Capacity Building in Promoting Social Inclusion for Migrant Workers and their Families

The Challenge

China now has between 130 and 150 million domestic migrant workers as a result of rapid economic growth and the development of urban labour markets over the past two decades. However, the policies and systems that preside over the management of migrants have not been well adjusted to remain up to date with recent trends. The restrictive administrative divide between “rural” and “urban” populations is still prevailing. While the migrant workers contribute significantly to the overall development of the country, their employment, working and living conditions remain markedly inferior to those enjoyed by the “resident population” in receiving cities. This affects the urbanisation and industrialisation process, and the construction of a xiaokang and harmonious society in China.

The Response

The project works to help the Government at different levels of jurisdiction (national and sub-national) in enhancing their capacity to achieve better social inclusion for migrant workers and their families using their situation in the labour market as both departing and target point – i.e. their ability to access stable, qualified, fairly remunerated employment under decent working conditions, and the modalities and conditions through which such employment would attract access to associated components of social inclusion, namely basic public services and protection against critical social risks. Under this primary focus, the project will support policy studies and advocate policy dialogue amongst key stakeholders to promote pro-poor macro policies concerning internal migrants.


The project focuses on employment promotion for migrant workers through skills training and employment service initiatives, and improving access to social security for the most severe social risks (work injury) and other public services such as education and health care. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has organised skill trainings for over 500 migrant workers in Wuxi, Changsha, Chengdu and Hebi. Awareness-raising activities for migrants and enterprises on work injury prevention and the setting-up of dispute settlement mechanisms have supported the rights protection of migrant workers. The project puts great emphasis on managerial and service delivery capacity building for receiving cities in providing public services and enhancing social inclusion for migrant workers.

Research has been conducted to support the development of a national urbanisation strategy during the Twelfth Five-Year-Plan period and capacity building projects implemented to enhance local governments’ ability in public services, thus promoting social inclusion for migrant workers and their families. Active policy advocacy has been conducted through delivering study papers to the National Development and Reform Commission and other related departments of the State Council and through sharing knowledge with decision-makers at central and local level. Policy recommendations on implementing a residence certificate system, a universal social protection system and the monitoring of social inclusion by migrants’ receiving cities have been highlighted in the State Council documentation as important measures to be advanced nationwide. The participatory consultation process advocated by the project for designing social inclusion policies has proved to be effective and recommended by NDRC into their policy formulation procedures.

Who finances it?

1,725,000 USD
Government of China
2,500,000 USD
Third Party 6,410 USD

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