Migration is a global phenomenon which has been constantly shaping economies and societies since the beginning of mankind. According to the United Nations (UN), the number of international migrants reached 258 million in 2017, and has continued to grow since then.
As a whole, migration is a key contributor to economic prosperity. Migrants compose approximately 3 percent of the world’s population, but produce more than 9 percent of the global GDP.
Whether from the perspective of their host countries or their countries of origin, migrants represent important human capital. Migrants replenish the shortage of labour force in countries marked by demographic crisis. They frequently bring professional skills as well as innovation and entrepreneurship. In the countries of origin, remittances from the diaspora often constitute a vast source of national economic growth.
The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises “the positive contribution of migration for inclusive growth and sustainable development”. UN Members have committed to “cooperate internationally to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration involving full respect for human rights.”
The importance of global mobility and migrants is also clearly referenced in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Target 8.8: Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Target 10.7: Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.
Chambers of commerce can play a significant part in providing migrants with professional training and facilitating their employment in the private sector. In this brochure, ICC WCF aims to highlight and strengthen the role of chambers in the economic integration of migrants. This brochure outlines some of the concrete actions undertaken by chambers to assist migrants to integrate professionally in their local host countries. In line with chambers’ experiences, we classify their efforts into three broad categories:
1. Supporting the professional integration of migrants
2. Empowering refugees in the local labour market
3. Assisting returning nationals
The examples provided in this brochure are by no means exhaustive. They are a compilation of initiatives and programmes which have been brought to our attention. ICC WCF seeks to receive more contributions from chambers playing an active role in the economic integration of migrants. Please write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep compiling these examples with a view to create a digital compendium that can be updated continuously.
Finally, a selection of essential references on the topic of global mobility and economic migration can be found at the end of this brochure, including official documents from the UN as well as research from regional organisations and the private sector.