Reforming regional migrant labour regimes

On 19 March 2014 the African Centre for Migration and Society, the South African core partner of the Migrating out of Poverty consortium, will host a panel discussion: Comparative perspectives on reforming regional migrant labour regimes.

Download the event leaflet: Comparative Perspectives on Reforming Regional Migrant Labour Regimes [PDF 265.13KB]

International migration is central to trade, economic development and poverty reduction.  While progressive local, national and regional policy frameworks are critical to achieving positive outcomes, they are often practically difficult to realise.  This panel explores the implications of historical shifts in labour migration regimes, the factors accounting for change, and the possibilities of achieving pro-poor outcomes.  Focused on Southern Africa with comparative examples from South East and South Asia, the discussion will evaluate existing regulations and policy process and consider the need to revisit existing norms and standards. It will conclude with reflections on the complexity of policy setting and implementation at the national and regional levels. 

Read the summary of the event


L. Alan Winters - Migrating out of Poverty Consortium, University of Sussex


L Alan WintersL. Alan Winters is Professor of Economics in the University of Sussex and has been CEO of Migrating out of Poverty since 2013. He is a leading specialist on the empirical and policy analysis of international trade, especially in developing countries, and has recently also worked on migration, the brain drain and economic growth. From 2008 to 2011 Alan was Chief Economist at the British government’s Department for International Development (DFID), and from 2004 to 2007 Director of the Development Research Group of the World Bank, the world’s largest and leading group of development economists. He has previously worked as Division Chief and Research Manager (1994-99) and Economist (1983-85) in the World Bank. He has also advised, inter alia, the OECD, DFID, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the European Commission, the European Parliament, UNCTAD, the WTO, and the Inter-American Development Bank. 


Zaheera Jinnah & Aurelia Segatti - African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand

Zaheera Jinnah

Presentation: Comparative Perspectives on Reforming Regional Migrant Labour Regimes: Theoretical questions and empirical insights from Southern Africa [PDF 111.49KB]

Zaheera Jinnah, PhD, is a researcher at the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS), University of the Witwatersrand, where she teaches and supervises postgraduate students and conducts research. She is joint coordinator of the Migrating for Work Research Consortium, an international research partnership investigating the forms and impacts of labour migration in South Africa. Her research interests include Somali migration, gender and migrant labour and livelihoods.



Aurelia SegattiAurelia Segatti is an Associate Professor at the African Centre for Migration & Society, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg). She holds a PhD in Political Science and an MA in African Studies majoring (political science) from the Centre of African Studies (CEAN – Bordeaux) and is a former student of Science Po Bordeaux and ENS Cachan. Her PhD thesis was devoted to the transformation of South African immigration policy in the post-apartheid period.

Her research interests are public policy, immigration policy analysis, regional policy coherence and local migration dynamics. Research Director of the French Institute in South Africa between 2004 and 2008, she was then appointed Senior Research Fellow with the Institute of Research for Development from 2008 to 2010 on a joint research programme looking at the governance of mobility in selected African cities based at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). She currently coordinates several international research programmes (ANR XenAfPol; ANR MItrans; Migrating for Work Research Consortium, teaches and supervises at MA and PhD level.

She has co-edited several books (with Loren B. Landau, Contemporary Migration to South Africa, World Bank; with Jocelyne Streiff-Fénart, The Challenge of the Threshold, Lexington), published in: Review of African Political Economy, Politique Africaine, Public Administration and Development, Cahiers d’Etudes Africaines, Lusotopie, and is a reviewer for the following journals: Africa Today; African Studies; African Diaspora. Journal of Transnational Africa in a Global World; Critique Internationale; Ethnic and Racial Studies; Journal for Contemporary History; Journal of Modern African Studies; Spatial Justice Review; Foresight Global Environmental Migration Project (UK Government); Regions & Cohesion.


Brenda Yeoh - Geography & Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Brenda YeohPresentation: Transnational Domestic Workers and the Migration-Labour Regime in Asia [PDF 1.16MB]

Brenda S.A. Yeoh is Professor (Provost’s Chair), Department of Geography, as well as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore. She is also the Research Leader of the Asian Migration Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, NUS. Her research interests focus on the geographies of migration and include key themes such as cosmopolitanism and highly skilled talent migration; gender, social reproduction and care migration; migration, national identity and citizenship issues; globalising universities and international student mobilities; and cultural politics, family dynamics and international marriage migrants. She has published widely in these fields. Her latest book titles include The Cultural Politics of Talent Migration in East Asia (Routledge 2012, with Shirlena Huang); and Migration and Diversity in Asian Contexts (ISEAS press, 2012, with Lai Ah Eng and Francis Collins); Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia (Duke University Press, forthcoming in 2013, with Xiang Biao and Mika Toyota).


Chowdhury AbrarChowdhury Abrar - Refugee & Migratory Movements Research Unit, University of Dhaka

Presentation: Labour migration regime in South Asia [PDF 88.29KB]

Read C.R. Abrar's newspaper article 'Institutional reform and accountability for labour migration' published by the Daily Star on 12 March 2014

Dr. C R Abrar teaches International Relations and directs the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has conducted extensive research on Rohingya refugees, Bihari stateless people, labour migration and recruitment industry issues. Dr. Abrar currently leads the South Asian research hub of the Migrating out of Poverty Consortium.  


Joni Musabayana - International Labour Organisation, Pretoria Office

Joni MusabayanaPresentation: Support Towards Strengthening the Labour Migration Governance in the SADC Region: An update on process and issues [PDF 120.14KB]

Dr. Joni Musabayana has a Doctorate in Business Leadership from UNISA School of Business leadership, Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a BSc Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Zimbabwe. He also has a Diploma in Training Management, Diploma Computer Programming plus numerous Certificates in entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship training.

He has worked for the Ministry of Higher Education 1989 - 1990 Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe 1990 - 1992 and then for International Labour Organization 1992  to date. His professional focus has been in the field of entrepreneurship and management and has run his own business.

He has worked for the ILO based in Harare, Geneva, Addis Ababa and now Pretoria. Currently, he is the Deputy Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for Eastern and Southern Africa based in Pretoria covering 15 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.

His global work assignments have taken him to South East Asia, China, Central Asia, Francophone Africa, Eastern and Western Europe and Central America.


Manolo Abella, Discussant - Formerly Director of the International Migration Programme at the International Labour Organisation

Manolo AbellaManolo Abella is an economist from the Philippines. He was formerly the Director of the International Migration Programme of the International Labour Office (ILO) and a member of  the Advisory Board of the Centre for Migration Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford. He has been actively involved in international efforts to develop a multilateral framework for the management of labour migration and spent many years writing and rendering advice to governments on policies and best practices. He is at present working on the ways various academic disciplines can work for the improvement of the governance of migration, and how this knowledge can best be organized for the training of policy-makers. He currently chairs the working group on Low Skilled Migrants of the World Bank's KNOMAD Program.


Loren B Landau, Chair - African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand

Loren LandauLoren B Landau is the South African Research Chair in Human Mobility and the Politics of Difference. Formerly  the founding director of the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of the Witwatersrand (which now hosts the chair), his work explores the relationships among human mobility, citizenship, development, and political authority. Along with his academic responsibilities, he has served as the chair of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), is a member of the South African Immigration Advisory Board and of the editorial boards of International Migration Review, Migration Studies, and the Journal of Refugee Studies. He has consulted with the South African Human Rights Commission, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UNDP, the French Development Agency (AFD), Oxfam, and others.  He holds an MSc in Development Studies (LSE) and a PhD in Political Science (Berkeley). Widely published in the academic and popular press, he is author of The Humanitarian Hangover: Displacement, Aid, and Transformation in Western Tanzania (Wits Press), co-editor of Contemporary Migration to South Africa (World Bank), editor of Exorcising the Demons Within: Xenophobia, Violence and Statecraft in Contemporary South Africa (UN University Press) and has published in Millennium, Politics & Society, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and elsewhere.