Migration and development

South-South migration


With the world’s 82 million South-South migrants forming about 36% of the total stock of migrants, South-South migration is an increasingly significant factor in the economic and social development of many developing countries. Given that this type of migration differs from migration to OECD countries in important ways, the purpose of our work is to help policy makers create distinct policies that address South-South migration and are in line with comprehensive development strategies.




Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development: Case Studies and Policy Recommendations (IPPMD)

The OECD Development Centre is carrying out a three-year project, co-funded by the EU Thematic Programme on Migration and Asylum, on the interrelations between public policies, migration and development. The overall objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of partner countries to incorporate migration into the design and implementation of their development strategies, through a better understanding of the links between sectoral policies and migration. The project is based on ten country studies in Asia, Africa and Latin America.


Assessing the Economic Contribution of Labour Migration in Developing Countries as Countries of Destination (ECLM)

In 2014, the OECD Development Centre initiated a 3.5-year project in collaboration with the ILO on assessing the economic contribution of labour migration in developing countries as countries of destination. The project aims to have a reliable and evidence-based understanding of the economic contribution of labour immigration in low and middle-income countries, covering: contribution to GDP and growth, impact on the labour market and impact on public finances and social services. The project is undertaken in 10 developing countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America.





Immigrant Integration in the South, Chapter 3, Tackling the Policy Challenges of Migration: Regulation, Integration, Development (2011)

by Jason Gagnon and David Khoudour-Castéras

Although South-South migrants face much of the same resentment from the locally born over jobs and wages as their South-North counterparts, the issues in South-South flows need to be analysed from a quite different standpoint. Whereas Northern receiving countries tend to be relatively homogenous in terms of language, culture and ethnicity, this is often not the case in the fractionalised and multi-ethnic countries of the South where borders are porous and immigration controls lax. An examination of immigrant experience in West Africa and in particular Ghana shows that governments do not give priority to integration and Northern models of assimilation and multiculturalism are not necessarily applicable. Lack of integration can lead to the formation of ghettos with associated acute poverty and disease. The problems of refugees and stranded migrants add an extra dimension to the issues of social cohesion and integration.


DEV Working Paper No. 312: South-South Migration in West Africa (2012)

by Jason Gagnon and David Khoudour-Castéras

Although South-South migrants face much of the same discrimination and integration challenges as their South-North counterparts, South-South flows need to be analysed from a different standpoint. An investigation of immigrant experience in West Africa, with particular focus on Ghana, shows that despite the prevalence of intra-regional migration, most governments neglect integration issues, generating costs not only for immigrants and their families, but also for host communities. Against this background, the standard models of integration used in the North – assimilation and multiculturalism – are not necessarily applicable. On the one hand, borders are generally more porous and immigration controls more lax, so that assimilation models are not well adapted as many migrants do not stay long enough to adopt local customs. On the other, national linguistic, cultural and ethnic diversity tends to be higher in West Africa, so basing immigration integration on multicultural premise may have little impact. Integration policies in the South should take into account these differences and focus on the protection of migrant rights, while also fighting discrimination and fostering the incorporation of immigrants into society.


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