Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: World Migration Report

World Migration Report

  • The World Migration Report, which estimates that the number of international migrants will swell from 214 million in 2010 to about 405 million by 2050, makes important and inter-related points.

  • Despite a current slowdown owing to the global economic crisis, the international movement of people will continue. Consequently, there needs to be a focus on building capacities across states to support sustainable migration.

  • One of the undercurrents directing the future of international migration is the expected slower growth in labour force in developed economies (where its strength is projected to remain at about 600 million until 2050), compared with the less developed countries (where it is expected to increase from 2.4 billion in 2005 to 3.6 billion in 2040). It is thus clear that the attention of policymakers should be aimed at putting in place structures providing for sustainable international migration.

  • Creating such systems requires the generation of accurate data, particularly relating to migration and labour market.

  • Also useful would be properly defined national migration policies and priorities. For example, assessments of a country's work requirements, the expected areas of shortages, and the manner of sourcing them through international migrants can be made available. This, in turn, would help in the mainstreaming of migration into domestic and international policies.

  • This is presently lacking in many countries.

  • However, one welcome change is in the mindset of countries that complained of brain drain they now see migrants as a source of economic value.

  • Remittances by migrants, at $414 billion in 2009, are also set to increase, offering governments an opportunity to dovetail domestic development and, possibly, poverty reduction plans to such inflows. The report's observation that remittances have surpassed official developmental assistance in most of the non-rich world, barring sub-Saharan Africa, points to a positive outcome of migration for developing countries.

  • There are attempts internationally to identify meaningful ways of channelling remittances towards development.

  • India, which got $49, 256 million by way of remittances in 2009 the highest for any country has a great opportunity to make the best of its enduring strength: An internationally productive labour force.

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India