Migration for Employment

Migration for Employment

Bilateral Agreements at a Crossroads You do not have access to this content

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OECD, Federal Office of Immigration, Integration and Emigration
14 Dec 2004
9789264108684 (PDF) ;9789264108677(print)

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This report opens with an overview of bilateral agreements and other forms of labour recruitment of foreigners in several OECD countries (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States) as well as in the Philippines and Romania.  It then has a series of chapters describing the management and implementation of these practices and analysing the impact of these agreements on labour markets, economic development and migration policies of both sending and receiving countries.  It also examines the prospects for this type of migration. The Annex lists the principal agreements signed by OECD countries, by type of recruitment scheme (e.g. seasonal, contract workers, trainees and guest workers).
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  • Executive Summary
    This publication brings to light the diversity of situations found in OECD member countries. The background papers and the debates were centred on three questions: What exactly are the objectives of bilateral labour agreements? Are such agreements effective in achieving those objectives? Are there other ways of achieving the objectives? Bilateral labour agreements are part of a long tradition in some member countries such as Germany...
  • Migration for Employment Policy in Switzerland
    Since the end of World War II, Switzerland has recorded an unprecedented influx of foreign workers, in response to the labour shortages generated by strong economic expansion. Because of this demand for workers, Switzerland signed foreign labour recruitment agreements in the second half of the 1960s with three European...
  • Bilateral Labour Agreements Concluded by France
    In the context of post-war reconstruction and as early as the 1950s, the French government began to introduce measures aimed at attracting foreign labour to regions and economic activities where the need for such labour was felt. This constituted a break with practice between the wars, when the recruitment of foreign labour had been left very largely to the initiative of private associations linked to large industrial employers and to...
  • From Labour Emigration to Labour Recruitment
    Italy was long a sending country of immigrants: between 1865 and 1940, more than 25 million Italians emigrated. After the Second World War, as the country was struggling to industrialise and to manage the transition of the economy, large numbers of Italians left to work abroad, both in Europe and further afield. It was not until the 1973 crisis that this emigration came to a halt. Towards the end of the 1980s, Italy began to receive foreign...
  • Assessment and Evaluation of Bilateral Labour Agreements Signed by Romania
    Ten years after the raising of the iron curtain, the barrier between the western world and the former "popular democracies" appeared to have been pushed back to the borders of Romania. The impression that this situation was at a standstill began to fade with the launch of negotiations on Romania’s accession to the European Union (EU) in February 2000 and the right of Romanians to move freely within the Schengen area ...
  • Employment of Foreigners in and from the Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic has concluded many bilateral agreements on mutual employment (Annex 5.A.1). Several of these agreements were signed before 1989 and fall outside the scope of this chapter because, during communist times, there was no real movement of labour based on free market principles within the Eastern bloc. This chapter therefore concentrates on agreements concluded since 1989. The national legal framework for...
  • Labour Migration to the United States
    This chapter provides a broad overview of the many ways persons may enter the United States, either to pursue business interests or to work in the US labour force. Immigration law, which governs all admissions to the United States, is generally considered to be the second most complex set of US laws, after tax law. Fundamental to deciphering this maze of legislation and regulations is the realisation that there are two...
  • Principal Labour Migration Schemes in the United Kingdom
    Steady economic growth during the 1990s was accompanied by an internal government revision of labour migration policies in the United Kingdom. Taking into consideration the increased importance of labour migration in the latter portion of the 1990s, as well as the globalisation of the labour market, the UK government responded with a comprehensive review of its migration system. The publication by the...
  • Labour Recruitment for Skill Shortages int he United Kingdom
    Since 1998, the government of the United Kingdom has been actively reviewing its policies towards labour migration, principally to deal with shortages of skills and labour in the labour market. In 1998, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published its Competitiveness White Paper (formally known as Our Competitive Future: Building the Knowledge Driven Economy). One of the conclusions of the report was to examine...
  • Labour Market Measures Related to Foreign Employment in Ireland
    Apart from a longstanding arrangement with the United Kingdom, Ireland has substantive bilateral labour agreements with other countries.1 In a multilateral context however, in accordance with the European Union (EU) treaty arrangements, nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA)2 and of Switzerland are entitled to take up employment in Ireland without any requirement for work permits or working visas.
  • Recruitment of Foreign Labour in Germany and Switzerland
    A comparison between the Swiss and German migration policies might not seem very straightforward at first, even though the two countries are neighbours and share many structural features (i.e. economic, institutional, linguistic and cultural). After all, Switzerland continuously pursued a policy of labour immigration throughout the entire post-war era. Germany, however, in 1973 stopped recruitment of persons outside of the...
  • Fighting for the Rights of Migrant Workers
    Over the last 30 years, the welfare and human rights issues confronting the overseas employment programme of the Philippines have increasingly put pressure on government to take concrete steps to ensure that overseas Filipino workers are adequately protected in their countries of destination. One of the ways in which the Philippines has tried to overcome the disadvantages experienced by Filipino workers abroad and to promote their...
  • Seasonal Labour Migration in the Light of the German-Polish Bilateral Agreement
    Bilateral agreements on the employment of migrant workers are not a novelty in Poland. Since the 1970s Polish workers have left to work in other countries in accordance with official inter-governmental arrangements. By the same token, since 1990 movements in the reverse direction have been possible. The Polish government has long been interested in promoting the employment of Poles in other countries. Until 1989 however...
  • Recruitment of Nurses in Romania by the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia Region in Italy
    In 2002, the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia created a programme to recruit registered or general nurses from Romania to supplement the region’s shortage estimated at 2 000 nurses. In the framework of this programme, the region formed an association under Romanian law, the Association de Préparation et de Perfectionnement Professionnel (APP), to improve the quality of recruitment, which remains under the...
  • Conclusions
    The main aim of the Montreux Seminar was to offer participants an opportunity to exchange and obtain information on bilateral labour agreements and other forms of recruitment of foreign workers. In my view, the Seminar fully achieved its aim. Some very informative papers were drafted for this Seminar and the debates on how all the procedures operate and compare, how they are evaluated and how they are likely to...
  • Annex 1A
    Principal agreements signed by OECD member countries.
  • Annex 2A
    Programme of the seminar on bilateral labour agreements and other forms of recruitment of foreign workers.
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