Migration Current Affairs

India highest recipient of Remittances in 2017: World Bank

According to recently released Migration and Development Brief by World Bank, India has retained top position as recipient of remittances with about $69 billion in 2017. India was followed by China ($64 billion), Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion) and Egypt ($20 billion).

Key Highlights of Migration and Development Brief

Global remittances: It grew 7% to US $613 billion in 2017, from US $573 billion in 2016. Global remittances are expected to grow 4.6% to $642 billion in 2018. It include flows to high-income countries. The stronger-than-expected recovery in remittances was driven by growth in Europe, Russia and US.

The rebound in global remittances was due to higher oil prices and strengthening of Euro and Ruble. The upsurge is likely to continue into 2018 on back of stronger economic conditions in advanced economies (particularly US) and increase in oil prices that may have positive impact on GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries.

Low-and middle-income countries: Remittances received by these countries in 2017 has reached US $466 billion in 2017. This was an increase of 8.5% over US $429 billion in 2016. India received $69 billion remittances in 2017 as against $62.7 billion in 2016. It had picked up sharply by 9.9%, reversing previous year’s dip (8.9% in 2016), but was still short of $70.4 billion received in 2014.

Remittances to South Asia: It grew a moderate 5.8% to US $117 billion in 2017 and it will likely grow modestly by 2.5% to $120 billion in 2018. Flows to Pakistan (received US $20 billion) and Bangladesh (US $13 billion) were both largely flat in 2017, while Sri Lanka saw small decline (-0.9%).

Global average cost: The of sending $200 was 7.1% in Q1 of 2018, more than twice as high as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of 3%. Sub-Saharan Africa remained most expensive place to send money to, where the average cost is 9.4%.

Transit migration: The transit migrants-who only stay temporarily in transit country, are usually not able to send money home.  Migration may help migrants to escape poverty or persecution, but many also become vulnerable to exploitation by human smugglers during transit. Host communities in transit countries may find their own poor population competing with new-comers for low-skill jobs.

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India has largest diaspora population in world: UN Report

According to UN World Migration Report (2018) Indian diaspora is world’s largest, with slightly more than 15.6 million people from India living overseas. The report was released by International Organisation for Migration.

The Indian diaspora constitutes 6% of the total number of international migrants (people living outside the country of their birth), which was estimated at 243 million in 2015.

Key Facts

According to the report, Mexico has the second largest diaspora after India followed by Russia (3rd), China (4th), Bangladesh (5th) and Pakistan (6th). The Gulf nations house biggest share of the Indian diaspora — nearly 3.5 million or 22% of total Indian diaspora.

The global migrants figure has risen by 10% over that recorded in 2010. In other words, out of global population of 7.3 billion, one of every 30 people was migrant in 2015.  However, if computed as percentage of world’s population, the growth of diaspora has been largely static, from 3.2% in 2010 to 3.3% in 2015.

Notably, people in working age group, between 20 to 64 years, account for nearly 72% i.e. significant chunk of international migrant population. Nearly half of all the international migrants worldwide in 2015 were born in Asia, primarily originating from India, China and other South Asian countries

Since 1970, the US has been the main destination for international migrants. The number of foreign-born people residing in US has almost quadrupled from fewer than 12 million in 1970 to 46.6 million in 2015 of which nearly 2 million are of Indian origin.

International Organisation for Migration

IOM is an intergovernmental organization that provides services and advice concerning migration to governments and migrants, including refugees, internally displaced persons and migrant workers.

IOM was established in 1951 as Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) to help resettle people displaced by World War II. It was granted Permanent Observer status to UN General Assembly in 1992. Cooperation agreement between IOM and the UN was signed in 1996.

IOM works in four broad areas of migration management: Migration and development, Facilitating migration, Regulating migration and Forced migration. It has 166 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, It has more than 9,500 staff and 450 offices worldwide.

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