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Economic Migrants’ Contribution

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December 18, 2016

What is the issue?

There are times when economic compulsions force people to leave the zones of kinship, culture and comfort to seek a better life elsewhere. Migration must not be confused with refugees.

If the problem is different, the solution cannot be the same. We need separate sets of policies, frameworks and procedures.

Why are the economic migrants to be treated differently?

  • Economic migration is a natural outcome of an interconnected world, driven by global demand and supply in the labour market.
  • The latest migration-related data indicate that over 90% of the 247 million people estimated to be living outside the country of their birth are economic migrants and only 10% may be refugees or asylum seekers.
  • Economic migration is not a zero-sum situation i.e what one person gains the other must lose. 35% of them are highly skilled, who provide crucial support to growth of the global economy, particularly in the knowledge and innovation sectors.
  • Also as per the McKinsey Global report, migrants contribute around 9.4% of global gross domestic product, which amounts to an output of $ 6.7 trillion — $3 trillion more than what they might have produced in their countries of origin.
  •  If we see the element of productivity, migrants of all skill levels contribute to productivity effect in the top destination countries and so to global growth.
  • Studies indicate that economic migrants contribute positively to new business formation, innovation and job creation, which act as catalysts of growth for destination countries, in particular, and for the global economy in general they contribute above their weight.

What should be done?

  • We need to develop a more comprehensive and long-term vision for addressing the economic dimension of migration.
  • We need to synergise this with Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development, by which we have committed to cooperate for facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

The following should be done -

  • Migrants should be kept at the core of the agenda and develop programmes, tools and methodology to enhance the interests of migrants and their families while maintaining policy space for governments of destination, transit and origin.
  • The economic dimension of migration and work towards eliminating barriers to economic migration should be focussed upon.
  • An environment for safe, orderly,regular, open and legal migration should be created.
  • Recognition of skills and human mobility partnerships should be focussed upon.
  • Equal opportunities to women should be provided and non-discriminatory policies and practices should be adopted.
  • Special provisions to take care of people in vulnerable situations and inclusion of persons with disabilities should be included.
  • The human rights of migrants should be protected and exploitation and abuse should be stopped.
  • Incidents and impact of irregular migration, including trafficking of people and migrant smuggling, as well as facilitating return and reintegration should be reduced.
  • Provisions to respond to the situations of natural, man-made disasters and crises due to conflicts should be made, as these have the potential to disrupt the migration phenomenon and disproportionately affect the interest of migrants.
  • Research indicates that a large section of migrants works in the informal sector. This is a grey area with its own sets of challenges and remains largely unregulated. A comprehensive, and objective understanding of these challenges is essential for the success of global governance as well as Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development.

Category: Mains | G.S - II | Vulnerable Sections

Source: Business Standard

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