International low-skilled labor migrant workers such as construction workers, agricultural workers, and domestic helpers are projected to increase over the medium- and long- term in high-income and emerging economies due to demographic changes (e.g., ageing populations) and lack of decent work opportunities in migrant sending countries.
Cognizant of the development impact of migration to migrants and their families as well as to the origin and destination countries, the World Bank-led Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) under its Thematic Working Group (TWG) on low-skilled labor migration, aims to identify policies to reduce migration costs of low-skilled labor migrants, and mechanisms to facilitate cross-border movements of low-skilled labor, including labor agreements.
To achieve these objectives, the TWG collected migration cost data comparable across transnational corridors. To date, progress has been made in undertaking pilot surveys of migrant workers in Korea, Kuwait and Spain in 2014 using paper-and-pencil interviewing system. Earlier in 2015, the surveys were expanded to other migration corridors, viz. (a) returnees in India, Nepal, Philippines, and Ethiopia, and (b) migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras in Southern Mexico. The returnee sample is limited to those who returned from the Middle East region, since potential gains from reducing migration costs to the region are likely to be significant. The 2015 surveys used the World Bank’s Survey Solutions-Computer Assisted Personalized Interviewing (CAPI) system in order to reduce errors and improve the quality of data and analysis.