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The human desire to seek decent employment and livelihoods is at the core of the migration-development nexus.

As more people cross borders to work in the coming years, fair and effective migration policies that protect the rights of migrant workers and reduce the costs of labor migration will be essential for achieving economic growth and enhancing development outcomes for migrant workers and their families, and for countries of origin and destination.

First, what is sustainable development?

Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:

  • The concept of needs, in particular, the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given.
  • The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.

To combat the massive economic, social and environmental challenges, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define global priorities and aspirations for 2030. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seek to mobilize global efforts around a common set of goals and targets. The SDGs call for worldwide action among governments, business and civil society to end poverty and create a life of dignity and opportunity for all.

Migration and the SDGs

Migration is one of the defining features of the 21st century. It contributes significantly to all aspects of economic and social development everywhere, and as such will be key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Different opportunities and levels of development in origin countries can drive migration.

At the same time, migration can increase development and investment in origin countries, fill labor gaps in host countries and contribute to development along the journey. It is a strong poverty reduction tool – not just for migrants themselves, but also for their families and their wider communities.

Part 2 continues here →