Emerging practice on coverage and inclusion of migrant workers in social protection systems in Asia-Pacific during COVID-19


The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is pushing millions around the world into precarity and poverty. Persons already vulnerable are hit even harder—among them the migrants, especially those who are undocumented, and low-skilled migrant workers engaged in the informal sector. They are often excluded from government relief and stimulus packages, paid sick leave and unemployment benefits, to name a few.

This webinar discussed the importance of social protection and emerging practice on coverage and inclusion of migrants in Asia-Pacific’s social protection systems. The discussion outlined the role of regional cooperation networks in increasing access to social protection by migrants, measures adopted by specific countries, and implications involving migrants´ access to vaccines.

Some countries in Asia and Pacific region have responded in their stimulus packages with targeted support to migrant workers to counter the impacts of COVID-19. In Thailand, for instance, registered migrant workers are eligible for social security benefits. Kazakhstan and Republic of Korea provide access to free or low-cost COVID-19 testing and treatment to migrant workers, while the People’s Republic of China and Indonesia assisted migrants to return home by affording transportation, for example.

This webinar is part of a series on economic migration that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is hosting under its role as the current senior chair of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) Platform on Economic Migration and Forced Displacement. The platform seeks to foster strategic alignment, operational collaboration, and knowledge sharing among the MDBs.


Session’s Format: Presentations, followed by Q&A


  • Nuno Cunha, International Labour Organisation, ILO
  • Pitchanuch Supavanich and Nicola Nixon, The Asia Foundation
  • Azusa Sato, Asian Development Bank/Center for Global Development
  • Eduardo Banzon, Asian Development Bank, ADB

Moderator: Maya Hammad, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, IPC-IG


This webinar was the first webinar on the Asia-Pacific Social Protection Series. Become a member of the Online Community to receive news, publications and relevant content about social protection in the region.