Academy on Labour Migration

Academy on Labour Migration
Photo © Samuele Omati

Academy on Labour Migration

1–26 July 2024
The course is available in English, Español
Key features

Innovative training methodologies and integrated use of digital learning technology


Learning begins at own pace, continues through high-quality, engaging “real time” sessions and ends with an individual assignment


Successful candidates will obtain an ITCILO Certificate of Achievement


Learn from ITCILO trainers, ILO and global migration specialists

Introduction to the course

Today there are an estimated 281 million international migrants around the world, the majority of whom are migrant workers. According to the ILO, in 2019, there were 169 million international migrant workers in the world and they constituted 4.9 per cent of the global labour force in the destination countries. These international migrant workers made up approximately 69 per cent of the world's international migrant population of working age (aged 15 and over). Crossing national borders to work is one of the key motivations behind international migration, whether driven by economic inequalities, seeking employment, or both. The additional impact of economic, political and environmental crises and shifting demographics, with ageing populations in some parts of the world and a "youth bulge" in others, contribute to rising labour migration. Globalization, demographic shifts, conflicts, income inequalities and climate change will encourage ever more people to cross borders in search of employment and security. Yet, the migration process entails complex challenges in terms of governance, migrant workers' protection, migration and development linkages, and international cooperation. The Academy on Labour Migration (LMA) offers participants a unique opportunity to benefit from a diversified training package, exploring fair and effective labour migration governance, linkages between migration and sustainable development, and instruments and mechanisms for protecting the rights of migrant workers, refugees, and their respective families, including in situations of crisis. Participants will tailor-make their own learning experience by choosing from several elective courses proposed, and will benefit from an innovative and dynamic learning environment.

Who attends this course?

The LMA is geared towards the following groups: - Policy planners and officials from various governmental institutions and agencies involved in labour migration and mobility - Representatives of workers' and employers' organizations handling labour migration and refugees matters - Staff of NGOs and civil society organizations, and activists working with migrant workers and refugees at the grass-roots level - Representatives of diaspora and migrants' associations - Staff of international development agencies and regional economic communities - Researchers and academics working on labour migration and forced displacement - Journalists and media workers

What will I be able to do?

The LMA aims at providing advanced knowledge and enhancing the capacity of key migration actors to better understand labour migration challenges and opportunities in a changing political, economic and social context.It covers a wide range of labour migration cross-cutting themes, such as the protection of men and women migrant workers, fair and effective labour migration governance, crisis-induced migration and displacement and linkages between migration and sustainable development. At the end of the LMA, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and address key issues and policies regarding labour migration governance and mobility at the global and regional level, including from a gender perspective;
  • Promote migration-sustainable development linkages in both countries of origin and destination
  • Appreciate the role play by international labour standards to protect migrant workers and refugees’ right and the importance of adopting arights-based approach to labour migration policies and programmes at national, regional and international levels;
  • Recognize the pivotal role of social dialogue and key world-of-work actors (representatives of employers’ and workers’ organizations) in the development of labour migration polices, and in resolving critical issues relating to labour migration and mobility;
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities and challenges associated with ‘Mixed Migration.’ The course will delve into the multifaceted nature of migration flows, exploring the diverse motivations driving individuals to leave their home countries and the convergence of people with different migratory motivations along common routes and destinations.
  • Explore and apply the “Decent Work” approach for migrant workers and refugees.
What topics does this course cover?

The LMA’s content will draw upon the ILO Agenda on Fair Migration and other key outcomes, such as the Conclusions of the International Labour Conference general discussion on labour migration held in June 2017, the Conclusions of the Tripartite Technical Meeting on Labour Migration held in November 2013, the ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration 2006, and the 2004 International Labour Conference plan of action for migrant workers. The Guiding Principles on Access of Refugees and other Forcibly Displaced Persons to the Labour Market, adopted by the Tripartite Technical Meeting in July 2016 and the Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment, adopted by the Tripartite Meeting of Experts in September 2016, are also important and relevant sources.

The LMA is structure around four distinct thematic areas:

Labour migration, by its very nature, is interwoven with overall labour market policies and specific policy areas such as workers’ rights, skills development and skills recognition, job creation, education and vocational training and social protection. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) advocates for labour migration to be addressed as a labour issue by labour authorities in collaboration with social partners – employers’ and workers’ organizations – and other relevant actors. It is this social dialogue between authorities and social partners which is crucial to the elaboration and implementation of credible, viable and sustainable labour migration policies and practices. However, in many countries of both origin and destination, non-governmental actors most directly involved with the labour market are not fully recognized or incorporated in the process of migration policy development.

It is essential to recognize how labour migration affects labour markets and how the participation of social partners can help incorporate a social dimension into labour migration policies. Social partners can provide early information on labour market needs and should also be consulted on labour migration admission policies, e.g. in the establishment of quotas, shortage occupation lists, etc.

Labour migration and free circulation of labour are increasingly featuring on the agenda of regional integration processes. Indeed, experience has shown that regional agreements on labour migration often have a more immediate impact on how people move, and under what conditions, than international conventions or treaties. This underscores the need for regional policy approaches and coordination for the harmonisation of labour policies, including on policy issues such as recognition of professional qualifications, social security coverage and portability of benefits. The inclusion of mechanisms for social dialogue is consequently essential also at the subregional and regional levels.

Lack of labour protection for migrant workers undermines protection generally for all workers. The many international labour standards adopted over the years by the International Labour Conference of the ILO are important for safeguarding the dignity and rights of migrant workers. In principle, all international labour standards, unless otherwise stated, are applicable to migrant workers.

From its very inception, the ILO also resolved to protect “the interests of workers employed in countries other than their own” (ILO Constitution, 1919, Preamble, recital 2), and has pioneered the development of specific international standards for the governance of labour migration and protection of migrant workers. it has adopted two Conventions, in 1949 and 1975, which are accompanied by non-binding Recommendations.

The human desire to seek decent employment and livelihoods is at the core of the migration-development nexus. As more people cross borders to work in the coming years, fair and effective migration policies that protect the rights of migrant workers and reduce the costs of labour migration will be essential for achieving economic growth and enhancing development outcomes for migrant workers and their families, and for countries of origin and destination. The ILO works with governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations to improve labour migration policies that can achieve more equitable development with a focus on the needs of working men and women who generate the benefits towards development and who support their families and communities in countries of origin and destination.

Other important targets relating to labour migration are found in SDG 10 on reducing inequality within and among countries: “facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies” (target 10.7) and “by 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent” (target 10.c).

Globally, more than 110 million people are forcibly displaced by a number of drivers, which include (but are not limited) to conflict, violence and human rights violations, as well as natural disasters and climate change. Overwhelmingly, forced displacement affects emerging economies either as origin, transit or host countries.

In addition, mixed migration flows are becoming more and more prevalent at the global level, with important impacts on the governance of migration, the protection of migrant workers and the inclusion of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons in the labour market. People travelling as part of mixed movements have different needs and may include asylum-seekers, refugees, stateless people, victims of trafficking, unaccompanied minors, and often migrants in an irregular situation.

Despite facing significant challenges and often additional barriers to accessing the formal labour market, refugees and other forcibly displaced persons have important social and economic contributions to make. They bring skills, know-how and talent, and can make up for labour market shortages in host and transit countries. Refugee workers can also offset the consequences of changing demographics, such as population ageing and the resulting decline in the workforce.

However, the intrinsic complexity of mixed movements poses a number of policy and regulatory challenges and requires a holistic response to ensure fair migration and decent work for all involved.


The course is composed of an online phase and a residential phase. The online phase consists of modules offered through the eCampus online platform to be completed over a period of 1 week from 1 to 2 July 2024. This will build the foundation for the residential component, which will take place from 8 to 19 July 2024 and will accompany formal training with activities fostering knowledge exchange and cross-fertilization of ideas. This will be followed by an online wrap-up phase from 20 to 26 July 2024.

The course is broken down into three phases, for an estimated total of 100 learning hours:

  • Pre-course learning: Flexible self-guided and tutor-led online learning on eCampus and an end of phase assessment.
  • Residential learning: Face-to-face sessions and engaging presentations by highly experienced trainers, blended with individual and collaborative group exercises, peer-to-peer assessment and an end-of-phase assessment.
  • End of course assignment: Individual assignment applying the key learnings to a concrete context.

Participants who successfully complete all assessments and the final assignment will receive a Certificate of Achievement.

Why should I join?

The LMA is the ILO flagship capacity building activity in the field of labour migration. 

Participants may choose from elective courses that explore different thematic areas. Enjoy a highly participatory learning environment and share practical advice on relevant topics.

Language requirements

The Academy will be offered in English and Spanish. All weekly plenary forum as well as some elective courses will be offered with simultaneous translation while most of the elective courses will be conducted in either English or Spanish.

This course qualifies for the ITCILO Diploma for Labour Migration Experts and Practitioners.

Take the Academy on Labour Migration, three courses out of all eligible courses within a five year period, and complete a capstone project to become part of a global cadre of practitioners and experts with a recognised set of skills in labour migration policy.

How to Apply?

Interested candidates should register on-line clicking on the “APPLY NOW” button at the top-right of the page.

Selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Proven work experience in relevant field;
  • Submission of a letter of sponsorship to cover the total course fees.

The cost of participation is payable in advance by the participant or his or her sponsoring organization.

Prove your skills with a Diploma

This course is part of one Diploma programme:

Course Structure and certification

To obtain their certificate of achievement, participants are required to choose and successfully complete various elective courses. Additionally, they should attend online introductory webinars and Face-to-Face plenary sessions, collaborate within a team for a group work exercise, and submit an individual final assignment at the end of the course.


Plenary sessions will address the key issues, current trends and important debates at the heart of labour migration today. They serve as an introduction to the main topics covered by the Academy, which will be explored and discussed in more detail during the elective courses.


The elective courses are categorized around the four distinct thematic areas of the LMA (mentioned above). More than 15 elective courses will be made available both online and in-person, allowing participants to choose the ones that align with their priorities and personal interests.


Participants will be grouped together and, during the entire academy program, they will be tasked with the responsibility of devising and advancing the adoption of a labour migration policy for a specific country. This simulated exercise is designed to foster collaboration among participants, pushing them to reach consensus and engage in discussions with various stakeholders. The group work instructions have been carefully crafted, drawing inspiration from real-life cases and established policies.


Each participant will be required to create a final individual assignment, which will take the form of an essay. This essay should demonstrate their grasp of the concepts and knowledge acquired during the Academy and how these principles are applicable to their unique circumstances. Within this essay, participants are encouraged to emphasize the significant challenges and obstacles they have identified, as well as propose solutions and recommendations to overcome these challenges

Questions? We have the answers