Give immigrants a better deal, urges UN report

Report also urges governments to lower passport fee and other transaction costs

5 October 2009: A UN report has urged the governments across the globe to consider changes to their immigration policies for offering a "new deal" to migrant workers, whose skills can help stimulate economic recovery.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in the report "Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development", has asserted wealthy countries with ageing populations in particular are likely to come across a raise in demand for emigrant labour as they make efforts to break free from the clutches of recession.

Studies have already established migrants add to job creation in host communities and also help in creating initiatives in businesses hiring them.

The report also makes an attempt at driving out misconceptions about migration, and has taken note of the fact that the world’s poorest are least likely to move to a foreign country.

The report’s author Jeni Klugman has, rather, asserted the recession should be seized as an opportunity to introduce a new deal for the migrants, so it benefit workers at home and abroad, while guarding against a protectionist backlash.
The assertion is significant as about 60 percent of migrants move between developing countries or internally within these countries. One in seven people is a migrant, as approximately one billion of the world’s 6.7 billion people are on the move. Worker’s movement within Asia makes up nearly 20 percent of all world migration. It exceeds the total inflow to Europe from all regions.

The report has also urged the governments to lower the passport fee and other transaction costs for the migrants. Among the other recommendations are lessening restrictions on internal migration, increasing the levels of cooperation between the host communities and the migrants. It has also suggested the inclusion of migration in national development strategies.

In the UK, the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) report into the workings of Tier 2 of the Points Based System (PBS) has already asserted immigration plays an important role in supporting the UK economy.

Recently a study confirmed migrants have greatly benefited the UK’s economy. Contrary to the impression given by the pressure groups on the harmful effects of immigration, the research showed the UK has gained economically from the influx of Polish, Czech and other immigrants from 10 countries that joined the European Union in 2004.

The study by Professor of economics at University College London Christian Dustmann said the wave of immigrants has made a substantial net contribution to the UK fiscal system. This immigration has not been a burden on the welfare system, but has rather contributed to strengthen the fiscal position.

By Monika


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