Citizens for Justice and Peace

ILO, OECD launch report on immigrants in developing countries

27, Jan 2018 | CJP Team

The Development Centre of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have released a joint report, titled ‘How Immigrants Contribute to Developing Countries’ Economies’. An ILO announcement of the report noted that “the perception that immigrants cost more than they yield is widespread but rarely relies on empirical evidence,” adding that report indicates that “negative perceptions are often unjustified.” Employing qualitative and quantitive methods, the report scrutinises immigrants’ impact on ten countries’ economies, including Nepal, Argentina, Thailand, and Ghana. According the ILO announcement, the report’s findings indicate that immigrants in most of the countries studied “display higher labour work force participation and employment rates than native workers,” but that they frequently “experience decent work deficits.” The report also considers if immigrants hurt prospects for native-born people. The ILO announcement notes that although the results “are variable and highly contextual,” the report indicates that immigrants’ overall economic impact is “negligible,” later adding that immigration is also not likely to “depress GDP per capita.” The report also finds that “immigrants help increase overall public revenues in developing countries,” according to the ILO announcement, which notes that this may not always be enough to counter public expenses that immigrants’ generate. According to Manuela Tomei, ILO’s Director of Conditions of Work and Employment Programme, “Any country can maximize the positive impact of immigration by adopting coherent policies aimed to better manage and integrate immigrants so that they can legally invest in and contribute to the economy where they work and live”. The full report, with recommendations, can be read here.



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