Effects of Migration
Migration will have both positive and negative consequences for sending and receiving states alike, but on balance the benefits will outweigh the costs for most countries.
Most experts believe that migration will continue to contribute significantly to noninflationary economic growth and demographic balance, despite some initially higher welfare costs and some downward pressure on wages in relevant sectors.
Impact on Host Countries
On the positive side, emigration will help relieve some social and political pressures from the large, unemployed and restless youth cohorts of poor sending countries. Moreover, immigrant remittances and returning immigrants will provide important balance of payments help, direct investments, and useful skills in their home countries. Immigrant populations can often act as liberalizing and modernizing forces in their native lands, particularly at times of political transition.
On the negative side, emigration will drain some sending countries of an increasing portion of their small, highly educated elites (National International Council, 2001).
Emigration will relieve pressures from their unemployed youth, generate substantial remittances, and often provide them with leverage on receiving countries. Returning immigrants often will be agents of economic modernization and political liberalization. But emigration also will result in the loss of skilled personnel—especially in Sub-
Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, and Russia—while ethnic diasporas will sometimes be agents of extremism or separatism, as in the Balkans.
Impact on Receiving Countries
On the positive side, migration will offer a source of demographic and economic dynamism for aging developed countries that will replenish their youth cohorts and expand their shrinking labor and military recruitment pools. It also will expand their tax and consumer bases that are key to maintaining fiscal balance, the social contract, and economic growth.
On the negative side, immigration and refugee flows sometimes will change the balance of ethnic and political power within and among nations, especially in developing countries. Large-scale flows of migrants and refugees— some recent, some decades old, and some yet to take place—will provoke political instability and conflict.
For most receiving countries, immigration will provide demographic and economic vitality for those with aging populations—even as it raises complex political and social integration challenges (National International Council, 2001).
In the Philippines, the Filipina domestic had become synonymous with the nation-state. If Filipina domestic workers occupied low-status jobs, the Philippines as a country had come to problematically occupy a low-status on the global stage. The saddest reality as found in the mission is the irreparable damage that has been inflicted to the reputation of the Filipina woman in the international scene because of the indiscriminate deployment of our women as domestic helpers (DHs) and entertainers. The country has gained the embarrassing reputation that it is a country of DHs, entertainers, and even prostitute. It is said that even in a certain dictionary the latest definition of the word ‘Filipina’ is a ‘housemaid’ (Rodriguez, 2005).
The impact of migration on women's health is complex, depending on whether she is migrating or staying behind, and what types of work she is involved in. Trafficking victims are at the most serious risk in terms of injuries and sexually transmitted diseases, and refugee women often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder with little or no recourse to treatment and support. (AWID, 2008).
Women are particularly exposed to infectious diseases and are not informed enough about sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS (December 18, 2008).
Immigrants and refugees have sustained the stresses of both a move and of being newcomers to our society, with similar barriers in language and understanding of a new culture and health system. In general, refugee patients are at higher risk for physical and emotional crises after arrival than at other times (Ivey, 2001).
Family and Social Relationship
Migration has its positive and negative impact on the families these women left behind. While it is true that these women secure the economic stability of their families, various implications on family’s values set in. Their roles as wives and mothers are mostly the areas where disturbances among the family occur.
The types of effects examined include those on family structure and composition, family headship, marriage and divorce, intergenerational and intrafamily relationships, care of children and the aged, the economic situation of the family, the role and status of women and power relationships in the family. Both migration and the family are in a very dynamic situation and there are important two-way relationships between them. International migration has both positive and negative influences on families in Indonesia. It is important to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between migration and family to maximize the benefits and at least ameliorate the negative effects (Hugo, 2002).
Others believed that women’s migration undermined the social and moral fabric of Philippine society as families were left without wives and mothers. Migrant advocates, including NGO workers, religious groups and scholars, echoed public concerns about women’s migration, specifically the migration of domestic workers. They too believed that the migration of women negatively impacted their families left behind in the Philippines (Rodriguez, 2005).
Studies conclude those women’s migration leads to “values disorientation,” in families and the neglect of children (Beltran and Rodriguez 1996). Meanwhile in a public dialogue sponsored by migrant advocates, it was found that the overseas workers and their families are not able to release their psychological anxieties and emotional distress. This results in loneliness and depression and to some extent, others would rather commit suicide (Rodriguez, 2005).
As for the social relationship, migrant women display considerable agency. They contribute to the economic development of their countries of destination through their competencies and skills, and to that of their countries of origin through their remittances and their increased experience when they return to those countries. Upon return to the countries of origin, migrant women may disseminate the importance of rights and opportunities for women. They engage in activities supporting health and education in the community.
Making migration a win-win situation for the host countries, source countries and female migrants
Strengthen policy and laws about migration both in the host and source countries must be strongly established. Policies must focus on:
o Protection of migrants in their host countries
o Remuneration and benefits of these overseas workers
o Improvement of economic status of the sources countries, so that need for going overseas will not be apparent anymore
o Improvement on recruitment scheme for overseas workers
o Coordination with host countries
In the Philippines, Republic Act 8042 (RA8042) was passed mandating many important policies very specifically related to better protecting women migrants. It addresses the calls for migration reform that the broader public and migrant advocates had been articulating over the years. It states in RA8042 that, “The State recognizes that the ultimate protection to all migrant workers is the possession of skills. Pursuant to this and as soon as practicable, the government shall deploy and/or allow the deployment only to skilled Filipino workers”. For domestic workers, who the state officially categorizes as “vulnerable workers”, this has meant mandatory training programs prior to deployment overseas. In addition to skills training, the state also expanded its worker education programs attempting to better disseminate “information of labor and employment conditions, migration realities and other facts, and adherence of particular countries to international standards on human and workers’ rights which will adequately prepare individuals into making informed and intelligent decisions about overseas employment”. Post-deployment, in countries of destination, RA8042 mandates government services on-site that offer additional training and skills upgrading programs. Moreover, the state provides legal and welfare services for migrant workers in distress. Because the state has officially incorporated a “gender sensitive” approach to migration policy, it means that all of these programs attempt to address the specific problems faced by migrant women. Finally, the state, through RA8042, even mandates new forms of non-governmental organization (NGO)-state partnership that engage migrant advocates in the provision of services and programs to aid in migrant workers’ protection. RA8042 states, “non-governmental organizations, duly recognized as legitimate, are partners of the State in the protection of Filipino migrant workers and in the promotion of their welfare”.
• Organizations and support groups of the families left behind by these women must be provided by the State. Program and activities must be provided that seek to fulfill the needs of these families in terms of emotion, mental, psychological and spiritual aspects.
• Identification of ways better to promote “stay at home” development that will provide women with employment opportunities, education, health care and other services, legal rights, and protection from violence in their home communities. Such programs would help ensure that migration is by choice, not necessity, and that women migrants who with to return can do so in safety and dignity.
• Providing means of investment/economic stability for the migrants women when they return to their source countries.
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