United Nations: Making Integration Work for All

In its recent Report of the Secretary-General titled "Making Migration Work for All", the United Nations discusses the options for Member States to support migrants to fulfil their economic and social potential. The Report’s central message in terms of labour market integration: While there is powerful evidence that migrants are of significant economic benefit to both their host countries and their countries of origin, it is essential to address the underlying vulnerabilities and fears of all citizens so that migration works for all.

Contrary to many assertions, "the presence of migrants does not have a long-term effect on the wages of other workers in their host countries," the Report underlines. But where large numbers of migrants rapidly enter a labour market, they may have a short-term destabilizing impact on jobs and wages. "National migration policies should be attentive to the needs of local communities and labour forces."

At the same time, the Report zooms in on the main obstacles to migrants in terms of making their maximum possible economic and social contributions. "Restrictive or ineffectual labour policies, laws and employment customs" are mentioned within this context. "Where labour migration is poorly governed, migrants can struggle to find decent work. Low-wage migrants often face dangerous working conditions, exploitative contracts and violations of their labour and other rights", says the Report.

"Making Migration Work for All" emphasizes the "significant contributions" of female migrants "to both countries of origin and destination." The labour force participation of female migrants is 67%, (far above the global average of 51% for women) even though women migrants often face more limited employment options than men.  Nonetheless, female migrants often face discrimination once abroad. "This ranges from technical obstacles, such as work visa regimes that do not allow time off for maternity leave, to sexual and gender-based violence."

Find the full Report here.