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New York, New York, UN Women, . 4 p. (Policy Brief No. 3)Remittances and their potential to contribute to development are becoming a central focus of global migration governance. With women making up approximately half of all migrant workers globally, there is a shifting focus of many policies and programmes to include remittances sent by women. Based on research and lessons learned from the joint UN Women–EU-funded global project, “Promoting and protecting women migrant workers’ labour and human rights: Engaging with international, national human rights mechanisms to enhance accountability”, which is piloted in Mexico, Moldova and the Philippines, this Brief considers the different ways that women transfer and spend remittances, and provides recommendations to better understand and maximize these remittances.
Migrants as transnational development agents: An inquiry into the newest round of the migration - development nexus.
Population, Space and Place. 2008; 14(1):21-42.Migrant networks and organisations have emerged as development agents. They interact with state institutions in flows of financial remittances, knowledge, and political ideas. In the discursive dimension, the new enthusiasm on the part of OECD states and international organisations, such as the World Bank, for migrant remittances, migrant associations and their role in development, is a sign of two trends which have coincided. Firstly, community as a principle of development has come to supplement principles of social order such as the market and the state. Secondly, in the current round of the migration-development nexus, migrants in general and transnational collective actors in particular have been constituted by states and international organisations as a significant agent. In the institutional dimension, agents such as hometown associations, networks of businesspersons, epistemic networks and political diasporas have emerged as collective actors. These formations are not unitary actors, and they are frequently in conflict with states and communities of origin. The analysis concludes with reflections of how national states structure the transnational spaces in which non-state actors are engaged in cross-border flows, leading towards a tight linkage between migration control, immigrant incorporation and development cooperation. (author's)
Female Migrants: Bridging the Gaps throughout the Life Cycle. Selected papers of the UNFPA-IOM Expert Group Meeting, New York, 2-3 May 2006.
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2006. 136 p.Women make up nearly half of all migrants, an estimated 95 million of 191 million people living outside their countries of origin in 2005. Having said this, after many years of observing migration and collecting data there is remarkably little reliable information about women as migrants. This anomaly underlines their continuing invisibility to policymakers and development planners. The High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development by the General Assembly on 14-15 September 2006 offers the best opportunity in a generation to address the rights, needs, capabilities and contribution of women migrants. Equal numbers do not confer equality of treatment. Women have fewer opportunities than men for legal migration; many women become irregular migrants with concomitant lack of support and exposure to risk. Whether they migrate legally or not, alone or as members of a family unit, women are more vulnerable than men to violence and exploitation. Their needs for health care, including reproductive health care, and other services are less likely to be met. They have more limited opportunities than men for social integration and political participation. Migration can be beneficial, both for women and for the countries which send and receive them. Women migrants make a significant economic contribution through their labour, both to their countries of destination and, through remittances, to their countries of origin. In societies where women's power to move autonomously is limited, the act of migration is in itself empowering. It stimulates change in women migrants themselves, and in the societies which send and receive them. In the process women's migration can become a force for removing existing gender imbalances and inequities, and for changing underlying conditions so that new imbalances and inequities do not arise. Women's voluntary migration is a powerful force for positive change in countries both of origin and of destination. (excerpt)
Chimera. 2004 Spring; 2(1):26-30.The need to organize a durable partnership between Africa and its people in the Diaspora is so obvious as to warrant little discussion. However, every partnership, even among blood relations, requires a clear raison d'etre. Why should a Brazilian-African become interested in South Africa's politics or economy? Why should a Nigerian unemployed university graduate believe that it is in his best interest to nurture a relationship with the Diaspora in the Caribbean? Why should a Senegalese-French citizen pay attention to the status of African-Americans in the United States? Why should a recent immigrant in the United States become involved in Africa-Diaspora partnership issues? Why should an inner city Diaspora family in the United States or Britain show interest in the political reforms in Kenya? These questions are neither rhetorical nor amenable to easy responses. At the core of the organizing issue in Africa-Diaspora partnership is the need to define a clear, unambiguous reason for this relationship. (excerpt)
Workers' remittances: a boon to development. Money sent home by African migrants rivals development aid.
Africa Renewal. 2005 Oct; 19(3):10-13.Every day, thousands of Africans living abroad line up in money-transfer offices to wire home the odd dollar they are able to save. From the US, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and France -- the top sources of remittances to developing countries -- some of the money finds its way deep into the rural areas of Africa. There, it may send a child to school, build a house or buy food to sustain those remaining at home. Over the years, some of the money has made its way to the Kayes region of Mali. There, the World Bank reports, contributions from Malians living in France have helped build 60 per cent of the infrastructure. About 40 Malian migrant associations in France supported nearly 150 projects, valued at €3 mn over a decade. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1990. , 168 p. (World Bank Discussion Paper 101; World Bank Discussion Papers. Africa Technical Department Series)International migration affects almost every aspect of development in which the World Bank works. Accordingly, this paper investigating international migration in sub-Saharan Africa as it relates to development was designed and produced to provide World Bank staff with a greater understanding of country-specific settings for which World Bank projects are designed. Analysis of previously collected and published data from a host of sources was used to aid staff in policy analysis, sector work, loan preparation, and evaluation of the consequences of structural adjustment. 35 million of a total 80 million worldwide international migrants are estimated to be in sub-Saharan Africa. This figure represents approximately 8% of the region's 1983 population of 443 million. International migration, whether gradual or sudden and unexpected, surely affects countries' development. Changes in remittances impact demand for education and health services, structural adjustment, and labor markets to mention just a few potential interactions. This study was designed to consider international migration for employment, but internal migration and refugee flows are also examined. Using data on migrant stock, the study looks at migration scale, trends, and characteristics as they relate to development issues in selected sectors. Migration trend interaction is considered with remittances, labor markets, highly skilled manpower, education, health, and agriculture. Country policy toward international migration in the region are considered. The authors envisage no significant reduction in regional international migration in the future.
In: Migration and development in the Caribbean: the unexplored connection. Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press, 1985. 321-47. (Westview Special Studies on Latin America and the Caribbean.)Although emigration from the Caribbean has long been viewed as beneficial to the region's economic development, it is increasingly clear that it also represents an impediment and a lost opportunity. After analyzing migration-for-development programs for other regions and identifying those factors that were most effective while also relevant to the Caribbean, the authors propose a set of programs that would reduce the cost of emigration to Caribbean development and multiply the benefits. The proposals include 1) Caribbean remittance banks, 2) incentive programs to recruit US-based Caribbean professionals from private and public life, and 3) a set of measures to encourage the next generation of Caribbean professionals to use their skills in their home countries. An alternative is presented that is between the statist approach to emigration of the Cuban government and the wholly individualistic approach of the rest of the Caribbean governments. It uses the available ways to reconcile the personal right to emigrate with the collective concern for economic development. It involves steps by Caribbean governments, by donor governments like that of the US who are interested in the region, and by international development institutions. To the extent that economic development is a primary concern of those interested in the Caribbean, increased attention should be given to migration as a central factor in the development equation.
[Unpublished, 1985]. 11 p. (DP/RILM/11.)The Expert Group Meeting on Remittances From International Labour Migration was held at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) from 2-4 September, 1985. The meeting was convened to discuss issues and policies concerning remittances by workers who had been going in large numbers from developing countries in the ESCAP region to West Asia. 3.6 million workers from ESCAP countries are now employed in West Asia, which creates both problems and opportunities. The massive labor flow has helped the labor-importing countries to overcome their domestic labor shortages and thus has removed a crucial bottleneck in the productive utilization of their revenues from the oil boom of the 1970s. It also helped the ESCAP countries by relieving their unemployment pressures. A satisfactory solution to the problems that arise in the process of large-scale migration and remittance flows may be found by means of cooperation between labor-supplying and labor-receiving countries. Remittances are not an unqualified gain. A large out-migration of skilled and professional workers can have adverse consequences for the economies of labor-exporting countries. Remittances can cause many distortions in the economy, including exorbitant rises in land values. The recent slowdown in labor demand in Weest Asia is due to a fall in oil revenues and completion of large-scale infrastructure and other construction projects. Further labor absorption in that region may not take place; a substantial return flow has already begun.
[Unpublished, 1985]. ii, 66 p. (DP/RILM/10.)This review of the trend of labor exports from the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) region to the Middle East in recent years and the emerging socioeconomic situation in labor-importing countries points to the conclusion that further growth in labor exports from the ESCAP region is not promising. The continuing pressure on oil prices resulting from world supply and demand and the sharp fall in oil revenues on which the development activities of labor-importing countries in the Middle East are almost exclusively dependent leads to this negative conclusion. The situation, however, is not entirely negative. The economics of the labor-importing countries still possess certain inherent strengths based on their substantial reserves of oil and the newly built and acquired capital and liquid financial assets. Even assuming that the present slack in the oil market will continue for some time, economic activities in the oil-exporting countries can still continue at a reasonable pace once the crisis that has overtaken these economics from a sudden downturn in oil revenues is smoothed out. Available evidence indicates that these countries are now embarking on an intensive phase of development that concentrates more on industrial, agricultural, and service sectors rather than the construction phase. The labor requirements for these new phases of development will still be substantial but will have a different skill composition. Although most of the present stock of unskilled labor from the ESCAP region may have to return home, they may be replaced by new groups of skilled labor. The present study may serve as a useful basis for helping ESCAP to make more precise forecasts and projections.
Banking and other facilities for remittances by migrant workers from the ESCAP Region to the Middle East.
[Unpublished, 1985]. 40 p. (DP/RILM/7.)This paper focuses on the labor-importing countries of the Middle East and how to maximize the flow of remittances to labor-exporting countries. This can be achieved if expatriate workers from Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) member countries employed in the Middle East remit their earnings to home countries in foreign exchange through official banking channels, comprising both commercial banks and exchange companies operating in the host countries. In general, there is no lack of banking facilities is Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. Due to the slump in oil prices, banking capacity may be excessive. United Arab Emirates is now engaged in consolidating its banks. In all 3 countries, banking is organized on modern lines, but they can be induced to improve their performance, cooperate with each other in the field of remittances, and handle remittances for all the labor-exporting ESCAP countries without discrimination. Labor-importing Economic Commission For Western Asia (ECWA) countries could be approached to help fill existing gaps. For instance, Saudi Arabia could be requested to allow banking on Thursday evenings or to permit joint venture exchange companies, managed by ESCAP banks, to provide remittance facilities at remote sites where neither bank branches nor offices of domestic exchange companies exist. Mobile banking is another possibility. As far as clandestine dealers are concerned, the position is rather difficult. They are not guilty of any breach of law. Perhaps new legislation could curb their activities within the countries concerned, so as to throttle their business outside. The labor-exporting countries must 1st do all that lies in their power, individually and collectively, to tackle the problem of leakage of foreign exchange earnings.
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Expert Group Meeting on Remittances from International Labour Migration, 2-4 September 1985, Bangkok, Thailand [collected papers].
[Unpublished, 1985].  p.The Expert Group Meeting on Remittances From International Labour Migration was held at the Economic and Social Commission For Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok from 2-4 September, 1985. The titles of papers presented at the meeting include 1) Banking and Other Facilities For Remittances by Migrant Workers from the ESCAP Region to the Middle East, 2) Remittances from International Labour Migration: A Case Study of Bangladesh, 3) Labour Migration and Remittances in Pakistan, 4) Remittances of Indian Migrants to the Middle East: An Assessment with Special Reference To Migrants From Kerala State, 5) An Assessment of West Asian Demand For Migrant Workers from the ESCAP Region, 6) Labour Migration and Remittances in the Republic of Korea, 7) Issues in International Labour Migration Remittance, 8) Prospects or Joint Ventures and Other Forms of Economic Co-operation Between the Middle Eastern Oil Exporting Countries and the Labour Exporting Developing Countries in the ESCAP Region in the Context of Remittances From Labour Migration, 9) Overseas Employment and Remittances: A Case Study of the Philippines, 10) International Labour Migration and Remittances: Experience in Thailand, and 11) Report of the Expert Group Meeting on Remittances From International Labour Migration.
ASIA-PACIFIC POPULATION JOURNAL. 1986 Mar; 1(1):75-9.During the past few years, reports have indicated that international migration from Asia and the Pacific to the Middle East has been decreasing. To consider this trend, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) organized the Policy Workshop on International Migration in Asia and the Pacific from 15-21 October, 1986, at Bangkok. The Workshop 1st considered the magnitude of international migration. There were an estimated 930,000 Indian workers in the Middle East in 1983, 800,000 Pakistanis, 500,000 Filipinos, 300,000 Bangladeshis, and 200,000 each from the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Workers' remittances to the region reached US $8000-10,000 million per year in 1983. The government policies of the sending countries have been the least adequate in the area of return international labor migration. The Workshop recommended that governments of sending countries 1) ensure that the contracts signed by workers before their departure be honored, 2) provide workers with information on their legal rights in receiving countries before departure, 3) investigate and monitor recruiting agents, and 4) do everything possible to utilize workers' acquired skills on return. The Workshop also recommended that international agencies 1) create standards for data collection on international migration, 2) facilitate the exchange of information on international migration, and 3) sponsor research projects. The Workshop also recommended that governments obtain relevant information on the magnitude, origin, and expenditure of remittances and savings.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1985. 38 p. (ST/ESCAP/397.)This document reports on the Policy Workshop on International Migration in Asia and the Pacific (Bangkok, October 15-21, 1985), which was organized and funded by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the UN Fund for Population Activities, and whose objectives were to 1) review the results of 7 studies initiated at a similar conference the preceding year, 2) relate the research findings to government policies for return migrant reintegration, and 3) make and disseminate policy recommendations to ESCAP regional governments. The subjects of the 7 studies concerned 1) decision making processes and the value orientation of return migrants, 2) Korean migrants returning from the Middle East, 3) return migration in Mediterranean basin countries, 4) return migration in Sri Lanka, 5) Thai return migration, 6) Filipino return workers, and 7) return migration's effects on a Tongan village. Conference attendees came from Australia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, and Italy. The workshop concentrated on migrants returning from jobs in the Middle East, since in 1983, 3.5 million ESCAP overseas workers were employed in that region. The workshop's agenda included 1) return migration measurement, 2) government and private company policies, 3) reintegration of return workers, 4) return migration in Mediterranean basin countries; 5) the village level impact of international migration, and 6) policy formulation for return migrants. The most important recommmendations made by the workshop were that 1) a major study should be undertaken to ascertain the numbers and skills of migrant workers in the Middle Eastern receiving countries, 2) this study should estimate future Middle Eastern labor demand, in terms of volume and skills, and 3) the study should be conducted under appropriate experts appointed by the ESCAP secretariat, and should report their findings as soon as possible.