GENEVA, 6th January, 2017 (WAM) – A United Nations’ study has pegged the number of migrant workers around the world at 150 million.

The study, titled “ILO Global Estimates on Migrant Workers,” provides migrant labour related statistics which will help policy makers as they seek to make headway on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Decision makers will now have real data on which to base their policies,” Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), said in a news release.

He said the analysis will help countries deliver on the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly targets set in Goal 8 which deals with protecting all workers, including migrant workers, and Goal 10 which advocates implementation of well-managed migration policies.

The report, ILO Global Estimates on Migrant Workers, identified 232 million people as international migrants, of which 206.6 million are 15 years old or more. Of this working-age migrant population, 72.7 per cent, or 150 million, are migrant workers 83.7 million men and 66.6 million women.

Labour migration is a phenomenon that concerns all regions of the world. However, almost half, or 48.5 per cent, of migrant workers are concentrated in two broad regions: Northern America, and Northern, Southern and Western Europe. The Arab States have the highest proportion of migrant workers, 35.6 per cent, as a share of all workers.

The study also examines the distribution of the migrant workforce in broad industry groupings. The vast majority of migrant workers are in the services sector, with 106.8 million workers accounting for 71.1 per cent of the total, followed by industry, including manufacturing and construction, with 26.7 million or 17.8 per cent, and by agriculture with 16.7 million or 11.1 per cent. Among all migrant workers, 7.7 per cent are domestic workers.

The report also highlights the significant global number of migrant domestic workers and the marked gender disparities in this sector. Domestic work is one of the least regulated sectors of the economy and, as such, is of particular concern to the ILO, the news release said, noting that due to the concentration of migrant women workers and relatively low visibility of the workforce in this sector, workers often face multiple forms of discrimination.

Of the estimated 67.1 million domestic workers in the world, 11.5 million or 17.2 per cent are international migrants. About 73.4 per cent, or around 8.5 million, of all migrant domestic workers are women. South-Eastern Asia and the Pacific host the largest share, with 24 per cent of the global number of female migrant domestic workers, followed by Northern, Southern and Western Europe with 22.1 per cent of the total, and the Arab States with 19 per cent.