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Report/Press release

Something is Better than Nothing: Enhancing the protection of Indian migrant workers through Bilateral Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding




Piyasiri Wickramasekara


This article is about recent interest in MOUs for cooperation on labor migration in Asia, Asia and bilateral MOUs on labor migration, the objectives of MOUs. India’s migration profile in South Asia and the context of MOUs, statistical profile of Indian migration, Indian migrant workers-features of vulnerability, bilateral cooperation: MOUs of India with destination countries, types of bilateral MOUs and agreements and the analysis of MOUs in term of its objective, scope of the agreements, job offeres and the employment contract (UAE, Oman), provisions for the protection and promotion of the welfare of workers, information provision and sharing, dispute resolution, joint committees for monitoring and follow up. This articles also focuses on applicable labor laws, absence of a normative framework to guide the MOUs, the MOUs confer disproportionate powers on employers, absence of enforcement mechanisms, non-operational Joint Committees. Moreover, it also talks about the ineffectiveness of MOUs and other mechanism that can be used to protect migrant workers.

Number of pages


Responsible institution

Migrant Forum in Asia

Place published




Indian Migrant Workers, Memoranda of Understanding Effectiveness

Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Content types

Policy analysis, Support initiatives, and Statistics on work and life conditions

Target groups

Policymakers, Employers, agencies and their representatives, Researchers, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses


Spheres of activity

Economics, Law, Management of human resources, Sociology, Social work, and Demography