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Promoting the effective economic, social, and political integration of migrants can boost prosperity. The effective integration of migrants can generate economic, social, and security benefits for everyone - not just for migrant communities. There should be a fuller recognition both of successful integration policies and programs in some places, such as traditional immigration countries like Australia, Canada, and the US, and of ongoing challenges in other places (including some European Union members). The Migrant Integration Policy Index, published most recently in 2020 by the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs and the Migration Policy Group, measured policies for integrating migrants across eight policy areas in EU member states and other countries including the US, Canada, and Japan. The Index showed that integration policies across the 56 countries covered were, overall, only halfway favourable; while migrants may enjoy several basic rights - a category where the average country score was 62 out of 100 - many do not enjoy equal opportunities, where the average score was 41 out of 100. In addition, in terms of labour market mobility policies, many countries demonstrated ample room to improve when it comes to creating the conditions for “equal quality employment over the long-term.” Sweden ranked first on the index, with an overall score of 86 (a score of 100 indicated the most favourable possible environment for migrants). The US ranked 6th, the UK was 18th, and Saudi Arabia came in last (with a score of 10). In many places, there has been greater recognition in recent years of the positive role that local governments can play in attracting and integrating migrants - both those who have moved within their country, as well as internationally. The innovative use of technology, often developed by migrants themselves, has helped to support effective integration services. The German government, for example, implemented its “Asyl Online” digital platform to more efficiently transfer information among authorities involved in processing applicants for asylum. Inadequate integration can potentially bolster public support for far-right, anti-immigration political efforts - which may in turn make it more difficult to promote a balanced narrative about migration. Other extreme, but nevertheless potential, risks include the religious radicalization of second- and third-generation migrants who have been marginalized in host societies due to poor integration efforts.

Integrating Migrants


Increasing significance of migration