Developed countries urged not to curb migrant workers

Dec 18, 2008 (LBO) – Developed countries should not shut out migrant workers at times of economic crisis as they still face labour shortages and workers need to send money home to fight poverty, International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. They should see migrants as part of the solution during economic crises, the IOM said in a statement to mark International Migrants’ Day today.

Labour migration provides opportunities for countries like Sri Lanka as it helps reduce unemployment and improves incomes.

The Sri Lankan government has said it wants to send out more skilled labour to improve remittance flows.

The IOM said countries should recognize the positive contribution that migrants can make to economic growth and recovery and resist the temptation to close doors to them in times of economic slowdown.

“Although the economic crisis is still unfolding and its full impact remains unclear, it would be counter-productive for governments in developed countries to close their doors to migrants,” it said.

“Many of them are still needed in jobs that citizens in industrialized countries are unable or unwilling to take, says IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

This structural need for migrants, who represent