With the number of international migrants more than doubling since 1965, immigration has become a major issue for the modern world. In particular; immigration has become a vital tool to be used in order to overcome problems within the labour market.
Given that the overall global demographic situation is trending towards shrinking and aging populations in the developed world and expanding populations in the developing world, international migration is important in order to offset the imbalances these trends will cause within the global labour market.
The World Bank has conducted a study to identify strategies which can potentially provide ‘win-win-win’ situations for; developing countries, developed countries and migrants where all three have the opportunity to benefit from increased international labour mobility, cross border skill transfers and remittances.
They have also identified ways in which strategically managed migration can be successfully used as a social risk management tool, reducing risks such as those connected with illegal immigration and human trafficking.
The focus of the World Bank’s future work will be on the issues of how developed countries can implement immigration policies in ways that will combat the predicted labour and skill shortages of the future whilst, at the same time, benefiting the developing world.
I think it is vital that research such as this is carried out as immigration can represent a major social problem if it is not regulated and managed successfully. However, it also has the potential to represent a huge opportunity to better the global economic and labour situation if we are able to develop a realistic, well implemented worldwide strategy.