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Global Migration

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By host - KaburuA
The number of migrants is staggering: globally, nearly more than a half of a billion people live in a country other than their place of birth, an increase of 45% from 2000 to 2017. That number includes more than 50 million refugees—often vulnerable, dissatisfied and volatile. Given the geopolitical turmoil around the world, this migration will only increase, putting pressure on more stable societies and posing an enormous policy, humanitarian and security challenge. What should the global community be doing about it?
First, we should closely examine the underlying causes of this migration—especially the flow of refugees. While the primary driver of global migration is the search for a better economic situation, concerns over physical security are often the catalyst for undertaking long, expensive and dangerous journeys. The biggest hot zone for forced migration today is the eastern Mediterranean. Driven by extreme violence and chaos in Syria and almost equally terrible conditions in parts of equatorial Africa, more than a million people reached Europe in 2017. Another key zone that receives less attention is Central America. There we see women, children and families fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras—the so-called Northern Triangle, which is among the most violent regions in the world. Many end up in Mexico, although a declining portion continue on to the U.S.
Second, in addition to focusing on root causes in these launch countries, we need an international approach to dealing with these challenges. Ensuring that all partners in the Americas and other allies in Europe should create aconsolidated approaches to the challenges is key. Controlling the flow of migrants, caring for them in humane ways and fairly judging whether they qualify as refugees requires a team effort.
Thirdly, both nongovernmental organizations and the private sector have key roles to play. The International Committee of the Red Cross, the U.N. organizations focused on migration and refugees, and big private charities should convene a summit alongside governments and private-sector entities to address solutions and ideas for coping with the flow of migrants and improving conditions in launch nations.
Fifth, there is a real security dimension to deal with. We cannot ignore the danger that some extremists may slip into these migrant and refugee streams, as has already occurred in Europe. We should use biometrics, monitoring of social networks and the cybersphere, and our militaries to help control the security dimension. Done right, we can reduce risk to a minimum.
Finally, and most important, we need to hold to our values. In this season of hyperbolic elections in both the U.S. and Europe, it is all too easy to lose sight of the most critical reasons for dealing with migration humanely and judging refugee states fairly. On the Statue of Liberty, carved in granite, it says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” We can best live up to that promise with an intelligent plan centered on international cooperation, interagency integration and private-public cooperation. Idealism needs a good plan, and migration today is a powerful global crisis drifting without one.
Migration is a key feature of our increasingly interconnected world. It has also become a flashpoint for debate in many countries, which underscores the importance of understanding the patterns of global migration and the economic impact that is created when people move across the world’s borders. Global migration’s impact and opportunity, aims to fill this need.
Refugees might be the face of migration in the media, but 90 percent of the world’s 247 million migrants have moved across borders voluntarily, usually for economic reasons. Voluntary migration flows are typically gradual, placing less stress on logistics and on the social fabric of destination countries than refugee flows. Most voluntary migrants are working-age adults, a characteristic that helps raise the share of the population that is economically active in destination countries.
By contrast, the remaining 10 percent are refugees and asylum seekers who have fled to another country to escape conflict and persecution. Roughly half of the world’s 24 million refugees are in the Middle East and North Africa, reflecting the dominant pattern of flight to a neighboring country.
Moving more labor to higher-productivity settings boosts global GDP. Migrants of all skill levels contribute to this effect, whether through innovation and entrepreneurship or through freeing up natives for higher-value work. In fact, migrants make up just 3.4 percent of the world’s population contribute nearly 10 percent of global GDP. They contributed roughly $6.7 trillion to global GDP in 2017—some $3 trillion more than they would have produced in their origin countries. Developed nations realize more than 90 percent of this effect.
Employment rates are slightly lower for immigrants than for native workers in top destinations, but this varies by skill level and by region of origin. Extensive academic evidence shows that immigration does not harm native employment or wages, although there can be short-term negative effects if there is a large inflow of migrants to a small region, if migrants are c7ose substitutes for native workers, or if the destination economy is experiencing a downturn.
Realizing the benefits of immigration hinges on how well new arrivals are integrated into their destination country’s labor market and into society. Today immigrants tend to earn 20 to 30 percent less than native-born workers. But if countries narrow that wage gap to just 5 to 10 percent by integrating immigrants more effectively across various aspects of education, housing, health, and community engagement, they could generate an additional boost of $800 billion to $1 trillion to worldwide economic output annually. This is a relatively conservative goal, but it can nevertheless produce broader positive effects, including lower poverty rates and higher overall productivity in destination economies. #Migration #HumanityandInclusivity
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