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.



Introduction: Facts, perceptions, reactions

OECD Development Centre

The recent global financial crisis, Arab Spring and famine in Africa have drawn added attention to migration, an issue closely linked to growing global interdependence and environmental factors. Contrary to widespread belief there is more South-South than South-North migration. The financial crisis has made local populations more hostile to immigration, perceived as a threat to jobs and social cohesion. Migration policies have become more restrictive and immigrants greater targets of hostility and prejudice. At the same time, many developing countries seek to benefit from the export of surplus labour and rely heavily on money sent back by migrants. All these factors provide challenges both to sending and recipient countries. Migration strategies are often unilateral and expensive. Three interlocking issues need to be addressed. How can flows be regulated – or is that even possible? Once immigrants have arrived in receiving countries, can they be integrated and if so how? And what is the nexus between migration and development in the immigrants’ home countries?


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