Government views and policies on international migration

Substantial changes in government perceptions of migration trends have taken place since 1990 as Governments around the world react to the challenges and opportunities associated with international migration. In 1996, the proportion of Governments having the goal of reducing the inflows of migrants peaked at 40 per cent (United Nations, 2004). Since then, the proportion of Governments reporting that they wish to reduce migrant inflows has fallen almost by half; and over the past decade, the Governments of many receiving countries have been actively adopting or amending laws and regulations so as to facilitate the inflow of the types of migrants they need, especially skilled migrants and temporary lowskilled workers. Concomitantly, measures to prevent and combat clandestine inflows have increased in number and are being strengthened. In addition, the proportion of Governments wishing to lower emigration has remained at about 25 per cent since 1986; and countries of origin have become more active in encouraging the return of their citizens from abroad and in strengthening links with their expatriate communities so as to harness the potential contributions of those communities to propelling development. The present section reviews the changing attitudes of Governments regarding immigration and emigration and discusses developments in the policy arena with respect to specific types of inflows.

Related Subject(s): Migration
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