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Perspectives on Global Development 2017

International Migration in a Shifting World

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Perspectives on Global Development 2017 presents an overview of the shifting of economic activity to developing countries and examines whether this shift has led to an increase in international migration towards developing countries. The report focuses on the latest data on migration between 1995 and 2015, and uses a new three-way categorisation of countries. It describes the recent evolution of migration overall as well as by groups of countries according to their growth performance.It analyses what drives these trends and also studies the special case of refugees. It examines the impact on migration of migration policies as well as various sectoral policies in developing countries of origin as well as of destination, and studies the impact of migration on these countries. The report also develops four illustrative future scenarios of migration in 2030 and recommends policies that can help improve the benefits of migration for origin and destination countries, as well as for migrants. Better data, more research and evidence-based policy action are needed to prepare for expected increases in the number of migrants from developing countries. More needs to be done to avoid situations that lead to refugee spikes as well as to foster sustainable development.

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A new refugee era

OECD Development Centre

Migrants leave their home countries for many reasons: usually to seek a better life elsewhere for themselves and their families. But for many – the statistics suggest it is the case of 1 in 14 migrants – the choice is dictated by fear of persecution, violence and insecurity. The world appears to be entering a new era of refugees, some 20 years after the waves of refugees who in the 1990s fled the Balkans, Liberia, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2015 most refugees came from three countries: the Syrian Arab Republic, Afghanistan and Somalia. Most find shelter in neighbouring countries, even if patterns of origin and desired destination have been changing in recent years. This new surge represents an immense challenge to the international community, which needs to profit from the skills of the refugees and do all it can to resolve the problems that caused flight in the first place.

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