Developing, Negotiating and Implementing Bilateral Labour Agreements

Developing and Implementing Bilateral Labour Agreements

Developing, Negotiating and Implementing Bilateral Labour Agreements

14 June–23 July 2021
The course is available in English
Key features

The course is organized into two main technical blocks:

  • Block I: Technical content on BLAs and MoUs
  • Block II: Technical content on Negotiation Skills

An action-oriented, highly participative approach will be used, with particular attention devoted to sharing international experiences with a view to their adaptation and practical application. Particular attention will be paid to the presentation of “good practices” through case studies reflecting experiences already gained locally and internationally.


An innovative e-learning experience combining self-paced modules, webinars and discussions, case studies, forum debates, role-play exercises and group work using up-to-date learning methods and technologies.


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

Introduction to the course

Increasing the potential of BLAs improves the governance of labour migration, promotes and protects the rights of migrant workers, and enhances migration and development linkages . This course aims to reinforce the negotiation skills and techniques of officials involved in the adoption and follow-up of bilateral and/or multilateral agreements.

Who attends this course?

The course is designed for stakeholders involved in the negotiation of bilateral and regional agreements/MoUs and migration issues, in particular officials dealing with migration policy and/or international relations; policy-planners involved in the conclusion of bilateral labour agreements; practitioners from public institutions and ministries dealing with migration policies and/or international relations; representatives of workers' and employers' organizations.

Prove your skills with a Diploma

This course is part of one Diploma programme:

Why this course?

Recently bilateral labour agreements, such as bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding on labour migration, have gained prominence as tools to facilitate the cross-border movement of workers. While bilateral agreements can play an important role in ensuring that labour rights of migrant workers are protected; in practice, they exhibit a number of shortcomings regarding their design, content, monitoring, implementation and impact. In response to these challenges and opportunities, the ITCILO designed this upcoming course on Negotiating Bilateral Labour Agreements, with a view to increasing the potential of BLAs in improving the governance of labour migration, promoting and protecting the rights of migrant workers, and enhancing migration and development linkages. This course aims to reinforce the negotiation skills and techniques of officials involved in the adoption and follow-up of bilateral and/or multilateral agreements.

Watch the video (in English)
Watch the video (in Spanish)
What topics does this course cover?

Technical content on BLAs and MoU

  • Historical overview and current developments of bilateral labour agreements (BLAs) and memorandum of understanding (MoU)
  • Types and general features of BLAs and MoU on labour migration
  • Recent global and regional trends of BLAs and MoU
  • Normative foundations of bilateral labour agreements
  • Agreement Structure, Assessment and Good Practices
  • Minimum standards/provisions for a bilateral agreement/MOU
  • Skills and Social Protection in the BLAs and MoU
  • How to make agreements work?
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Joint committees: role, TORs and agenda
  • Good practice review: Bilateral Agreements/MOUs on Labour Migration

Technical content on Negotiation skills

  • Process and stages of negotiating bilateral labour agreements;
  • Characteristics of position-based and needs-based negotiation;
  • Behaviours of effective negotiators
What will I be required to do during the course?

Course learning materials and tuition will be offered online in English. The following requirements are therefore essential to participate in this course:

  • the ability to use and access a computer with internet
  • working knowledge of written English or Spanish
  • the availability to dedicate per week between 5-10 hours to the course
What will I be able to do?

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss potential challenges for effective implementation of BLAs/MoUs and the way forward;
  • Appreciate the role, objectives, challenges and opportunities associated with negotiating bilateral labour agreements (BLAs);
  • Become familiar with key policy priorities that justify the need to adopt bilateral labour agreements;
  • Identify good practices in bilateral labour agreements based on specific criteria drawn from international norms, and highlight agreements which could lead to better outcomes in terms of migration governance and protection of migrant workers;
  • Improve capacity for critical review of existing BLAs and MOUs and negotiate for their revisions;
  • Understand the negotiation process and techniques of effective negotiation, including through the simulation of a negotiation agreement.
Why should I join?

The Turin Centre is known for its innovative learning tools and methodologies. Course facilitators are subject matter experts and specialists. Training delivery includes online and tutor based learning opportunities. Participants exchange knowledge and ideas on existing good practices.


The course consists of a number of online modules offered through the e-Campus online platform to be completed over a period of six weeks from 14 June to 23 July 2021, for an estimated 60 learning hours. The course is broken down into three phases:

  • Pre-course learning: Flexible (asynchronous) self-guided online learning on e-Campus and an end of phase assessment.
  • “Real time” learning: Live interactive sessions and engaging video presentations by highly experienced trainers, blended with individual and collaborative group exercises, peer-to-peer assessment and online technical forums on e-Campus.
  • End of course assignment: Individual assignment applying ILO Guidelines to the participant’s organization.

Participants who successfully complete all assessments and the final assignment will receive a Certificate of Achievement. The passing grade is 60/100