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Managing International Migration in Developing Countries

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IOM’s research project on emigration dynamics in developing countries, launched in 1993, brought together teams of researchers in four regions of the developing world: Sub-Saharan Africa; South Asia; the Arab region; and Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The article reports the findings of team members as reported to, and discussed by, 180 participants, including those from 57 governments, at IOM’s twelfth Migration Seminar held in Geneva during April 1997.

The research had been carried out under a common conceptual framework which addressed emigration dynamics through changing economic, demographic, political and ecological circumstances in each country or subregion; the role of networks already established between persons in sending and receiving countries; and the nature of entry restrictions imposed by receiving countries.

A central objective of the research was to try and measure interaction between the variables in specific country and subregional situations and, as far as possible, provide results that could assist policy makers in both developing and developed countries. This objective had been facilitated by workshops held in each region during 1995–96 comprising researchers, officials and policy makers.

Although economic, demographic, political and ecological circumstances varied considerably between countries in the four regions, conference delegates agreed that the approach adopted by the researchers, including contact with officials and policy makers, had provided new insights into the emigration dynamics process.

Recommendations made during conference discussions included the need to establish an effective system of migration information exchange between and across regions; that on the basis of results achieved so far research on emigration dynamics should be continued and broadened; and that there should be sustained dialogue between policy makers, officials, researchers and NGOs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: IOM/UNFPA Project, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: September 1, 1997

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