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Mobility as a resource

Floretta Mayerson
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It would be naive to believe that as communication, goods, and services become global, the people behind and around these remain the same. Interactions have changed; factors such as international patterns for demand and supply, facilitation of transnational services, and increasing technologies opening channels of global communication and information are shifting our societal systems. Intercontinental family networks are on the increase and the sense of global belongingness comes with pressures of international standards and comparison.

As the population is projected to hit 9 billion people by 2050, the analysis must keep in mind that most of the expected future population growth will occur in developing countries, and will be concentrated in the least developed countries (UNDESA, 2012). These countries already facing social, economic and demographic inequalities will be hit with challenges of development, stressed about high unemployment rates, poverty, resources, education, and human rights, all at the pace of an accelerated population growth rate. On the other side, the developed countries’ population is expected to change minimally. Here is where the games of population dynamics need to come to play, smart and fast.

Research shows that international migration can play a role in limiting population decline, especially in developed countries with low fertility rates, counterbalancing working-age population shrinking and rapid population aging. This is why some countries are already rethinking policies and programs related to international migration. However, digging into a philosophical approach, mobility, and migration, as we know them, are understood from a bi-polar parameter of developing and developed countries interacting with one another. And the equation is much more complex. How do these affect one another? Is it in the order of underdevelopment-migration or migration-underdevelopment? And who benefits from which situations?

It is agreed that underdevelopment’s manifestations, such as socio-economic instability and income disparities are of the root causes of migration. Yet, it is also argued that brain drain and reduction of the labor force adversely affect the development of countries. This chicken-or-the-egg dilemma has been surpassed by the argument that international migration could hold important benefits for home country development.

The remittance economy establishes links between international communities and reinforces connections between multiple sectors of countries of origin and destination. Migrants working abroad can promote private foreign investment in their home country (not be considered on any level as a substitute for official development assistance). By understanding this benefit, as well as the knowledge and technology transfers, governments actively promote overseas employment for their citizens as a tool to increase economic growth. And in developed countries, migrant workers often fill jobs that the nativeborn population is unwilling to take.

Another added value to migration is the diversity of viewpoints brought into the workspace, resulting in cultural enrichment which pushes conversations of innovative solutions, designs, and goods for the global market. But for these multicultural exchanges to be possible in every level, there is a need to safeguard human rights, prioritizing anti-discrimination environments and labor rights to prevent migrants from exploitation.

As humans, we tend to forget that we are wired in many layers that affect our lives, and the sub estimation of the psychological aspects of mobility and migrations are yet to be analyzed. As goals are not independent, rather have to be seen as an integral, intertwined solution. Goal 16 refers to Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and Goal 17 to Partnership for the Goals, both should be

10.7 Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies

They include factors as diverse as international patterns of demand for and supply of labor; the relative cheapness of international transport; the advent of systems of electronic communication; and the emergence of transnational family networks.

They are related to social, economic and demographic inequalities, whether experienced in terms of employment opportunities, resources, education or human rights.

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2 מחשבות על “Mobility as a resource”

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