Turn on the news these days and you’re likely to be confronted with articles about worker shortages. Nurses, cooks, construction workers, accountants, care home employees, all seem to be in demand throughout high-income countries. Despite this need, these countries currently do very little to attract migrants with vocational skills, hoping that local workers, automation, and offshoring will reduce the need.
CGD Policy Blogs
Agreements of this type fulfil the requirements of the WHO Code: They help individual health workers move to countries of destination, they increase the number of skilled workers and improve health systems in countries of origin, and they manage migration in an ethical and sustainable way. They deserve to be piloted, tested, appropriately modified, and scaled.
Last week, President Biden issued a new Executive Order aiming, among other things, to “enhance access for individuals from the Northern Triangle to visa programs.” This is a big opportunity for the United States. People from this region need access to lawful migration pathways, and it is now the policy of the U.S. government to build them. The Administration can build those pathways today by signing bilateral labor agreements with Northern Triangle governments.
Given that international travelers introduced COVID-19 to almost every country in the world, it's natural to associate international mobility with the spread of disease. During the pandemic, 179 countries have implemented some form of travel restrictions. And beyond COVID-19, some countries may uphold such restrictions for fear of the next pandemic.
As people in poor countries get richer, they are more likely to emigrate—despite many governments' attempts to use development assistance to deter emigration. Read CGD's new work on the relationship between emigration and wealth.
COVID-19 has cost millions of migrant workers their jobs, pushing families around the world into extreme poverty. On International Day of #FamilyRemittances, here are some actions governments and the private sector can take to cushion the blow.
UN Member States are gathering today in New York at the United Nations Headquarters for the first round of negotiations on the Global Compact on Migration zero draft. It is a once-a-generation chance to shape migration cooperatively, for mutual benefit. Global migration governance is, in its current form, unprepared and insufficient to manage future flows.
Can Lawful Migration Channels Suppress Unlawful Migration? How US Experience Can Inform European Dilemmas
Richer countries are under pressure to respond to and suppress high levels of irregular migration reaching their borders. One prominent recommendation is for richer countries to expand opportunities for lawful or regular migration. Suppose they do. Will more regular migration simply raise migration overall, or will it substitute for and reduce irregular migration?
Migration is a volatile political issue worldwide. It will become explosive in decades to come, as demographic change raises pressure on the traditional ways of regulating migration. Right now there is a window of opportunity for countries to agree on how to manage migration better. That window will close in July.