International migration-development nexus : the case of the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT)
Title: International migration-development nexus : the case of the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT)
Author: ASALI, Ramzi B.
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2015/52; Migration Policy Centre
The international migration-development nexus has attracted a lot of scholarly attention in the last few years. It is widely believed that international migration can have profound and positive impacts on the development process in migrant-sending countries if the governments of these countries adopt proper policies. In this paper, I take the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as a case study to examine the impact of international migration on the development process in this conflict-stricken country. The Palestinian case is an interesting case study because the OPT: has a very weak economy; has very high population growth rate; and suffers from high levels of political instability. Therefore, it has all key factors that push migration. In fact, migration, forced and voluntary, has been a consistent and structural feature of the life of the Palestinians since the late nineteenth century, and this extensive migration has resulted in a large number of spreading all over the world, including very successful and well-established communities in different countries such as the USA and Germany. In my paper, I examined five key aspects of international migration that could have a positive impact on the development process in the OPT: 1-Bilateral & multi-lateral temporary labor agreements between the OPT and other countries, that aim at reducing unemployment in the OPT; 2-Financial remittances sent back to the OPT; 3-Diaspora organizations that support development activities in the OPT; 4-Investments that are made by diaspora Palestinian businessmen in the OPT; 5-Return migration and brain circulation of highly skilled diaspora Palestinians. Based on a wide range of scholarly materials and official reports that are relevant to the international migration-development nexus in the OPT, I argue that international migration could be a potent development tool in the OPT if it is utilized effectively by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in a way that is sensitive and responsive to the peculiar and complex Palestinian context. The PA should formulate a clear policy about migration, and the issue of migration should be fully institutionalized and integrated into national development planning so that the positive developmental impact of international migration is maximized.
Subject: Migration; Migration-development nexus; OPT; Palestine; Circular migration
Type of Access: openAccess