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Circular migration – pros and cons

Author: The Broker
Knowledge brokers in international sustainable development.


  • Encourages a steady flow of remittances, spread over a larger group of recipients
  • Reduces the effects of a brain drain
  • Increases the likelihood of a ‘brain gain’ and ‘brain circulation’
  • Minimizes negative social impacts on the families left behind
  • Follows ‘natural’ migration patterns
  • Reduces opportunities for employers to exploit illegal immigrants
  • Allows receiving countries to adapt migration according to labour needs
  • Increases employment opportunities for migrant workers
  • Opens the receiving countries to globalization
  • Encourages the development of multicultural societies


  • Will not discourage continued illegal immigration
  • Requires strong measures to prevent migrants settling and bringing their families
  • Works only if the free movement of temporary migrant workers is limited
  • Results in the bureaucratization of labour migration
  • Increases the risk that migrants will settle and thus put pressure on social systems in receiving countries
  • Increases opportunities for employers to exploit temporary migrants
  • Could result in the creation of second-class citizens
  • Could put downward pressure on wages in the lowest sectors
  • Could result in friction between people of different cultural backgrounds
Author: The Broker

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Knowledge brokers in international sustainable development.

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