When nearly a million Vietnamese “boat people” fled their country in the late 1970s and early 1980s and sought refuge elsewhere, they were typically seen as a burden and often turned away. Eventually, many were allowed to settle in the US. Most arrived speaking little or no English and with few assets or relevant job skills. Yet Vietnamese refugees are now more likely to be employed and have higher incomes than people born in the US.
The unfolding refugee crisis requires a bold, comprehensive and global response. At the same time, OECD countries should adapt their policies to foster the integration of those who are going to stay. While this implies significant up-front costs, it is also essential to reaping sizeable medium- to long-term social and economic benefits.
The OECD and CEB have led global work on migration for decades: the OECD has contributed analysis, data, knowledge, and tools to inform dialogue and shape policy; and CEB has worked on the frontlines, financing social projects for migrants, refugees, displaced persons, and other vulnerable groups. Given the complementarities between our work, the potential synergies from co-operation are clear.
Sweden should address housing shortages, begin integration activities early, and improve the support for those with low skills to speed up the effective integration of refugees, according to a new OECD report.
The OECD LEED Programme launches this "Call for Initiatives" to extract what local authorities and other actors know works, what the new scenario is demanding and how equipped they are to respond. We are interested in learning from the experiences of EU member countries, the wider OECD area as well as other countries.
Latvia has undergone major economic and social change since the early 1990s. Despite an exceptionally deep recession following the global financial crisis, impressive economic growth over the past two decades has narrowed income and productivity gaps relative to comparator countries in the OECD. But Latvians report low degrees of life satisfaction, very large numbers of Latvians have left the country, and growth has not been inclusive. A volatile economy and very large income disparities create pressing needs for more effective social and labour-market policies. The government’s reform programme rightly acknowledges inequality as a key challenge. However, without sustained policy efforts and adequate resources, there is a risk that productivity and income growth could remain below potential and social cohesion could be further weakened by high or rising inequality.
This brochure looks at how financial education can contribute to longer term policies aimed at facilitating the integration of refugees. The provision of financial education, as a complement to supply-side financial inclusion initiatives as well as other education and health support, can support refugees and migrants by facilitating social and labour market inclusion as well as improve their (financial) well-being.
The heads of the OECD and UNHCR, at a joint high-level Conference on the integration of beneficiaries of international protection in Paris today, have called on governments to scale up their efforts to help refugees integrate and contribute to the societies and economies of Europe.
Colombia has made major economic and social advances in recent years. The combination of strong economic growth and policies targeted at the most vulnerable groups improved considerably the living standards of the Colombian population. Today, the country enjoys higher employment and labour force participation rates than the average of OECD countries and unemployment is steadily declining. Nevertheless, despite these positive trends, deep structural problems remain. Labour informality is widespread, the rate of self-employment is high and many employees have non-regular contracts. Income inequality is higher than in any OECD country and redistribution through taxes and benefits is almost negligible. In addition, half a century of internal conflict and violence has displaced a significant part of the population, and many of them are living in extreme poverty. Despite considerable progress, violence continues to be a challenge and also affects trade union members and leaders. The Colombian Government has undertaken important reforms in recent years to address these labour market and social challenges, and the efforts are gradually paying off. However, further progress is needed to enhance the quality of jobs and well-being for all. The main trust of this report is to support the Colombian Government in tackling labour market duality, generate trust between the social partners, develop inclusive and active social policies, and get the most out of international migration.
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This edition of Migration Policy Debates scrutinises the factors that facilitate human trafficking, as well as the smuggling routes to OECD countries. It synthesises available evidence and reviews existing policy tools for tackling such crime.