Making Migration Policy: Reflections on the Philippines' Bilateral Labor Agreements

Nathan Blank

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article discusses the changing influences on migration that destination states of migrant workers are exerting through bilateral labor agreements. As neoliberal trade policies have become more common across the Asia-Pacific, labor agreements have proliferated as well. Both bilateral and regional free trade agreements are now in place or under negotiation across the region. Likewise, states are engaging in labor relations liberalization through bilateral agreements, particularly those concluded between states with labor surpluses and others with labor shortfalls. Within these bilateral frameworks, new targeted migrant schemes have been introduced to expedite the process of getting workers to where they are needed. Workers' welfare has also been a hallmark of such agreements. This article will analyze several cases of agreements between the Philippines and migrant worker destination states in an attempt to find a model for bilateral labor agreements. The model could then be used to entice destination states hitherto reluctant to forge bilateral labor agreements into engagement with the Philippines on the issue. This research fills a void in the literature in regard to the structure and content of completed bilateral labor agreements between states. Although case studies from the Philippines will be used, it is expected that analysis and conclusions drawn will have wide regional applicability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)185-205
    JournalAsian Politics and Policy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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