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Symposium 2014

Background Paper - Creating Virtuous Talent Triangles

The Challenge

Migration and demographic trends are rapidly shifting. South-south migration has become as significant as migration from the south to the north. Talent pools in aging and demographically declining reg ...

Migration and demographic trends are rapidly shifting. South-south migration has become as significant as migration from the south to the north. Talent pools in aging and demographically declining regions are shrinking. Yet, the outcomes of migration can vary, and these outcomes can be influenced by a number of factors, which include but are not limited to the provision of rights to migrants, the level of preparedness of migrants, and language skills. Virtuous talent triangles aim at creating wins for the main stakeholders involved: migrants, emigration countries, and immigration countries. Asia has taken on the challenge: much has been undertaken to improve the rights of migrants and to ease the movement of labor. National governments have also taken steps to prepare migrants for life and work abroad, as have immigration countries, by helping newcomers integrate into their new home countries. Furthermore, international, national and nongovernmental stakeholders have worked to improve the data available on the scope, nature, and outcomes of migration.

When migrants are subject to social exclusion, non-recognition of skills and limited prospects of residence they can become trapped in a vicious circle of hardship. In the worst case, migrants can be exploited for their labor, their personal safety put at risk; they can even lose their lives. One can speak of a “triple loss” when migration regulations play a role in producing negative outcomes for migrants, destination countries and countries of origin. Yet the outcomes and impacts of migration can be managed to a large extent, when these are coherent and address the whole migration process. Such policies require coherence not only within single governments, but across a number of nation states. In contrast to such vicious circles, virtuous talent triangles can achieve a triple win from migration, in which migrants, countries of destination and origin countries benefit. This background paper looks at what is wrong with migration policies today and what can be done to improve them so that the benefits of migration are enhanced and the negative outcomes mitigated.