Joint UN-ACT-ILO Research Launched

October 22, 2018

Regular migration is often seen as the safest and most beneficial means of migrating for work. Little empirical work, however, has been conducted comparing the experiences of regular and irregular migrant workers, and assessing the associated migration outcomes.

The report What’s the incentive? Comparing regular and irregular migrant work experiences from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to Thailand, informed by two surveys, considers the relative experiences of regular and irregular migrant workers travelling from Lao PDR to Thailand.

It outlines the regulatory framework for labour migration between the two countries, evaluates regular migrant workers’ experiences, and compares these with conditions faced by irregular migrant workers. The study covers respondents’ backgrounds and pre-departure conditions; recruitment; working and living conditions in Thailand; and return to Lao PDR.

Overall, it finds that regular labour migration has yielded more positive migrant work outcomes than irregular channels, though both regular and irregular migrant workers report numerous and varied challenges and decent work deficits during their migrant work experience.

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