JO - 60 per cent of most 'highly-educated' J'cans have migrated, says report
60 per cent of most 'highly-educated' J'cans have migrated, says report
ARLENE MARTIN-WILKINS, Lifestyle co-ordinator
Friday, September 15, 2006
NEW YORK, USA - A new United Nations report on International Migration has painted a grim image of the island's workforce, saying that as much as 60 per cent of the most 'highly-educated' Jamaicans have migrated - mainly to more developed countries such as the United States, Britain and others within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The migration of skilled labour has long been a source of concern for developing countries, which regard it as a major impediment to their development.
But the full report, which was released yesterday at a high-level dialogue on international migration, as part of the 61st General Assembly which began on Tuesday, says similar situations exist in other Caribbean countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Haiti, as well as several countries in Africa.
"Between 33 and 55 per cent of the highly-educated people of Angola, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania live in OECD countries. That proportion is even higher - about 60 per cent - for Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago," the report said.
It added that nearly six out of every 10 highly educated migrants living in OECD countries in 2000 originated in developing countries.
"In 2002, there were about 20 million migrants with tertiary education, aged 25 or over, living in OECD countries, up from 12 million in 1990. People with tertiary education accounted for nearly half of the increase in migrants older than 25 years in the OECD countries during the 1990s," according to the report.
Tracking the movement of people between countries in the 21st century, the report said international migrants at the global level numbered 191 million in 2005, the majority of whom - 34 per cent - went to Europe, followed by North America, which hosted 23 per cent. Another 28 per cent went to Asia, while nine per cent went to live in Africa.
The Caribbean received a mere three per cent of the 191 million migrants, which according to Hania Zlotnik, the director of the UN Population Division, is due to the "unattractiveness" of countries within the region.
"There's nothing attractive. economically. to really pull migrants there (Caribbean)," Zlotnik told journalists participating in the 2006 journalists fellowship programme, which is being run by the UN.
Referring to the report, Zlotnik said nearly six out of every 10 international migrants (112 million) reside in countries designated as "high-income". However, he said these "high-income" nations also include countries categorised as being in the developing state such as Bahrain, Brunei, Kuwait, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.