Tackling the Policy Challenges of Migration

Regulation, Integration, Development

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This book contributes to the current debate on migration policy, focusing on three main elements in the standard migration policy dialogue: the regulation of flows, the integration of immigrants and the impact of labour mobility on development.

In particular it argues that the current governance of international migration is both insufficient and inefficient. Restrictive and non-cooperative migration policies not only affect development in sending countries but also have counterproductive effects in the countries that implement them. Likewise, the lack of integration policies generates costs for society. In this respect, the book focuses on South-South migration and highlights the specific risks of neglecting integration in developing countries. It also analyses the effects of emigration on origin-country labour markets and underlines the externalities of immigration policies in migrant-sending countries.

The book explores the feasibility of implementing a coherent governance framework centred on three complementary objectives: i) a more flexible regulation of international migration flows; ii) a better integration of immigrants in developing countries; and iii) a higher impact of labour mobility on development.



Conclusion: Towards effective partnerships

OECD Development Centre

The stalemate over the global governance of migration may be more apparent than real. It could be resolved by greater international co-operation: bilateral, regional and, in certain cases, global. Decentralisation is another element, as problems may be more effectively solved at the local level and if more actors are involved from all sectors of society. Migration policies should not be seen in isolation from others, such as those affecting agriculture, labour, trade and development. There are policy trade-offs to be made in the areas, for example, of trade and protectionism. Developing countries need to recognise that emigration brings social costs as well as financial benefits. There may be little incentive for governments to introduce necessary reforms. The example of several former origin countries shows the importance of implementing structural reforms rather than relying on migration. Even though it has a role to play, the challenge is to transform emigration into sustainable development at home.


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