What is Colombo Process?

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What is Colombo Process? Blog Image


India has become chair of the Colombo Process for the first time since its inception in 2003.

About Colombo Process:

  • It is a Regional Consultative Process and it provides an important platform for consultations on the management of overseas employment and contractual labour for countries of origin in Asia.
  • It serves as a forum for the exchange of best practices on overseas employment.
  • Membership:
    • It comprises 12 Member States of Asia (countries of origin of migrant workers).
    • Members: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
    • India has been a member of the Colombo Process since its inception in 2003.
  • Objectives:
    • Share experiences, lessons learned and best practices in labour migration management.
    • Consult on issues faced by migrants, countries of origin, and countries of destination, and propose practical solutions for the well-being of overseas workers.
    • Optimize development benefits from organized overseas employment and enhance dialogues with countries of destination.
    • Review and monitor the implementation of the recommendations and identify further steps of action.
  • The process is non-binding, and decision-making is by consensus.
  • The process is coordinated through the Permanent Missions of Member States at the United Nations in Geneva. 
  • The process is governed by Ministerial Consultations wherein recommendations and action plans are discussed and adopted by the Ministers of the participating countries.
  • The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has provided technical support to the Colombo Process since its inception and serves as its Secretariat.
  • There are five Thematic Area Working Groups (TAWGs):
    • Skills and Qualification Recognition (chaired by Sri Lanka);
    • Fostering Ethical Recruitment (chaired by Bangladesh);
    • Pre-Departure Orientation and Empowerment (chaired by Philippines);
    • Remittances (chaired by Pakistan);
    • Labour Market Analysis (chaired by Thailand)

Q1: What is the International Organization for Migration (IOM)?

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. It offers, at the request of States, its support to migrants but also to internally displaced persons, refugees and other uprooted people in the four broad areas of migration and development, facilitating migration, regulating migration and addressing forced migration. In 2016, IOM entered into an agreement with the United Nations, becoming a related organization. IOM serves as coordinator of the United Nations network on migration, established by the Secretary-General in 2018. It currently has 172 member states and 8 states holding observer status. India is a member of IOM.

Source: India assumes chair of Colombo Process for 2024-26