: IOM Indonesia, 2010. Kawar, Mary. Gender and Migration: Why are Women more Vulnerable? Geneva: Graduate Institute Publications, 2004. Martin, P. and M. Abella, Reaping the economic and social benefits of Labour mobility: ASEAN 2015. Geneva: ILO, 2014. Nadia, Saidatul and Salawati. “Towards Achieving Liberalization in ASEAN Economic Community: Challenges in Protection of Migrant Workers in ASEAN.” In The ASEAN Community: Legal Issues. Kuala Lumpur: UKM Press, 2018. Sugiyarto, Guntur. “Internal and international migration in Southeast Asia.” In Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Economics, edited by Ian Coxhead. Routledge: 2015. United Nations Women. Managing Labour Migration in ASEAN: Concerns for Women in the ASEAN Region. UN Women, 2013. Zen, Fauziah. et. al. “Leave No One Behind.” In Transforming and Deepening the ASEAN Community, edited by F. Kimura, V. Anbumozhi, H. Nishimura, 147-162. Jakarta: ERIA, 2019. Journals and periodicals Brown, Ronald C. “ASEAN: Harmonizing Labor Standards for Global Integration.” Pacific Basin Law Journal 33, no. 1 (2016): 27-72. Bylander, Maryann. “Is Regular Migration Safer Migration? Insights from Thailand.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 7, no. 1 (2019): 1-18. Chin, Low Choo. “A strategy of Attrition through Enforcement: The Unmaking of Irregular Migration in Malaysia.” Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 2 (2017): 101-136. Ford, M. and L. Lyons. “Outsourcing Border Security: NGO Involvement in the Monitoring, Processing and Assistance of Indonesian Nationals Returning Illegally by Sea.” Contemporary Southeast Asia 35, no. 2 (2013): 215–234. Khai, Khen Suan. “Thailand’s Policy Towards Irregular Migration: Situation Analysis of Burmese Migrant Workers Under Thailand’s Migration Policy.” MFU Connexion 1, no. 1 (2012): 1-25. Palmer, W. “Public–Private Partnerships in the Administration and Control of Indonesian Temporary Migrant Labour in Hong Kong.” Political Geography 34 (2019): 1-9. Raharto, Aswatini and Mita Noveria. “Advoacy Groups for Indonesian Women Migrant Workers’ Protection.” Jurnal Kependudukan Indonesia 7, no. 1 (2012): 1-17. Sanchez, Gabriella. “Critical Perspectives on Clandestine Migration Facilitation: An Overview of Migrant Smuggling Research.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5, no. 1 (2017): 9–27. Spaan, Ernst and Ton van Naerssen. “Migration decision-making and migration industry in the Indonesia–Malaysia corridor.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 44, no. 4 (2018): 680-695. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2017.1315523. Websites Asia Migrant Center. “Malaysia: Document and Status.” Accessed 29 January 2020. https://www.asianmigrantcentre.org/malaysia Asian Development Bank. “ASEAN Economic Community: 12 Things to Know.” ADB, accessed on 18 December 2019. http://www.adb.org/features/asean-economic-community-12-things-know. Chamratrithirong, Aphichat. “The ‘Regional Demographic Transition’ Towards Peace and Prosperity: A Case Study of Thailand and its Neighboring Countries.” Accessed 29 December 2019. https://www.migrationcenter.mahidol.ac.th/news_detail.php?id=39. Groff, Stephen P. “ASEAN Integration and the Private Sector, Keynote Speech at the German-Business Association AEC: Integration, Connectivity and Financing: What Does Regional Integration in Southeast Asia Mean for the German Business Community?” ADB, accessed 23 December 2019. http://www.adb.org/news/speeches/ keynote-speech-asean-integration-and-private-sector-stephen-p-groff. Harkins, Benjamin and Daniel Lindgren. “Labour Migration in the ASEAN Region: Assessing the Social and Economic Outcomes for Migrant Workers.” 2017. Accessed 4 January 2020, http://migratingoutofpoverty.dfid.gov.uk/files/file.php?name=harkins-labour-migration-in-asean-update.pdf&site=354. Khasru, Syed Munir. “Migration -- the forgotten part of ASEAN integration.” Nikkei, 20 November 2018, accessed 1 January 2020. https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Migration-the-forgotten-part-of-ASEAN-integration. Population.sg. “Demographics.” Accessed 29 December 2019. http://www.population.sg/population-trends/demographics Shetty and Testaverde. “Southeast Asia needs better labor migration policies Improving worker mobility benefits migrants and raises growth.” Nikkei, 22 March 2018. Accessed 31 December 2019. https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Southeast-Asia-needs-better-labor-migration-policies. Singapore MOM. “Foreign Workers Number and Employment.” Ministry of Manpower, accessed 29 December 2019. http://www.mom.gov.sg/documents-and-publications/foreign-workforce-numbers. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). “International migrant stock.” UNDESA, accessed 4 January 2020. https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/data/estimates2/estimates15.asp. Yeoh, Brenda and Weiqiang Lin. “Singapore: Hungry for Foreign Workers at All Skill Levels.” Migration Policy Institute, 2007. http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=570. Others Asis, Maruja M. B. “The Philippines’ Culture of Migration.” Migration Information Source, January 2006. Accessed 29 December 2019. http://www.migrationinformation.org Bachtiar, Palmira Permata. “The Governace of Indonesian Overseas Employment in the Context of Decentralization.” Discussion Paper Series No. 2011-25, (2011). Barral, Stéphanie. “Policy and institutional framework of Indonesia.” INTERACT Research Report (2014). Hing, V., P. Lun and D. Phann. “Irregular Migration from Cambodia: Characteristics, Challenges, and Regulatory Approach.” PIDS DP 2011-26 (2011). Huelser, Sarah and Adam Heal. “Moving Freely? Labour Mobility in ASEAN.” Asia Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade, Policy Brief no. 40 (June, 2014). ILO. “Migration, irregular status and deportation An outline of international standards, regional trends and good practices.” ILO, 2015. Accessed 31 December 2019. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/documents/genericdocument/wcms_322652.pdf. International Labour Organization. “Analytical report on the International Labour Migration Statistics Database in ASEAN: Improving data collection for evidence-based policy-making (Bangkok).” ILO, 2015. Accessed 27 December 2019, http://www.ilo. org/asia/whatwedo/publications/WCMS_431613/lang--en/index.htm. International Labour Organization. “Progress of the implementation of recommendations adopted at the 3rd – 8th ASEAN Forums on Migrant Labour.” Background paper to the 9th AFM (2017). International Labour Organization. “TRIANGLE in ASEAN Quarterly Briefing Note.” ILO, October-December 2018, accessed 3 January 2020. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/documents/genericdocument/wcms_647658.pdf. Kanapathy, Vijayakumari. “Controlling irregular migration: The Malaysian experience.” ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Working Paper No 14, accessed 29 December 2019. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/region/asro/bangkok/library/pub15.htm Kanapathy, Vijayakumari. “Migrant Workers in Malaysia: An Overview.” Workshop Paper, East Asian Cooperation Framework for Migrant Labour, Kuala Lumpur (2006). Kassim, A. A. and H. M. R. Zin. “Policy on Irregular Migrants in Malaysia: An Analysis of its Implementation and Effectiveness.” Technical report, PIDS DP 2011-34 (2011). Ofori, G. “Foreign Construction Workers in Singapore.” ILO Sectoral Actvities Programme Working Paper, no. 106 (1993). OHCHR. “Differentiation Between Regular and Irregular.” Accessed 29 December 2019 https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Migration/GlobalCompactMigration/RegularAndIrregular.pdf Paitoonpong, S. “Different Stream, Different Needs, and Impact: Managing International Labor Migration in ASEAN: Thailand (Immigration).” PIDS DP 2011-28 (2011). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). “Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2015 Revision.” UNDESA, 2015. Accessed 29 December 2019. http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/data/estimates2/estimates15.shtml. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). International Migration Report 2017 (ST/ESA/SER.A/403). accessed 2 January 2020. https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/publications/migrationreport/docs/MigrationReport2017.pdf. Yue, C. S. “Foreign Labor in Singapore: Trends, Policies, Impacts, and Challenges.” PIDS DP 2011-24 (2011).