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Thursday, 2 March, 2000, 11:22 GMT
Increase in migrant workers
Slum living
Many countries are still a long way from prosperity
It was always thought that increasing globalisation would bring more work to poorer nations.

But according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), it has led to a rise in migration, as people leave home in search of work.

The number of people living in foreign countries has risen to an estimated 130 million, up from 75 million in 1965.

Instead of creating a level economic playing field, increasing international flows of capital and goods were generating more migration, said the ILO report.

ILO logo
The ILO report says migration will rise in the short term
Industrialised nations had been quicker to exploit opportunities for trade, increasing their demand for labour.

And big falls in the cost of travel and communications had made migration easier, reducing the material and emotional costs.

The report noted that labourers in Indonesia earned $0.28 a day in 1997, compared with more than $2 a day in neighbouring Malaysia.

"In a world of winners and losers, the losers do not simply disappear. They seek somewhere else to go," said report author Peter Stalker.

Fierce struggle

"In the short term, free trade may stimulate further emigration because increasing exports from industrial countries will cause unemployment in some sectors of the 'sending' countries."

In the long term, said the report, closer integration of economies could reduce the need to emigrate.

But the poorest developing countries faced a fierce struggle to catch up with the industrialised world.

The ILO report also estimated that the smuggling of migrants without papers was a business worth up to $7bn a year.

"Trafficking is a very lucrative enterprise. An organised trip over an East European border, or a boat trip from Morocco to Spain, would be worth about $500," wrote Mr Stalker.

"But a sophisticated travel package from China to the United States can cost up to $30,000."

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19 Feb 00 |  Business
Talks end with plea for the poor
24 Sep 98 |  The Economy
World jobless at all time high
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