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.
Five factors, including wages and professional development, drive skilled people to migrate, and three reasons encourage them to return. Laura Chappell and Alex Glennie of ippr in London look at all of these factors and how motivations vary across different contexts and groups of migrants.
Remittances would seem to boost the chances that children in Mexico complete high school. But money alone does not improve schooling outcomes in the educationally marginalized, migrant-sending regions of southern Mexico, as Adam Sawyer of the Harvard Graduate School of Education reports.
Numerous researchers and organizations have predicted that climate change will trigger historically unprecedented waves of mass migration. MPI's Carolina Fritz examines the complex links between climate change and migration, how and where these links influence current and future migration patterns, and some of the problems with predicting future flows.
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 Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, along with the Special Advisor to the UN Special Representative for International Migration discuss what is expected from The UN High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in October 2013 and what impact it may have on the Global Forum on Migration and Development.
Diaspora engagement has become a key and accepted component in the arsenal of development strategies. The question of how to effectively and efficiently harness the force of a country’s diaspora through government intervention and policy remains one that many governments and international organizations must grapple with. Diaspora interventions tend to be organic and outside the confines of government and institutional structures.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.