From email@example.com Sat Mar 4 05:34:31 2000
Globalisation likely to increase migration pressures, ILO forecasts
AFP, 2 March 2000
GENEVA, March 2 (AFP) - The globalization of the world economy will intensify migration in the 21st century as the freer flow of goods and capital worsens income inequalities and shakes up traditional labor markets, according a study released Thursday by the International Labour Office (ILO).
The report said the increased trade and investment fueled by globalization will not be enough to offset the need for jobs in poorer countries.
Instead, social disruption sparked by economic restructuring is likely to shake more people loose from their communities and lead them to look abroad for work, said the author of the report, Peter Stalker.
Entitled "Workers without Frontiers - The Impact of Globalisation on International Migration," the ILO report puts the current number of migrants around the world at more than 120 million and predicts the figure will grow.
"Most predictions point to a much higher scale of labor mobility in the 21st century," said the director of ILO employment strategy, Werner Sengenberger, in a foreword to the report.
This was not because of a liberalisation of immigration controls, he said, "but because of growing labor supply pressures, rising income inequalities within and across nations brought about by globalisation itself and the revolution in information and communication technologies."
The report noted that Indonesian labourers earned 0.28 dollars a day in their country in 1997, compared to two dollars or more per day in neighbouring Malaysia.
Meanwhile, political and social pressures can influence migration patterns as host countries become more resistant to new arrivals, contributing to the the emergence of a commercial migration industry and spurring growth in illegal trafficking.
The smuggling of migrants without papers is a business worth five billion to seven billion dollars a year, according to a study quoted in the ILO report.
"Trafficking is a very lucrative enterprise. An organised trip over an East European border, or a boat trip from Morocco to Spain, would be worth about 500 dollars, but a sophisticated travel package from China to the United States can cost up to 30,000 dollars," Stalker said in the report.
The illegal flow of workers has created a large market for forged documents, and Bangkok has developed into a major production centre, he said.
Forged documents, mainly Japanese and Korean passports used by Chinese emigrants, are worth about 2,000 dollars a piece, the report said.