COVID-19 has impacted the world on an unprecedented scale: it has caused a global economic slowdown, resulted in international travel bans and restrictions, and transformed the ways people socialize, work and maintain their health and well-being. As governments try to manage its spread and effect on economies, it is imperative that migrants – regardless of their migratory status – are included in these efforts and recognized as a contributory stakeholder to national strategies addressing the pandemic and future crises. The International Organization for Migration1 (IOM) recognizes that international recruitment agencies can play a key role in supporting migrant workers adapt to crises such as COVID -19 and work collec tively with governments, employers and other stakeholders to strengthen their protection abroad and uphold their human and labour rights. To realize these objectives, it is important to understand how the recruitment industry is responding to the emergency, highlight agency-driven solutions in the !eld as well as encountered barriers that impede labour recruiters from rendering adequate assistance and protection to migrant workers. As the !rst COVID-19 multi-country rapid assessment with labour recruiters in the Asia region, the !ndings in this report provide a snapshot of the pandemic’s initial impacts on the international labour recruitment industry in South, East and South-East Asia. As such, it focusses on the speci”c situation of labour recruiters with a view to the potential impact on the human rights of migrant workers. This qualitative survey was conducted by IOM in six countries and one special administrative region across Asia
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