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World Population Policies 2019

image of World Population Policies 2019

The 2019 edition of the World Population Policies report, a report published biennially since 2003, focuses on Government policies and programmes on international migration. It provides an overview of policies to govern regular migration and to address irregular migration, and reviews an array of policy measures related to migrants’ rights, including access to services, as well as policies to foster the integration of migrants into host societies. The report also examines Government measures to maximise the development impacts of migration and to support diasporas. The 2019 World Population Policies report presents the official Government responses to the module on international migration (module III) of the United Nations Twelfth Inquiry among Governments on Population and Development (the “Inquiry”). The Population Division has been implementing the Inquiry every five years since 1963 as part of its mandate to systematically monitor population policies at the international level.

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Migrant rights and integration

The respect, protection and fulfilment of migrant rights, regardless of migration status, are essential for ensuring that migrants become active, empowered and well-integrated members of societies. Many host countries have undertaken measures to minimize disparities between migrants and nationals and to facilitate migrant integration. These initiatives have included language training and legal provisions to ensure non-discrimination. They have also included measures to promote equal access to basic services, including education, health care, and justice, notwithstanding that nationals and migrants with a regular status may be entitled to more comprehensive service provisions. Many countries have also instituted measures for the naturalization of migrants to foster equal rights and participation in the host society. In spite of these initiatives, the integration process for migrants can be challenging, particularly where they face racism, violence, xenophobia and related acts of intolerance. In recent years, a number of countries have witnessed a rise in anti-immigration sentiment, fuelled in part by the misperception that migrants are overrepresented among recipients of welfare benefits and social services (Nauman, et al., 2018). In spite of evidence to the contrary, the perception that migrants receive more benefits than their contributions to the economy and society is widespread and has contributed to social and political tension in several host countries. A number of countries have taken steps to promote evidence-based public discourse, with a view to addressing negative perceptions of migrants and dispelling erroneous or poorly informed narratives. Countries have also increasingly taken measures to eliminate discrimination, and to counter acts of racism, violence and xenophobia directed against migrants.

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