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The Asia Pacific Migration Research Network (APMRN)
1. Background

In June 1995, UNESCO approved a project proposal for the creation of an Asia Pacific Migration Research Network.

The central focus of this network is the long-term role of migration and increased ethno-cultural diversity as major factors in the social transformation of societies in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The aim is to build an international research network that carries out interdisciplinary research on social and political aspects of international migration and growing ethno-cultural diversity in the region.

The APMRN is a collaborative organisation of researchers and scholars interested in all aspects of migration. Each regional network of the APMRN is autonomous and there are regional coordinators in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Pacific (based in Fiji) and Vietnam.

Until now, the project has built research capabilities, developed empirical knowledge, further theoretical and methodological work in the social sciences and provided broadly-based and reliable information and options for policy-makers and immigration authorities at the national and international level. The network achieved long-term sustainability after its initial five-year pilot period.

The following activities were carried out:

  • Network Building: International Workshop of all participating bodies, to plan the network and establish a detailed workplan;
  • Preparation of information on the project and development of co-operative relations with national governments, appropriate international organisations and NGO's community organisations;
  • Exploration of international and national funding sources for future work;
  • Set-up of E-mail network, World Wide Web page and APMRN Newsletter;
  • Review of literature and preparation of an annotated bibliography for each country;
  • Issues Paper, on urgent policy and research issue in each country;
  • Focus on Capacity Building and Review of Knowledge;
  • Empirical Survey Research;
  • Focus on the comparative analyses of results and policy development.

Throughout the project, researchers have consulted with policy-makers in all the countries, and provided input to policy making-processes.

APMRN international conferences are held every 18-24 months and the 8th conference is planned for 2007 in Fujian, China. Previous conferences have been held in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila, Suva, Singapore, and Seoul. Conferences have been sponsored by the Participation Programme of UNESCO and by the National University of Singapore and Japanese foundations. Smaller conferences are also arranged when appropriate.

APMRN members also participate in Metropolis, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM), United Nations and others as appropriate.

In co-operation with UNESCO, the network also started the Asian Migration and Ethnic Relations Working Papers Series, and 17 Working Papers have been produced so far. Training activities for migration researchers and research users at various participating institutions has also been undertaken.

The APMRN Secretariat is based at the Australian Centre for Population Research (Australian National University) and the Director of the Secretariat is Dr Robyn Iredale.

2. Recent Research Project

3. Current Research Project

  • Promoting a Process to Develop Action Plans for Bangladesh, Korea and New Zealand to encourage them to ratify the 1990 UN Convention is currently being undertaken for UNESCO.

  • Identification of the Obstacles to the Signing and Ratification of the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers 1990 in Australia is currently being undertaken for UNESCO.


  Paul de Guchteneire 
Chief of Section
International Migration and Multicultural Policies Section
Division of Social Sciences, Research and Policy

  Robyn Iredale
APMRN Coordinator

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