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Global Guidance on Bilateral Labour Migration Agreements

At a glance

The guidance provides governments, social partners, and other key stakeholders with practical guidance on how to develop, negotiate, implement, monitor and evaluate rights-based bilateral labour migration agreements to support safe, orderly and regular labour migration. It includes practical examples and checklists of key considerations.


What it offers

The guidance serves as a key tool for supporting safe, orderly and regular labour migration by drawing on human rights instruments and international labour standards and integrating the perspectives of key world of work actors for rights-based BLMAs. This is done by:

  • Outlining the principles of human and labour rights, including recruitment, access to information, migration status, occupational safety and health, social protection, employment contract and wage protection, governance structure, qualifications and skills, savings and remittances, return and labour market reintegration
  • Providing operation guidelines that cover all phases of the bilateral labour migration agreements cycle, namely:  preparation and drafting, negotiation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation
  • Referencing sector-specific issues addressing seasonal workers, migrant health workers and migrant domestic workers It further includes main sources, indicative provisions, checklists for structures, negotiation, implementation, and model terms of reference for a joint monitoring committee for BLMAs.


Further information  

The guidance was developed through an inclusive and collaborative process, with all members of the working group providing inputs and feedback on outlines and drafts of the guidance. The process was led by the International Labour Organization and the International Organization for Migration. The following organizations contributed to the Guidance: American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Building & Wood Workers' International (BWI), UN Expert Working Group on Women’s Human Rights in the Global Compact for Migration (EWG), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Organization of Employers (IOE), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), Public Services International (PSI), Solidarity Center, UN Major Group on Children and Youth, UN Women, World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Migration Research Centre, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University.

Date of Publication
Type of Resource
Target Audience
Source / Publisher
UN Network on Migration
Geographic Scope
Workstream Output
Bilateral labour migration agreements 
Regional Review Process
GCM Objectives
Cross Cutting Theme

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).