Labour migration statistics (indicators, module, inclusion in labour market information systems, etc).

SAMM’s work on the improvement of labour migration data in SADC Member States comprises the implementation of the 20th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) “Guidelines concerning Statistics of International Labour Migration” adopted in October 2018.  Most SADC countries were part of their adoption. It will be implemented through the SHaSA 2 (i.e. Strategy for the Harmonization of Statistics in Africa: 2017-2026) adopted by most African States.  Work will comprise improving labour migration statistics to contribute to the measurement of SDG Indicator 10.7.1 “Recommendations to Measure International Migrant Workers’ Recruitment Costs”. It supports, as well, the roll-out of the Social Security Inquiry (SSI) Migrant Module to collect statistics for migrant workers to more countries in Africa.

At the country-level, SAMM will provide technical support to countries in improving labour migration data disaggregated by sex and age on most important labour migration corridors in main countries of origin and destination, particularly on the following;

  • data on the distribution of migrant workers per economic sector;
  • occupation and skills;
  • status in employment;
  • working conditions (working hours, wages, rest periods and other contractual conditions, occupational safety and health),
  • and social security coverage of migrant workers per country and per RECs. Identification of labour market needs through labour market information systems (LMIS), as well as the contribution of migrant workers to development (share of GDP, job creation, poverty reduction, etc.)


Work comprises improving administrative records on labour migration in terms of coverage representing the information on migrant workers (i.e. ensuring that most data involving migrant workers are not under-reported) and ensuring quality of the information (i.e. consistency and alignment to international concepts and definitions). Furthermore, it will involve establishing a labour migration statistics system integrated with the different national statistics system and more particularly the Labour market information system with the objective establishing a coordinating reporting mechanism regularly (at least every two years) on key labour migration statistics indicators. Work could also include strengthening labour market needs assessments, particularly linked to the identification of labour market supply of, and demand (labour shortages) for, migrant workers. SAMM’s work will also contribute to the production of the AU-ILO-IOM 3rd Labour Migration Statistics Report for Africa.

  • Production of Labour Migration Statistics Indicators, including indicators on refugees’ access to the labour market;
  • Support to the establishment and functioning of SADC’s Labour Market Observatory;
  • Support to RECs in the production of at least two annual sub-regional reports (e.g. Women migrant workers and women migrant domestic workers);
  • Pilot countries provided with technical and financial support to implement Labour Migration Module in Labour Force Surveys and establishment of Labour Market Information Systems – Country case studies – Zambia and Namibia
The Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) Objective 1 “Collect and utilize accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies” asserts that Member States commit to strengthen the global evidence base on international migration by improving and investing in the collection, analysis and dissemination of accurate, reliable and comparable data, disaggregated by sex, age, migration status and other characteristics relevant in national contexts, while upholding the right to privacy under international human rights law and protecting personal data. Member States further commit to ensure that this data fosters research, guides coherent and evidence -based policymaking and well-informed public discourse, and allows for effective monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of commitments over time.

To realize this commitment, Member States draw from the following actions:

(d) Collect, analyse and use data on the effects and benefits of migration, as well as the contributions of migrants and diasporas to sustainable development, with a view to informing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related strategies and programmes at the local, national, regional and global levels;

(f) Establish and strengthen regional centres for research and training on migration or migration observatories, such as the African Observatory for Migration and Development, to collect and analyse data in line with United Nations standards, including on best practices, the contributions of migrants, the overall economic, social and political benefits and challenges of migration in countries of origin, transit and destination, as well as drivers of migration, with a view to establishing shared strategies and maximizing the value of disaggregated migration data, in coordination with existing regional and subregional mechanisms;

(h) Conduct household, labour force and other surveys to collect information on the social and economic integration of migrants or add standard migration modules to existing household surveys to improve national, regional and international comparability, and make collected data available through public use of statistical microdata files;

(j) Develop and use country-specific migration profiles, which include disaggregated data on all migration-relevant aspects in a national context, including those on labour market needs, demand for and availability of skills, the economic, environmental and social impacts of migration, remittance transfer costs, health, education, occupation, living and working conditions, wages, and the needs of migrants and receiving communities, in order to develop evidence-based migration policies.