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Nearly half a million Indians migrated to OECD countries in 2021: Report

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    31st Oct, 2023

Context:

As per the latest edition of International Migration Outlook 2023, highlights that the recent developments in migration movements and the labour market inclusion is shifting towards the OECD countries.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD):

  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a unique forum where the governments of 37 democracies with market-based economies collaborate to develop policy standards to promote sustainable economic growth.

About the Report:

  • The "International Migration Outlook" is an annual publication produced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that provides a comprehensive analysis of international migration trends and policies
  • It offers insights into;
  • Recent migration trends, labor migration, family reunification, asylum and refugee policies, immigrant integration, and policy developments in various countries, providing a comprehensive overview of international migration dynamics and policies.

Highlights of International Migration Outlook 2023:

  • India specific Migration data:
  • High Migration Flows: India witnessed the highest migration flows to OECD countries in 2021 and 2022, making it the top country of origin for new migrants.
  • Replacement of China: India replaced China as the main country of origin for new migrants to OECD countries in 2020 and continued to hold this position in 2021 and 2022.

China and Romania: China ranked second with a considerable gap, and Romania followed as the third country of origin for new migrants to OECD nations in 2021.

  • Concerns highlighted:
  • Policy Responses to Climate-Induced Displacement: The report noted an increasing interest among policy makers and the international community in addressing displacement caused by climate change, even though few OECD countries had introduced explicit policies to respond to this issue.
  • Climate-Induced Displacement in Colombia: Colombia initiated discussions in 2023 about recognizing climate-induced displacement and establishing measures to support affected individuals. It marked the first of its kind in Latin America.
  • Factors responsible for migration:
  • OECD comprises 38 member countries, mostly wealthy developed nations that attract migrant workers and students.
  • Acquisition of OECD Nationality: In 2021, approximately 13 million Indian citizens acquired the nationality of an OECD country, primarily in the United States, Australia, and Canada. A significant number of Mexicans also gained nationality in another OECD country, primarily becoming U.S. citizens.
  • Refugee Inflows from Ukraine: Due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the OECD witnessed record-level inflows of refugees, with over 10 million people becoming either internally displaced or refugees in the region.

Human Migration:

  • Human migration is the movement of people from one place in the world to another.
    • It can be voluntary migration or involuntary migration.
  • The International Organization for Migration (The United Nations Migration Agency) defines a migrant as any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a state away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of :
    • Person’s legal status
    • Whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary
    • What the causes for the movement are
    • What the length of the stay is

Factors of Human Migration:


Impacts of Human Migration

  • Positive Impacts:
    • Remittances: One of the most substantial positive impacts of emigration is the inflow of remittances from Indian expatriates living and working abroad. Remittances contribute significantly to India's economy, helping to stabilize the balance of payments and supporting the well-being of families back home.
    • Foreign Exchange Reserves: The remittances sent by Indian emigrants help boost India's foreign exchange reserves, which are vital for trade and economic stability.
    • Investment: Emigrants often invest in India by starting businesses, purchasing property, or investing in various sectors. This can lead to economic growth and job creation.
    • Knowledge and Skills Transfer: Many emigrants acquire advanced knowledge and skills in their host countries, which they may later transfer to India. This can have a positive impact on sectors such as technology, medicine, and education.
  • Negative Impacts:
    • Labor Shortages: In certain regions and industries, emigration can lead to labor shortages. This is particularly evident in agriculture, where seasonal migration is common, and in healthcare, where trained professionals may leave for opportunities abroad.
    • Brain Drain: Emigration of highly skilled professionals, such as doctors, engineers, and researchers, can contribute to a "brain drain" and result in a loss of expertise that is critical for India's development.
    • Social Impact: Families are often separated due to emigration, which can have social and psychological impacts on individuals left behind. This includes the challenges of maintaining family relationships over long distances.
    • Dependency on Remittances: Overreliance on remittances can make some families and regions economically dependent on emigrant family members, leading to vulnerabilities when remittances decrease.
    • Policy Challenges: The government must create policies and mechanisms to protect the rights and welfare of emigrants, which can be challenging to enforce, particularly for low-skilled workers.
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