Report Analysis: India world No. 2 in migrations to OECD nations, getting citizenships

International Migration Outlook 2020

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International Migration Outlook 2020

In News:

  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently published the “International Migration Outlook 2020” report.

About: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic Organization with 37 member countries, founded in 1961 to encourage economic progress and world trade. It is also an official United Nations observer.
  • It provides a platform to compare policy experiences, find answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members.
  • Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI)and are regarded as developed countries.
  • As of 2017, the OECD member countries collectively comprised 62.2% of global nominal GDP and 42.8% of global GDP at purchasing power parity.

About: International Migration Outlook

  • The report analyses recent developments in migration movements in OECD countries and some non-member countries.
  • Each edition provides the latest statistical information on migrant flows, migrants in the labour market, and migration policies.
  • It also analyses the impact of migration on the structural composition of the economy.

International Migration Outlook 2020:

Highlights of the report:
  • OECD countries (except Colombia and Turkey) together accepted about 5.3 million new permanent migrants in 2019. This represents a stable level compared to 2018.
  • Migrant flows to the United States and Germany (the top OECD receiving countries) continued to decrease, while in most other OECD countries, flows tended to increase, notably in Spain and Japan.
  • While China continued to retain its top slot as the largest source country, India replaced Romania to emerge as the second largest source country. Source country is the place from where migrants move to other countries.
  • During 2018, about 4.3 lakh Chinese migrated to OECD countries, accounting for nearly 5% of the total migration inflows. However, there was a slight decline of 1% as compared to the previous year.
  • On the other hand, migration from India to OECD countries increased sharply by 10% and reached 3.3 lakh. Migration from India represents about 5% of the overall migration to OECD countries.
Sectoral distribution:
  • In OECD European countries, Israel and the US, migrants work predominantly in services sectors with high share of lower-skilled workers, especially in domestic services, and accommodation and food services.
  • In Canada, Australia and New Zealand, many migrants work in sectors with a high share of highly skilled jobs, especially the IT sector in Canada (33%), and finance in Australia (37%).
  • In all OECD countries except New Zealand, migrants are under-represented in public service, notably public administration and defence.
Asylum applications:
  • After two years of decrease, the number of asylum applications to OECD countries increased by 11% in 2019, reaching 1.2 million.
  • However, the number of asylum applications remained much lower than the record highs of 2015 and 2016. About half of all asylum applications in the OECD were made in OECD European countries.
  • More than 20% of all asylum seekers came from Afghanistan, Venezuela and Honduras.
  • An asylum seeker is a person who has left his/her home country because of war or other factors, and has entered another country, and applies for asylum, that is, international protection, in this new country.
Impact of Covid-19 on migrants:
  • The COVID-19 pandemic generated a global health emergency, which has turned into an economic and social crisis.
  • The crisis has led to a significant drop in migration flows to OECD countries, as almost all OECD countries restricted entry to foreigners.
  • Migrants are highly exposed to the health and economic impacts of the pandemic, due to their representation in frontline jobs.
  • Foreign-born workers were highly represented in essential activities such as health care and food retail and various other hard jobs. This once again showed the key contributions that migrants make in keeping the societies functioning.
  • Migration will continue to have an important impact on origin (source) countries, as remittances and employment opportunities are expected to decline.

Way Ahead:

  • Securing the health and safety of all workers in essential activities (both native-born and migrants) as well as support to all those in need is a key priority.
  • Further, it is important to acknowledge that migration is an integral part of life and that it links the world together. This is true at global as well as local level.
  • Public measures are needed to secure the progress of the past decade on migration and integration, with the active contribution of all stakeholders and civil society.
  • Protecting these achievements are key elements of an overall strategy to build back, as economies and societies around the world begin to recover.

Also Read: UK launches new points-based immigration system

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