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OECD Calls for Immigration Policy Reform

A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has highlighted a rise in migration registered in OECD countries after several years of decline, which it says is being caused by an increasing number of people moving within the European Union.

There is also an increase in skilled migration and humanitarian movements, says the OECD, and migration policies therefore need to adapt to these changes.

The report found that permanent migration flows to the OECD area rose by 1.1% in 2013 following a fall of 0.8% in 2012. Over 115 million immigrants currently live in the OECD. Around 10% of new migrants come from China, and approximately 20% come from Asia.

Germany appears to be an increasingly popular destination for migrants within the OECD, with numbers rising sharply in 2013 to over 450,000 people. Three-quarters of all immigrants to Germany come from other EU countries.

The report also found a 70% increase in the number of highly-educated migrants, taking their total to over 31 million.

“Countries would benefit more from immigration if they consider migrants as a resource rather than a problem, and integration policies as an investment,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

“Migration policies should be a priority for OECD countries, and integration policies should be seen as the best possible investment in terms of growth, social cohesion and well-being,” he added. “The short and long-term costs of standing still in the face of rapidly changing needs are high. Policy makers need to lead an open and informed debate to build confidence and ensure everyone benefits.”

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