Regional Workshop on International Migration Statistics, Cairo, Egypt, 30 June - 3July 2009.

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Regional Workshop on International Migration Statistics, Cairo, Egypt, 30 June - 3July 2009. International migration challenges in the ESCWA region. Frederico Neto, Chief, Social Development Division (SDD) UN-ESCWA. Increased number of migrants in the region (in millions). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Increased number of migrants in the region (in millions) Source: UN Population Division

    19902005Increase 1990-2005ESCWARegion13207Mashreq 473GCC9134

    Coexistence of several types of international migration

    Temporary, transit and permanent migration Labour and family migration Different skill levels Illegal migration Forced migrationHigh proportion of immigrants in Gulf countries

    Immigrants form one-third (36%) of the total population in the Gulf region Immigrants form about 90% of the labour force in Qatar, UAE and Kuwait More than two-thirds of the immigrants to the Gulf originate from Asia The share of those originating from other Arab countries was around 25% in 2005

    Increased youth propensity to migrate.

    High youth unemployment rate in the region fuels rise in youth migrationYouth form a large share of the total unemployed population: 40% to 60% of the unemployed population in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Yemen80% in Kuwait and Qatar, 75% in Bahrain and 65% in OmanUnemployment rates are higher among young women as compared with young men. The female youth unemployment rate in the region is 24%

    Increase in female labour immigration in selected jobsIncreasing number of female immigrants in domestic work, provision of health or personal assistance, childrearing, etc.

    This phenomenon is widespread in Gulf countries and is also emerging in Lebanon and Jordan

    The estimated number of female labour immigrants in the ESCWA region is 1.5 million

    High level of remittances flowing from and tothe ESCWA regionIn 2004, Gulf countries were the source of US$ 26 billion in remittances

    Saudi Arabia is the 2nd most important source of remittances worldwide

    In 2003, the ESCWA region received US$ 21.6 billions in the form of formal/registered remittances

    Gulf countries are the source of almost half the remittances flowing to Lebanon, one third to Sudan and Yemen, and a quarter to Jordan

    How to consider informal remittances in migration statistics?

    Distorted sex ratios in working age groups because of the sizeable foreign labour force (mostly males)Demographic challenge:Distortion of the age-sex structure in the ESCWA region

    Economic and social challengesUnemployment rates, particularly among youth, are increasing in some GCC countries (e.g. 21% in Bahrain and 26% in Saudi Arabia in 2005

    Unprecedented expansion of the public sector has inflated their wage bills

    Partly because of the sponsored migration (Kafeel) system, along with the unprotected status of migrants in many countries, the social protection is a key challenge

    Lack of data and knowledge related to the distribution of migrants by gender, educational level, occupation, rural/urban originLack of standardized definitions of international migration, making it difficult to compare data of different countries, including discrepancies between sending and receiving countriesUnavailability of regional research centers specialized in international migration issuesLack of specialized surveys tackling the issue of international migrationUnavailability of regional migration databases/information systems combining 2 components: data and policies.

    Data and institutional challenges

    There is an urgent need to establish a Regional Consultative Process (RCP) for the management of international migration:

    1- Among ESCWA or Arab countries (sending and receiving);

    2- Between receiving Arab countries and sending Asian countries;

    3- Between sending Arab countries and receiving European countries.

    Way forward: The need for regional cooperation

    RCP common areas of interest:

    1- Exchanging data on migration from surveys, censuses, and administrative records;

    2- Exchanging information and data in relation to undocumented migration and the trafficking of individuals across borders;

    3- Exploring means of maximizing the benefits of migration, whether for sending or receiving countries;

    4- Cooperating to channel the benefits of emigration to national development in the sending countries;

    5- Tackling any emerging migration-related issues.Way forward: The need for regional cooperation

    Thank you


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