Governments, development specialists, and others have rediscovered the connections between migration and development. Yet while increasing volumes of research have focused on the actual and potential contributions of migrant communities to sustainable development or poverty reduction in their countries of origin, the findings have not been systematically translated into policy guidance. One result is that little coherence is to be found between the development and migration policies of governments in countries of destination and origin—a reality that the research offered here seeks to address.
For many developing countries, migrants are considered valuable contributors to future development. As proof of their commitment, they have invested in diaspora institutions with responsibilities ranging from protecting migrants to encouraging investment. MPI's Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias analyzes 45 such institutions across 30 countries and breaks them down by type.
The world's second most populous country also has a vast diapora spread across nearly every continent. Daniel Naujoks provides a broad overview of Indian migration flows and major populations worldwide, and discusses India's diaspora policies, refugees and asylum seekers from the region, and illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Tibetans have integrated into Asian and Western societies since 1959 with different types of outcomes. In Part II of our two-part series, Seonaigh MacPherson, Anne-Sophie Bentz, and Dawa Bhuti Ghoso examine integration experiences, the diaspora's political success, the gaps between those in Tibet and Tibetans abroad, and what lies ahead for the Tibetan diaspora.
Approximately 122,000 Tibetans, including those of Tibetan ancestry, live outside their homeland. Seonaigh MacPherson, Anne-Sophie Bentz, and Dawa Bhuti Ghoso provide an in-depth look at Tibetan history and Tibetans' migration to India and the West in this first of our two-part series on the Tibetan diaspora.
Along with increased trade and Chinese investment in Africa has come new migration between the two regions. Malia Politzer places this movement in context and looks at the types of Chinese migrants going to Africa and the Africans going to China.
This policy brief, the first in a series distilling the evidence and experience on migration and development, examines whether respect for migrant rights has economic benefits for countries of origin and destination. The author finds that respect for rights in migrant-sending countries can help secure remittances, attract other forms of diaspora investment, and effect political and social change.
Environmental change is likely to affect global migration flows in a number of ways. Both long-term trends such as increased flooding and the increasing scarcity of resources as well as shorter term trends like severe weather are likely to contribute to displacement and increased migration for individuals already in vulnerable situations.
Skilled migration is often thought to have overwhelmingly negative effects on countries of migrant origin. Yet recent research and policy experience challenge this assumption and offer a more nuanced picture, as this brief explains. Countries of origin and destination can in fact benefit from skilled migration when it is correctly structured, and efforts to restrict skilled nationals’ ability to leave their countries of origin may have unintended costs, in addition to being ethically problematic.
Economic and demographic disparities will shape the mobility of labor and skills during the 21st century. The populations of richer societies are aging rapidly, while working-age populations continue to grow in some emerging economies and most low-income countries. Despite these trends, many countries continue to assume that today’s demographic realities will persist. This policy brief describes how the current geography of migration is changing, and offers recommendations for policymakers.
Circular migration has typically been viewed with skepticism by migrant-rights advocates and wary publics alike. But many experts and policymakers in the migration field — and some in development — have come to recognize that well-managed circulation that is respectful of migrants' human and labor rights can bring benefits to countries of origin and destination, as well as to migrants themselves. For countries of origin, circular migration can relieve labor surpluses; for destination countries, it can provide the flexibility to quickly overcome skills shortages while adapting to long-term labor market shifts. For migrants, circular migration offers the opportunity to earn higher wages and gain international experience.
Remittances represent a major vehicle for reducing the scale and severity of poverty in the developing world. Besides pure monetary gains, remittances are associated with greater human development outcomes across a number of areas, including health, education, and gender equality. The author argues that policymakers can maximize the positive impact of remittances by making them less costly and more productive for both the individual and the country of origin.
Diasporas can play an important role in the economic development of their countries of origin or ancestry. Beyond their well-known role as senders of remittances, diasporas also can promote trade and foreign direct investment, create businesses, spur entrepreneurship, and transfer new knowledge and skills. Policymakers increasingly recognize that an engaged diaspora can be an asset — or even a counterweight to the emigration of skilled and talented migrants.
Private recruitment agencies orchestrate much of the migration process, from predeparture to return. They provide information, assistance, and even financial support to migrants; facilitate transit to and from the destination; and in some cases employ migrants directly. While recruitment agencies protect migrants, sometimes removing them from abusive workplaces or even organizing repatriation, migrants’ dependence on them for so many services also creates many opportunities for exploitation and abuse. This brief assesses the forms of regulation that are being proposed and enacted to oversee recruitment agencies and identifies several areas for further improvement.