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Asian Migr. 1989 Jan-Mar;2(1):22-30.

The future scenario for international labour migration.



The study of migration helps us to grasp the social evolution and the political and economic strategies required to meet the new economic trends. The issue of permanent or temporary migration, long debated in the 1960s, now tends to disappear. Migrants are compared more to commuters on the international labor markets. Besides the economic out-migration flows, there are also the refugee migrations or the ever present phenomenon of persons uprooted from their home country as a result of natural disasters and famine. The worldwide economic crisis in the 1970s, the recession affecting some industrialized countries which used to be traditional labor-importing countries have barred many potential immigrant workers from entering these countries. If, on 1 hand, the persistent high rate of unemployment due to the transformation of industry and the computerization process has caused the dismissal of numerous unskilled--mainly immigrants--on the other hand, it has created the exigency of highly qualified personnel. The children of the indigenous population are therefore favored because of their better scholastic training. A 2nd generation is now condemned to remain marginal even though they have been brought up to the ideals of social improvement and integration into higher standards of living. A highly dissatisfied category of young people is now an integral part of many labor-importing countries. Many industrial countries are flirting with zero population growth. Considering the demographic, economic, social, and political imbalances which exist and tend to grow, the world now has all the prerequisites for huge and prolonged migration flows originating from the South and moving almost exclusively toward the megacities and the industrial countries in the North. As long as technological as well as social inequalities persist, inner and international migration flows will continue. It is evident that the aim of many highly industrialized countries is the total ceasing of all forced migration flows. A more intense, productive, and efficacious cooperation between North and South seems to be the only possible option available, but the cooperation must not solely be bases on aid and must include financial and organizational cooperative ventures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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