Human Development Report 2009

Overcoming Barriers – Human Mobility and Development

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For many people around the world moving away from their home town or village can be the best – sometimes the only – option open to improve their life chances. The report explores how better policies towards mobility can enhance human development. It traces the contours of human movement – who moves where, when and why, and argues for practical measures that can improve prospects on arrival, which in turn will have large benefits both for destination communities and for places of origin. The report fixes human development firmly on the agenda of policy makers who seek the best outcomes from increasingly complex patterns of human movement worldwide.



How movers fare

People are motivated to move by the prospects of improved access to work, education, civil and political rights, security and health care. The majority of movers end up better off—sometimes much better off—than before they moved. The gains are potentially highest for people who move from poor to the wealthiest countries, but this type of movement is only a small share of total flows. Available evidence suggests that people who move to emerging and developing countries, as well as within countries, also tend to gain.


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