INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION FOR EMPLOYMENT
TOWARDS A SYSTEM OF RECOMPENSE
FOR INTERNATIONAL LABOUR MIGRATION
International Labour Office, Geneva
INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION FOR EMPLOYMENT
TOWARDS A SYSTEM OF RECOMPENSE
FOR INTERNATIONAL LABOUR MIGRATION
Note: This is a Working Paper issued by the International
Migration for Employment Branch. It is circulated
informally in a limited number of copies to stimulate
discussion and critical comment. It is restricted and
should not be cited without permission.
Copyright Q International Labour Organisation, 1982
The designations of countries employed, which are
in conformity with United Nations practices, and
the presentation of the material in this paper do
not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever
on the part of the International Labour Office
concerning the legal status of any country or ter-
ritory or of its authorities, or concerning the
deliminations of its frontiers.
The responsibility for opinions expressed in ILO
Working Papers rests solely with their authors,
and their circulation does not in any way constitute
an endorsement by the International Labour Office
of the opinions expressed in them.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. PREFACE, by W.R. Bbhning
B. TOWARDS A SYSTEM OF RECOMPENSE FOR INTERNATIONAL
LABOUR MIGRATION, by W.R. Bohning
I. INTRODUCTION ..................................... 1
II. FORERUNNERS OF RECOMPENSE ........................ 4
(a) Bhagwati's brain drain tax .................. 4
(b) The International Labour Compensatory
Facility .................................... 6
Address by Jordan to 1977 International
Labour Conference ........................... 6
UN General Assembly resolutions and stirring
at UNCTAD ..................................... 8
Follow-up to the World Employment Conference
and to Jordan's address ..................... 10
(c) Retrospect and prospect ..................... 11
III. THE STATE, BORDERS AND IMMIGRATION ............... 13
(a) The State ................................... 13
(b) Borders ..................................... 15
(c) Immigration of active persons .............. 16
Scope .......... ............................. 16
Why active foreigners are admitted ......... 18
Why international migration takes place ..... 19
(d) Legislative examples of fundamental
principles .................................. 21
(e) Limited abrogation of controls ............. 25
(f) Political contradictions and administrative
problems ........................................ 26
(g) Outlook ......................................... 29
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IV. MIGRATION CHARACTERIZED BY HUMAN RESOURCE
TRANSFER .......................................... 32
(a) Scope ........................................ 32
(b) Official or business migration ............ 35
(c) Contract migration .... ..................... 38
(d) Settlement migration ...................... 41
(e) Free migration ............................ 42
(f) Irregular migration ..... .................... 43
V. RECOMPENSE: WHY, HOW, HOW MUCH? ................ 45
(a) Justification ............................. 45
The principal institutional justification .. 45
The supplementary economic justification ... 46
The legal inequity ...................... ... 50
(b) Procedure .................................... 50
(c) Amount ...................................... 53
A portion of the basic wage ................ 53
Hypothetical illustrations ................. 56
Imputing values to human resource flows .... 57
VI. IN LIEU OF CONCLUSIONS: OUTLINE OF A MODEL
AGREEMENT ................................. 61
(a) Statistical examples of hypothetical number
of cases liable to recompense in the past .. 67
(b) Statistical examples of hypothetical amount
of recompense due in a recent year ........ 73
(c) List of countries hypothetically liable to
recompense ................................ 76
(d) Bibliography .............................. 77
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This is the second working paper of the ILO's International
Migration for Employment Branch. The objectives of the Branch
are to contribute to (1) the evaluation, formulation and appli-
cation of international migration policies suited to the economic
and social aims of governments, employers' and workers' organi-
sations, and (2) the increase in equality of opportunity and
treatment of migrants and the protection of their rights and dignity.
Its means of action are (a) research and reports, (b) technical
advisory services, (c) technical co-operation, (d) meetings, and
(e) work concerned with international labour standards. The
Branch also collects, analyses and disseminates relevant infor-
mation and acts as the information source for ILO constituents, ILO
units and other interested parties.
This new working paper series continues the Migration for
Employment project working paper series which formed part of the
ILo World Employment Programme between 1975 and 1981. A set of
selected WEP research working papers is available in microfiche
form for sale to the public.
The starting point of the following paper was the address
to the 1977 International Labour Conference by Crown Prince Hassan
of Jordan, which is quoted extensively on pp. 6-7 below. The
1980-81 ILO Programme and Budget asked for review of the justifi-
cation of "compensation" and investigation of various operational
formulae through which it might be achieved. It goes without
saying that the case which I have made for "recompense" expresses
my own view and not necessarily that of the ILO or of the Govern-
ment of Jordan for that matter.
I should like to thank David Freedman, Phil Martin, Felice
Morgenstern, Italo Musillo, Samir Radwan, Ned Reubens and Chuck
Stahl whose comments on an earlier draft and views assisted me
greatly. Their willingness to comment should not be interpreted
as an endorsement of the view expressed here. Indeed, some of
them disagreed substantially with me; but because their dis-
agreement helped me in clarifying my own thinking their assistance
is gratefully acknowledged.
Recompense is a new word for a recently emerged subject. It is meant to
designate a payment for another country's human resources when one wishes to utilise
them. Until well into the 1970s this idea had not entered the academic literature
or political speeches. When it did, compensation was the label attached to it.
This reflects the grievance that fomented its appearance. However, the word does
not serve its cause well. Compensation invariably signifies a loss suffered, the
money supposedly making good the loss, at least to some extent. This is its
accepted meaning ever since Workmen's Compensation Acts have been drafted. The
justification which is implied in the word is intuitively obvious. Not so in the
context of international migration Our image of migration portrays the sufferings
and successes of the people who move. A justification for compensating losses
inflicted upon emigration countries through the outflow of migrant workers or
refugees or any other category that comes to mind is not immediately obvious; it is
in fact quite difficult to grasp; and it can be attacked easily. Hence the need
for a new term to designate a basically sound and defensible idea. Recompense does
not have the millstone of assessable losses around its neck; it still permits a
specific meaning in the field of international migration.
Irrespective of its specifics, recompense stands a chance of becoming accepted
and acted upon only if two conditions are fulfilled. First, it must relate to
economic or production requirements (such as the division of labour, the growth of
output cr profits). Second, it must be powerfully supported in national and
international political arenas. A moral impulse alone, however noble, will not
breathe life into the idea. One may be reasonably optimistic as regards the first
condition. That economic needs in immigration countries are at the heart of much
contemporary international migration is undoubted. That the institutional
arrangements of contemporary sovereign States allow the entry of foreign labour only
if there is a demonstrable need, and that this principle is likely to be more loudly
asserted and strictly implemented in the face of rising emigration pressures,
provides good reasons for hope. As regards the various political arenas, national
ones naturally have the advantage of decisiveness and of making commitments stick.
It is possible, albeit improbable, that one day an immigration country unilaterally
and voluntarily undertakes to set up a system of recompense without real prompting
from the countries supplying it with labour (in the same way in which, for instance,
the world's first social security system was introduced in Germany 100 years ago
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without noticeable pressure from "below"). However, a more probable scenario is
bilateral negotiations requested by emigration countries where the outcome will be
enacted through national law. Preferences, linkages, even pressurising come into
play here. At the regional and most of all at the international level these factors
are less powerful and commitments are less enforceable. Still, the international
process has a useful role to play in the gestation of recompense. Interested
parties can draw on it for political or intellectual support; and it is in this
spirit that I have written this brief monograph.
However, the political feasibility of recompense is not the object of this
work. Nor is it the administrative feasibility of transferring money from one
country to another, which happens daily at the snap of a finger. The aim of this
study is to put forward for discussion a justification for recompense and to explore
the key operational problems that would be encountered in implementing any scheme of
recompense or of compensation for that matter. Readers should not expect an
economic treatise on the costs and benefits of international migration. I do not
believe one can reasonably argue that, in normal circumstances, the outflow of
workers will make emigration countries worse off than they are. Cne can argue that
immigration countries will gain more than emigration countries (Bahning, 1978). The
case that will be made here proceeds from a political and institutional 2ersg tlve
and is based on the fact that immigration countries would not admit foreign workers
with a view to employment if it were not in their economic interest to do so.
The plan of work is, firstly, to trace the forerunners of the notion of
recompense, thus illuminating the many different perspectives present at its
beginnings. Secondly, to explain the nature of the State, the excluding function of
borders, the reasons why foreigners are admitted and international migration takes
place. It is on these fundamental factors that the idea of paying for another
country's labour can and indeed must be established. Thirdly, to typify the
multitude of today's international migration movements involving a human resource
transfer and screen them to see in how far they derive from or accord with those
fundamental factors and could, therefore, be liable to recompense. Movements whose
origin can be attributed to other factors, such as humanitarian considerations, are
sorted out; they cannot justifiably be merged with the conceptual frame of
reference of recompense. The distinctions made are later applied to a selection of
representative immigration statistics. Of course, this statistical determination
of what might have been recompensable cases in the past, had the criteria proposed
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here been adopted by the countries referred to, is meant to be entirely hypothetical
and illustrative. Fourthly, to elaborate the justification for recompense and to
examine whether or which general administrative practices lend themselves to the
implementation of the principles of recompense. This will bring us to the question
of the amount of recompense to be paid. Possible yardsticks, such as the cost of
migrants' upbringing or education, are reviewed and discarded in favour of a one-
month wage or salary in ordinary cases. This section will also serve to sharpen
still more the basic idea of recompense and to mark off its boundaries. Confusion
is the worst enemy of recompense.
It should be made clear at the outset that the terms "migrant", "foreign
labour" and "immigrant" or "citizen working abroad" and "emigrant" are used
interchangeably as are the terms "immigration country", "migrant-receiving country"
and "country of employment", on the one side, and "emigration country", "migrant-
sending country" and "country of origin", on the other. None is meant to express
either temporary or permanent intentions on the part of the mover or on the part of
the country he enters or from whence he comes. Many migrants do not have definite
intentions regarding the duration of the move, or they change them while abroad (see
e.g. B6hning, 1982). Some governments admittedly have limited-stay policies, and
they cast them in such telling phraseology as "non-immigrant" or "temporary
employment". But not only are the administrative definitions highly varied, more
often than not the law and practice at least of advanced industrialized countries
-enable migrants to change from one status to another, thus rendering the literal
interpretation of policies inaccurate. Throughout the text the word "migrant",
etc., is used in a generic sense; unless otherwise stated it should not be taken to
coincide with the meaning of any national or international law. There will be an
opportunity later to consider the proper meaning of temporariness.
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II. fORERUNNERS OF RECOMPENSE
(a) Bha.wati's brain-drain tax
Towards the end of the 1960s a number of development economists and
politicians became concerned at the apparent inability of Third World countries to
catch up with the First World. Simultaneously, the large-scale movement of
professional, technical and kindred workers from the Third to the First World turned
into an international issue.- The first to articulate distinct links between the two
subjects was Jagdish Bhagwati, once Professor at Delhi University, India, and later
at universities in the United States of America. He proposed to levy a surtax on
the income accruing to brain-drain immigrants in developed countries with a view to
transferring the receipts to developing countries. Several permutations,
modifications and justifications have evolved through the interplay of academic
dispute and political temptations (see, e.g., Bhagwati, 1976a, 1976b, 1977, 1978,
1980; Bhagwati and Partington, 1976). They all have in common a basically moral
position. According to Bhagwati, migrants are the fortunate few who, while
maintaining their rights as citizens, escape their domestic tax obligations; and
the people left behind are, by and large, less well able to carry a tax burden.
Morality demands, he says, that this double inequity be rectified. An economic case
for a surtax on skilled migrants' incomes has also been made by Bhagwati. In his
view, the stiff immigration restrictions and substantial wage differentials between
rich immigration and poor emigration countries imply that migrants from the latter
will earn a substantial rent.
Proposals of a different ethic inspiration aim at tax deductions or credits
(Oldman and Pomp, 1976; Pomp and Oldman, 1977). In the first case, individual
migrant taxpayers in rich immigration countries would be allowed to deduct from
their taxable income the amount they might wish to contribute to charities in poor
countries. In the second, they would be permitted to earmark a proportion of their
taxes for routing to a designated UN agency for developmental spending.
The brain drain and surtax features of Bhagwati's proposals were perceived as
unnecessarily restricted to "brains" and punitive by Western Europeans who had begun
to realise the inequities to which international labour movements could give rise.
A representative of the Italian Government at a 1974 ILO Conference suggested that
"part of the benefit received by immigration countries, such as taxes, should be
paid into a special fund to be used for the purpose of transferring work" to the
emigration countries (ILO, 1974, para. 47). At a Nordic seminar, a representative
of the Finnish Ministry of Labour proposed that "part of the direct taxes paid in
the host country by a migrant worker are transferred to the country of origin", due
account being taken of different taxation systems (Majava, 1974, p. 15; see also
Majava, 1976). These, then, were proposals for international revenue-sharing and
not restricted to the brain drain.
I myself entertained for a while the idea of a differential surtax on
migrants' gross wages to be held in trust in case of return.1 However, the drawbacks
of imposing any kind of special tax on migrants have become increasingly clear. It
is discriminatory compared with the tax burden of nationals of the immigration
country; it may be onerous for the individual who is, in effect, subject to double
taxation; it might induce evasion and illegal employment if workers and employers
collude and "split the difference". To extend the tax system to one's citizens
working abroad is perfectly legitimate and perhaps desirable, but the immigration
country will have to forgo a corresponding amount lest it place the migrant in a
difficult position and lay itself open to the charge cf tolerating discrimination on
grounds of nationality. Where an immigration country unilaterally makes allowance
for taxes owed to an emigration country, it would effectively enter into a revenue-
sharing agreement without having conceived it as such. At any rate, surtaxes, tax
deductions or credits blur the two distinct issues of national and international
distributive justice. Moreover, they are not tangibly related to economic or
production requirements in the country the immigration country which is to part
with income generated within its borders, which does not augur well for the success
of such schemes.
Bhagwati has at times considered taxation of highly skilled migrants on the
grounds of losses inflicted by their migration on those left behind. He explained
that this is a case for compensaion to be paid by:
the migrants themselves for the privilege of being allowed to move
internationally in a world which, unlike in the 19th century, has
"Skilled migrants might, for the sake of argument, be levied at a rate of 2
per cent, unskilled ones at 0.5 per cent. This would reflect the different
education costs and constitute a disincentive for those whose out-migration is least
desirable. Should the migrant return within, say, five years, he would receive the
accumulated amount to use as he wished ... If he did not return ... the funds would
revert to the State as a proper compensation for its original expenditure on
education and training" (B6hning, 1975, p. 275).
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unfortunately learnt to accept immigration restrictions as consistent with
human rights. But it is also then a case which needs argumentation on a case-
by-case approach, for the brain-drain phenomenon is not always a brain-drain
problem (Bhagwati, 1978).
This personalisation of compensation puts the matter into the sphere of national
distributive justice vis-A-vis the emigration country. No immigration country could
feel morally obliged to have anything to do with collecting the tax. As the
economic need for the tax arises outside its borders (even though a real demand for
migrants may exist within), the tax has not a sufficiently important function for
the immigration country to persuade its decision makers to endorse such a proposal.
(b) The Intsrnational Labour
The issues of taxing brains or compensating migrants' countries of origin were
not on the agenda of the 1976 ILO World Employment Conference, but international
manpower movements and employment were. During the negotiations of the Programme of
Action, several representatives of the Third World wished to refer explicitly to
measures of financial compensation through an international fund. Leading First
World countries were adamantly opposed. As a compromise, the Programme of Action
states that multilateral and bilateral migration agreements should "provide ways of
limiting losses in countries of origin, particularly developing countries, which may
result from the departure of skilled personnel whose education and training they
have provided" (para. 43(i)).
One year later, Crown Prince Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of
Jordan, a country in the throes of an apparently unstoppable flow cf workers to its
oil-producing Arab neighbours, gave a special address to the International Labour
Conference. It provided the first important political airing of the ideas with
which this monograph is concerned, albeit under the misnomer compensation. To do
justice to the various rationales touched upon in this speech, it will be quoted
Address by Jordan to 1977 International Labour Conference
Under the mounting pressure of rising costs of living, (Jordanian)
workers were easily lured by lucrative salaries abroad. Unable to resist the
temptation, skilled and semi-skilled workers continued to leave the country.
This labour drain reversed the traditional picture, and we found ourselves in
Jordan in dire need of labour, compared with our previous surplus. This
shortage of necessary skills had its impact in turn on our ability to
implement our development plans ...
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Since the primary resource of my country is the human element ... we
feel that there is a pressing need for a set of formulae to be elaborated and
adopted at a universal level in order to ensure that the terms of trade
between capital and labour do not degenerate further in favour of capital.
Unless this imbalance in terms of returns is discouraged, the gap between the
rich and poor countries is bound to widen further and may, in the foreseeable
future, reach intolerable limits.
It is hardly necessary for me to emphasise here the obvious fact that
labour is at least as important a factor of production as capital. It is
becoming increasingly clear to planners around the world that man is the
primary development factor and capital occupies a secondary position. The
issue is fortified if one looks at the cost incurred in preparing capable
human beings and that of accruing capital. In many developing countries,
qualified labour is getting to be in chronically short supply. Thus, economic
conditions should be, but are not, tipping the exchange rate between labour
and capital in favour of labour. The world at large still discriminates
between labour and capital exports. The time has come to give labour exports
the attention and consideration traditionally accorded to capital transfers.
In order to do this, there is a need for an international agreement on the
movement of labour whereby proper remuneration and treatment are ensured ...
What I have just said naturally applies equally to the outflow of highly
skilled manpower. The familiar phenomenon of the brain drain must be
harnessed, regulated and controlled if we are to keep developing countries
from becoming anaemic economically, socially and intellectually.
In this over-all context, I should also like to propose the
establishment of an International Labour Compensatory Facility (ILCF). It
could be elaborated along the lines of the Trust Fund for Compensatory
Facilities of the International Monetary Fund. The proposed facility would
draw its resources principally from labour-importing countries, but in, a
spirit of solidarity and goodwill, other ILO Members may contribute to it.
The accumulated resources will be diverted to developing labour-exporting
countries in proportions relative to the estimated cost incurred due to the
loss of labour (ILO, 1977, pp. 281-3).
Several points stand out. There is no mention of taxing migrants. There are
references to the brain drain but not in such a way as to exclude ordinary skilled
and semi-skilled or even unskilled migrants from the scope of "compensation". The
justification for calling into question the traditional view that international
migration is an unrequited resource flow brings together losses (in momentum of
development as well as in expenditure on people who move abroad) and the widening
gap between countries (due to the gains reaped by the rich from the export of
capital and the import of the costless production factor labour).
The reference to the International Monetary Fund is puzzling. The IMF
compensatory financing facility enables countries to borrow money, at considerable
interest, when they experience balance-of-payments difficulties arising from export
shortfalls, provided the latter are temporary and largely attributable to
circumstances beyond the country's control. Emigration commonly eases balance-of-
payment problems, lasts for lengthy periods, may be quite irreversible, and at any
rate is nowhere as well-documented as the volumes and prices of commodity exports.
As the IMF facility seemed to provide a fruitless analogy, I have elaborated the
idea of recompense in a different context. It should be mentioned, however, that
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the IMF facility was liberalised in August 1979, since when receipts from workers'
remittances can be added to earnings from merchandise exports (see Goreux, 1980).
UN General Assembly resolutions
In December 1977 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the "Beverse
transfer of technology" (which is UNCTAD's designation for the brain drain from
Third to First World countries). Its eighth preambular paragraph faintly endorsed
Jordan's call for a new view of international migration by "taking note of the
constructive proposal made ... concerning the establishment of an International
Labour Compensatory Facility". One of its operative paragraphs requested the UN
Secretary General, in co-operation with UNCTAD and ILO, "to undertake an in-depth
study of the 'brain-drain' problem, taking into account specific proposals made on
this subject, including the proposal referred to ... above".
The report of the Secretary-General (UN ECOSOC, 1978) makes but a few
references to compensation, mostly in the summary of the ILO submission. The
substantial in-depth analysis of UNCTAD was apparently expected to be published in
its entirety, but this did not happen straightaway. A series of resolutions at
UNCTAD and at the 1978 General Assembly requested that UNCTAD's study be made
"available", so it eventually appeared late in 1979 (UNCTAD, 1979b).
A resolution of the 1979 General Assembly once more recalled Crown Prince
Hassan's proposal and requested a study on the feasibility of establishing the ILCF.
The study took the form of two rather thin UN documents (see UNGA, 1980b and 1981).
The 1980 Resolution proclaiming the Third Development Decade mentioned the brain
drain and appropriate "assistance" to relieve its damaging effects.
In spring 1978, a group of governmental experts met to consider the studies on
the brain drain undertaken by or for UNCTAD (among them the Bhagwati and Pomp-Oldman
papers already referred to). The representative of Jordan submitted a number of
recommendations on behalf of the States Members of the Group of 77 (see UNCTAD,
1978, Annex I). The relevant sections start with the statement: "The emigration cf
skilled manpower represents a transfer of productive resources and there is evident
need to take systematic account of this in international resource flow accounting.
The gains associated with skill flows between the recipient and source countries
should therefore be shared on the basis of reciprocity." The Group then urges the
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developed countries "to institute arrangements whereby the developing countries
share in the economic gains accruing to developed countries from skilled migration,
by means of revenue-sharing arrangements". The following rationales were put
(a) where developing countries incur disruption and economic difficulties in
their economies, there is a cogent case for financial assistance-cum-
compensation so that they may adjust to their loss of manpower with
(b) where developing countries do not incur any measurable disruption and
their comparative advantage is in skill production to export skills
abroad, they can legitimately improve their economic returns from such
migration through revenue-sharing arrangements; and
(c) in so far as there is a prima facie case for deducing that the developed
countries benefit from the inflow of skilled migrants ... such benefits
... may legitimately be shared through income-tax revenue-sharing
arrangements with the developing countries from which these skilled
The position of the Group of 77 then lists the Bhagwati and Pomp-Oldman tax
proposals as well as Jordan's suggestion for an ILCF.
The experts of the industrialized market economy countries were not at all
enthusiastic. They played down the tax proposals and the ILCF and considered that
any compensatory scheme would run the risk of exacerbating rather than mitigating
the brain drain problem "since it puts a premium on brain-drain flows" (UNCTAD,
1978 Annex II). As a result, the agreed conclusions and recommendations of the
Group of Governmental Experts on Reverse Transfer of Technology were devoid of
substantive agreement on the tax and compensation issues raised.
In December 1978, UNCTAD was confronted with the same questions at a higher-
level body. A Pesolution on the Development Aspects of Reverse Transfer of
Technology was adopted but no substantial progress was made. The spokesman for the
industrialized market economy countries explicitly stated that its adoption by
consensus should not lead to the assumption that the position of his group had
changed in so far as compensation for the brain drain was concerned (UNCTAD, 1979a,
pp. 40-48 and 66-67).
In May 1979, UNCTAD V discussed a Resolution on development aspects of the
reverse transfer of technology. Apart from re-stating pertinent sections of earlier
UNCTAD documents, the final wording calls on "the international community" to
"consider examining, in the light of the in-depth study by the Secretary-General of
the United Nations, possible arrangements whereby developing countries experiencing
large-scale outflows of their skilled professionals which cause economic disruptions
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could secure assistance in dealing with adjustment problems arising therefrom"
(para. 9.D.(i), emphasis added). Adoption without dissent was ensured by replacing
the term "compensation", which drew fire from the First World, by "assistance".
Opponents of the idea of compensation may now say that compensation is one thing,
which is not acceptable, and assistance is another, which is acceptable. Proponents
might argue that the position paper of the Group of 77 submitted to the 1978 UNCTAD
Group of Governmental Experts already spoke of "financial assistance-cum-
compensation" as though it was one and the same notion (see quote above, p. 9).
However, this is not particularly fruitful owing to the fact that compensation
invariably means financial redress. It is also noticeable that, in this resolution,
the rich immigration countries are not portrayed as gaining from the brain drain.
In other words, while a strong rationale of international redistributive justice -
gains is not mentioned, a weak one migration-inflicted problems is but is not
operationalised (as it logically should be) in terms of compensation. Besides, the
"international community" seems the wrong addressee for what are (in the case of
migration) primarily bilateral or regional matters.
Follow-uplto the World Emplyment Conference
and to Jordan's address
Within the framework of the ILO, two preliminary working papers, a few pages in
the International Labour Review, some innocuous references in the follow-up report
to the World Employment Conference and a little publicity material marked the
progress of the subject (B6hning, 1977, 1978, 1979a; ILO, 1979a, 1979b; Dajani,
1978). Delegates from the Third World would occasionally pronounce the word
"compensation". Resuscitation was attempted in June 1979 when the International
Labour Conference had before it a draft Resolution concerning follow-up to the World
Employment Conference which mentioned compensation several times. However, again
the word "compensation" was replaced by "assistance". A relevant section now calls
on States to "conclude multilateral and bilateral agreements for solving the
problems of migrant workers in host and home countries. These could provide, where
appropriate, for ... possible schemes to assist developing countries especially in
the area of training, welfare services, taxation and re-employment" (para. II.C(d),
emphasis added). Another suggests that the ILO promotes and, on request, assists in
consultations or negotiations between emigration and immigration countries with a
view to "ensuring that the interests of both sending and receiving countries are
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safeguarded and, in particular, that migration does nct deprive countries of origin
of scarce labour required for their development and, whenever appropriate,
undertaking assistance and co-operation schemes in such areas as training, re-
employment, taxation and welfare services" (para. III. Migration (a)(iii), emphasis
The August 1979 UN Conference on Science and Technology for Development,
during the preparation of which a brain drain compensation fund had been proposed
(UNGA, 1978, para. 51), was addressed by Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan on the need
for an International Labour Compensatory Facility. It adopted the principle of
establishing a financing system for Science and Technology for Development. This
foresees that the system's own resources can be supplemented by anything "that may
accrue from the proposed 'International Labour Compensatory Facility' related to the
reverse transfer of technology" (UN, 1979, para. C. 26(b)). Nothing concrete seems
to have resulted from this initiative yet.
Bhagwati's publications have undoubtedly aroused a great deal of interest;
they have promoted an awareness of problems and they have stimulated the minds of
people who felt that there was a case for rectifying an inequitable situation. As
regards compensation, the word naturally forces the mind into considering losses
suffered by the emigration country. To prove the existence of such losses and to
quantify their extent then becomes inevitable, excessively complicated and probably
unattainable, as Bhagwati's repeated forays in this area have shown.
Two rationales of international distributive justice can be envisaged in the
context of migration. The first could elate the admission of foreign workers to
the losses imposed on the countryof oriin and the second could E _o_ g_ 9gains
of the Sco-untry S of ilS em.lyment from t hei SSnq S (The second can be argued
regardless of whether the emigration country gains or loses.) For the first case,
compensation would indeed be appropriate and should take the form of revenue
sharing. However, if one cannot convincingly demonstrate that for any move
considered there is an acceptable standard procedure for assessing losses inflicted
on those left behind, there is no reason to expect that goM.ejsatdij for migration
will be seriously and lastingly treated at the national or international level. In
any of the second variations, redistribution of the gains could and should also be
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effected through revenue sharing but not on grounds of compensation as ordinarily
understood. Moreover, to bring about measures of redistribution in the
international sphere it is not usually enough to call for justice or solidarity, not
even where comparatively small amounts are involved as in the case of recompense.
One must be able to relate the justification for change to the raison d'tre of the
State, its rules and procedures as well as, in the case of immigration countries, to
the functional requirements of the economy. To these factors I now turn.
- 13 -
III. THE STATE, BORDERS AND IMMIGRATION
(a) The State
Today's world system of States can in most developed areas he traced back to
the impact of the industrial revolution and in most developing areas to the impact
of colonialism. Industrialisation and the formation of nation States occurred
simultaneously and reinforced each other. When independence came to the colonies,
nationality became the most inclusive and most explicitly political element of
individuals' group identity. It did not necessarily signify a culturally
homogeneous group; it hardly ever could in the case of the older nation States of
Europe. But it brought along with it a "we-they" or "in-out" distinction that
overrides everything else. Even in the class-conscious socialist countries the
State did not wither away nor did nationalism. Everywhere, both were simply there
and were pervasive and dominant. The intractable concept cf "nation" or "community"
(Isaacs, 1975; Hanrieder, 1978; Walzer, 1981) need not detain us here; the
institution which expresses its broad purpose, the modern State, can be understood
regardless of one's philosophy.
A State is a sovereign territorial authority. Put differently, it is an
autonomous order relating to a defined territory. Protection is its ultimate
purpose. Membership is the primary status a State bestows upon human beings. It
provides the right to reside in the territory and to participate in the collective
self-determination. Sovereignty legitimates the exercise of institutional power and
endows the State with its specific character in domestic and inter-state relations.
Sovereignty is a legal fiction power is exercised by real people. Some people
muster a great deal of power to exert sovereignty; others command less or are hemmed
in by philosophical constraints. In any case, the legal fiction is operative and
the organisation of the contemporary world into mutually exclusive territories is
its inevitable corollary, indeed its most fundamental norm.
The modern State is, by its nature, increasingly heterogeneous in economic and
social terms because the industrial revolution ushered in a complex and spreading
division of labour. For instance, the production of food, shelter and clothing or
the teaching of children and the entertainment of the community is undertaken by
individuals who assume roles that are limited in scope, increasingly so, and which
are complementary or supplementary to the roles of others. These roles also carry
people, goods and money across borders.
- 14 -
The State is embodied by the Government (by the central government in the case
of federal States). It supervises and integrates the complex domestic and inter-
national division of labour and the diverse forces that form them. It benevolently
tolerates or actively directs the contacts of citizens with other States.
Government action (or inaction) is supposed to be guided by one key objective: to
promote the welfare and satisfy the wants of citizens, including their security.1 No
responsible person or school of thought seriously disputes this principle;
disagreements surface as soon as the specific form it should take is examined in
practice; and there always seems to be more than one way of achieving whatever has
actually been agreed upon. The reason is simple: in a heterogeneous society and
population the view of one constituent group is bound to compete or conflict with
that of another as to what is good for itself or the citizens as a whole. Neither
the "invisible hand" nor the "national interest" or the "class interest" are
sufficiently powerful fictions to fool all of the people all the time.
When foreigners knock at their doors, governments and citizens perceive
additional competing or conflicting interests. Who knows how their presence will
affect the promotion of welfare and satisfaction of wants of the citizens?
Everybody will have his own view about it. The elementary "we-they" or "in-out"
dichotomy seizes possession of brains and emotions.
Governments are subject to purely political, narrow economic, broader social
and humanitarian pressures or influences. These originate mostly from within the
country but sometimes from other countries or international bodies. When it comes
to admitting foreigners, non-economic factors tend to play a more prominent role
than with the flows of goods or money. The appearance of foreigners touches upon
the innermost feelings of people their identity. When they are not refugees, it
commonly also entails a tightening of governmental purse strings. Considerations of
reciprocity can exert a moderating influence; internationally acknowledged
principles of human dignity and rights may temper actions; political support might
be organised domestically in favour of migrants pictured as weak and suffering or
deserving on some other grounds. Nevertheless, it remains true that governments -
I This concept of the State obviously differs from the Marxist concept which
holds that governments serve the interest of one particular class. Apart from
socialist countries, such a thesis may have occasional empirical validity in
countries characterized by a low level of development but not in contemporary
developed market economy countries where a great variety of heterogeneous interests
are articulated in the political process.
- 15 -
and, indeed, citizens will look at foreigners as non-belongers who are subject to
the powers of exclusion and expulsion.1
The modern States draw a border line around them over which foreigners may not
step without explicit or tacit consent. Governments are invested with the authority
to determine whom to admit, under what conditions and with what prospects for
citizenship. Access to the territory and to citizenship is permitted as an
exception or privilege that is extended on its own terms.and which can be revoked.2
As in the case of sovereignty, from which it derives, border control is a
universally acknowledged principle no matter how it is implemented in practice.
"Control includes not only the erection of more or less restrictive barriers to free
movement across state boundaries but also a policy of permissive indifference or
benign neglect, as is the case with respect to exit in most liberal r6gimes during
peacetime" (Zolberg, 1981, p. 8). Citizens, i.e. the native or naturalised members
of the political entity State, cannot be denied access to the territory.
The view of States and borders presented here has recently come under attack
by cosmopolitan philosophy. This invokes the growing interdependence on a planet
that is limited in size and resources; it holds that morality requires concern for
the interests of everyone, not just citizens; and it sees the refusal of entry as
one instance where the interests of non-citizens may be harmed (Lichtenberg, 1981).
However, cosmopolitan morality is singularly unable to operationalise its concepts.
It fails to provide useful guidelines on "whcm", "how many" and "when" to admit or
to stop. It is also quite incompatible with the idea of recompense where one
sovereign territorial authority is to pay another if it wishes to employ the
latter's citizens for its own ends.
I Several countries have voluntarily curbed their powers to expel foreigners
when they are considered a public liability, i.e. when they are unemployed or
without own means of support. This applies, for instance, to permanent resident
aliens in the US and to long-staying guest workers in most of Western Europe (see
BShning, 1982). See also the following section.
2 At least on non-economic grounds. Where foreigners have been given the right
to participate in elections, which is a radical departure from hallowed traditions
and can, as yet, be found only in a few Western European countries such as Sweden
and Ireland, the State still holds certain reserve powers of expulsion. In Sweden,
such foreigners can be expelled on account of criminal offences, asocial behaviour
and membership in terrorist organizations.
- 16 -
On the other hand, the concepts elucidated here are not at all opposed in
character to the philosophies inspiring international law and universal human
rights. Neither doubts that States possess a broad competence in regard to the
entry and expulsion of foreigners. International law holds that the States' powers
clearly limited and confined by established and emergent rules and standards
of international law. On occasion it may be that such limitations operate
only at the outermost edges of an apparently illimitable power, as is often
the case where expulsion is ordered of an alien deemed to be a risk to
national security. But such cases are exceptional and it is more usual to
find the existence of rules which operate to limit the ambit of the power in
question and to direct the manner of its exercise. Such rules have their
origins in treaty, in the practice of States and in general principles of law
(Goodwin-Gill, 1978, p. V).
Defenders of human rights believe that:
a State does not violate a person's human rights by refusing him or her entry,
as well as that:
presence in a territory is sufficient to generate an obligation for the
government of that territory to uphold a person's human rights ... Presence
generates this obligation but it does not preclude deportation in accordance
with due process of law (Nickel, 1980, pp. 15 and 16).
My reiteration of the law and practice of contemporary States should not be
misrepresented as the dogma of a closed and self-sufficient society.
Interdependence between entities claiming autonomy is a fact known since time
immemorial. Economic and political interdependence has been in powerful evidence
since the period between the two world wars. Interdependence is heightened today by
the rapid advances of science, technology and communications side by side with the
spreading and deepening international division of labour. But interdependence does
not deprive States of their inherent logic nor borders cf their essentially
(c) Immigration of active_ persons
It is appropriate now to narrow the subject from international migration in
general to what could readily be called economic migration or labour migration. The
first term conveys some kind of finality or rationality on the part of the
individual who moves. The second puts the limelight on events rather than
motivations and brings the economist's production factor, "labour", into the
picture. Labour migration is perhaps more suitable than economic migration in the
- 17 -
context of recompense. To speak of the migration of economically active people
would be still more precise and is done henceforth synonymously with migration
characterized b a human resource transfer.
In line with international usage, economically active persons include
employers, people working on their own account, salaried employees and wage earners
as well as unpaid family workers. The scope of this definition extends to persons
seeking work for the first time, seasonal workers, persons engaged in part-time
activities and to employed or unemployed people alike. It excludes students, women
occupied solely in their own household, retired persons, persons living entirely on
their own means and persons wholly dependent on others.
Whereas every human being constitutes a potentially important human resource
- and students especially are budding human resources it is more practicable ifor
the purposes at hand to equate human resources with economically active persons as
defined and to abstract for a while from the differential values one might be
tempted to impute to, for instance, a hospital orderly compared with a physician.
Countries' immigration policies regularly distinguish students from economically
active persons and dependants; they do not categorise foreigners in terms of human
resource flow accounting.'
That all migration of economically active people involves a resource transfer
is not a matter of definition but of fact. This may not be as self-evident or as
visible as in the case of the "brain drain", but it is none the less undeniable.
The most humble labourer has absorbed some expenditure provided by parents or
society, and any activity he engages in and for which he receives a wage is
productive; otherwise he would not be paid for it or some arbitrary distinction
would have to be invented as to what is or is not productive. This banality bears
repetition because much of the discussion on human resource flows proceeds as though
differences in degree were differences in kind. Of course, the productivity of
personnel that has undergone a long period of training is higher as a rule than that
of untrained personnel, at least if our conventional yardstick, income, is used to
I The nearest exception to this rule is Canada where, inter alia, one unit of
assessment is awarded for each year of primary and secondary education successfully
completed, several units for more than 31 days of training, further units for
experience in the occupation in which the applicant is assessed, and so on, up to a
maximum of 100 points that can be scored on economic or personal grounds or through
family links. Australia introduced a similar point system in 1979.
- 18 -
measure it.' But a 1:5 or 1:10 income gap means precisely that; it does not mean
that the human resource embodied in ordinary working folk can disdainfully be valued
Why active foreigners are admitted
leaving aside until later the special case of refugees, a State opens its
borders to economically active foreigners only in the pursuit of its key objective,
i.e. to promote the welfare and satisfy the wants of citizens. Why and when this
happens is a question bound up with the use of resources within its territory.2
According to the inherent logic of States, on the one hand, and of economic
activity, on the other, a government may consider opening its terders to active
foreigners if land, energy or capital are not utilised to their potential. When
individuals, corporations or the public sector articulate a demand for labour and
there is a physical shortage of labour (in the sense that insufficient citizens or
resident foreigners are present) or a relative shortage of labour (in the sense that
not enough unemployed or inactive can be attracted) the government may, or may
not, sanction the entry of foreign labour suited to the work in question.
When the demand for labour concerns immobile resources, the government's
choice is simple: yes or no. Most countries in the Americas had unused or
underused arable soil for a hundred years or so after independence and freely
permitted immigration. In the case of energy, machinery or money, governments have
the additional option of inducing their utilisation abroad in preference to labour
immigration; but they can rarely enforce relocation and might not insist, owing to
There is a long-run, if somewhat faint, relationship between individuals'
productivity and their personal income in market economy countries. Income
differentials and hierarchies more generally derive from historical power
relationships rather than pure market forces. Piore (1979) has stimulatingly
examined the economic vs. social determination of incomes in the context of
international labour migration.
2 The following resources (or factors of production) may be differentiated:
"land", which includes the arable soil, the space on which rcads are laid out
or houses built, and the minerals (other than energy) underground;
"energy", which ranges from fossil fuels to water-driven electricity
generation and nuclear power;
"labour", which comprises both the physical use of brawn and the mental use of
"capital", which includes the physical capital embodied in goods (such as
machinery, roads, schools) and the investment capital (money) needed to
- 19 -
the insecurity of reaping worth-while rewards from the move. Or they can exchange
one mobile resource for another, as the Arab oil-producing countries of the Gulf
have done, whereupon their small populations could not satisfy the ensuing demand
for labour and massive inflows of active foreigners were directed to the sources of
Why unutilised or underutilised resources exist in a particular situation, or
how they come into being, is rather more difficult to explain than the preceding
examples would seem to suggest (see Bdhning, 1978, pp. 6-8; 1980, pp. 11-22;
Piore, 1979). Whatever the cause may be, it is not directly relevant to the justi-
fication for recompense because recompense hinges on the institutional character of
the State rather than on the underlying economic reasons for admitting active
Why international migration takes place
There is no need to detail why individuals move. Aspiring migrants presumably
expect that a move will be useful or successful in promoting their welfare or
satisfying some other want (see B6hning, 1978, pp. 10-12; Piore, 1979, p. 50 ff.).
What is important is that, as a rule, there are more candidates for migration than
jobs offered to them. Foreign employment opportunities tend tc be snapped up
quickly by an abundant supply of people willing to work. This is not a logical but
an empirical proposition characteristic of the world today and, as far as can be
foreseen, of the world tomorrow.
Of course, it is necessary that there be candidates for migration. But it is
not enough that individuals want to move. If no government wants to admit them and
if borders are closed effectively, there will be no employment of foreigners.
Conversely, for international migration to occur it is neSessar2 and sufficient that
governments permit the immigration of active foreigners. A tap provides a good
analogy. As there is always pressure in the pipe, it suffices to turn the tap to
ensure the flow of water.
This distinction between the necessary- and sufficient conditions for the
presence of foreign labour throughout the world is crucial. It highlights the
demand for labour in the immigration country as the critical cause of contemporary
economic migration. It is for this reason that international manpower movements are
often termed demand-determined (in contrast, for example, to the movements of asylum
- 20 -
seekers where individuals flee across borders although no country has asked them to
come; their moves are supply-determined).
If the foreign human resources were not demonstrably required they would
neither be desired nor admitted for the purpose of productive employment. The
desired entry of economically active foreigners, in fulfilling a functional
requirement of the immigration country's economy, benefits its citizens. Some
sections of the population will gain more from the production of migrants than
others; this is an ineluctable feature of economic activity in societies
characterized by a division of labour; but it does not invalidate the logical
proposition that demand-determined employment of foreign human resources benefits,
in principle, all citizens. It follows that the immigration country must be better
off with than without the foreigners.
The migrants themselves will reap benefits from their labour through the
income accruing to them. Economically speaking, they are, as a rule, better off
than they were in the migrant-sending country, otherwise rationality would impel
them to cease working in the immigration country.
Where the emigration country is poor and developing, afflicted by unemployment
and poverty, it usually also benefits from the employment of citizens abroad. Here,
it is a little more difficult to determine the precise balance of costs and benefits
and to generalise judgements than it is in the case of immigration countries or
migrants. This subject will be taken up in more detail later.
One can tentatively conclude: (a) the migration of economically active
persons (other than refugees and family members) is occasioned by production needs
in the country deliberately admitting them; (b) the migrant-receiving country, the
migrants themselves and probably the migrant-sending country as well benefit from
the move; and (c) in a world where production is woefully inadequate in relation to
known needs, such migration invariably satisfies needs and, especially where it
involves people going from poor to rich countries, contributes to the reduction of
- 21 -
(d) Leislative examples of fundamental
Is there any legislative evidence of the principles governing States'
existence and admission of foreigners that have been presented here? There is.
But the principles are so widely acknowledged and taken for granted that they rarely
appear in national Constitutions or similar basic documents. Constitutions mention,
at most, that the government (or central government) is endowed with the right to
control immigration, or they reserve certain rights for citizens. The access of
foreigners to the territory and employment is left to detailed regulation by the
legislator, administrative action by the executive or challenges in the courts.
Countries not interested in having recourse to foreign labour or which are by-passed
by international migration streams may not crank their legislative machinery,
especially if they are young and underdeveloped and feel that globally acknowledged
rules will serve them reasonably well. Still, countries large and small, developed
and underdeveloped, immigration countries and emigration countries alike have
promulgated relevant laws and enacted administrative rules and regulations. A
selection follows.1 Only key stipulations will be reported; comprehensiveness is
not the aim.
Austria is a small, developed immigration country in Western Europe, which
also experiences some emigration. Its Federal Law respecting the Employment of
Foreigners of March 1975 specifies as prerequisites for the engagement of wage and
salary earners coming from abroad that:
3(1) An employer ... is permitted to employ a foreigner only if he has been
granted an employment permit for that person (or if the foreigner
possesses a certificate of exemption).2
(2) A foreigner ... is permitted to start and undertake employment only if
an employment permit has been granted for him (or if he possesses a
certificate of exemption).1
4(1) The employment permit ... is to be granted if the employment is
sanctioned by the situation and development of the labour market and
there is no objection to it on public or macro-economic grounds.
Should the general economic and labour market situation be judged propitious
by tripartite bodies (comprising government, employer and local worker
representatives), a quota procedure can simplify the utilisation of foreign labour
in defined regions or occupations for a predetermined length of time. It is
A summary of countries' positions and a survey of their law and practice
relative to the ILO Conventions and Recommendations on migrant workers can be found
in ILO, 1980a and 1980b.
2 After eight years of continuous employment or due to marriage with an Austrian
instructive to see what the Austrian law says when foreigners may be hired in excess
of the quota fixed;
4(6) (b) The employment of foreigners shall take place only if particularly
important reasons warrant it, especially:
(1) in the case of key personnel necessary to maintain the
workplaces of citizen workers;
(2) in firms newly founded in structurally weak regions;
(3) as urgent replacement personnel for the filling of a
workplace that has become vacant due to departure of a
(4) in the field of public health or public welfare services;
(c) if public or macro-economic interests require the employment of a
Mauritius is a very small, underdeveloped immigration and emigration country
off the coast of East Africa. Its Employment (Non-Citizens) (Restriction) Act,
1970, lays down that:
sec.3(1) ... a non-citizen shall not -
(a) engage in any occupation in Mauritius for reward or profit; or
(b) be employed in Mauritius unless there is in force in relation to
him a valid work permit and he so engages in the occupation or is
so employed in accordance with the conditions which may be
specified in the permit ...;
(3) ... no person shall have in his employment a non-citizen without
there being in force a valid work permit in relation to that
sec.4(1) an application for a work permit shall be addressed to the
Minister who may, in his absolute discretion, either grant or
Exemptions from the work permit requirement are extended to several
categories, for example, persons employed with the prior approval of the Government
by any body incorporated or regulated directly by statute; persons employed by the
University of Mauritius as academic staff; writers, broadcasters, etc. Work
permits are issued only to migrants who possess specific skills in fields where
local manpower is not available. One of the conditions attached to the granting of
a work permit is that the foreigners should train a local counterpart so that he is
able to take over the job on expiry of the permit.
The United Arab Emirates is one of the small city States on the Gulf with a
legacy of underdevelopment where migrant outnumbers national labour (see Birks and
Sinclair, 1980). Federal Law 6 of 1973 requires foreigners seeking to enter the
- 2; -
- 23 -
country, whether for a visit, work or residence, to obtain an entry permit or visa
specifying the purpose of entry. Work questions are regulated by Council of
Ministers Decree No. 3 of 1977 (this and the following is taken from Dib, 1978, pp.
49 and 58-59). The Decree defines "worker" as any man or woman who performs
remunerative work of any kind in the service of and under the supervision or
direction of an employer. Excepted from the Decree's provisions are:
(1) employees, workers and labourers brought in by the Government for work in its
ministries, departments and public organizations;
(2) employees of diplomatic and consular missions and branches as well as of
specialised agencies of regional and international organizations working in
the country; and
(3) domestic servants and similar personnel.
Foreign workers outside these exceptions may not be brought into the country
without permission of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Permits are
delivered after determination that the work involved cannot be performed by a
citizen. The Decree also permits the collective immigration of foreign workers in
cases where they number 25 or more.
A citizen or legal resident of the UAE can submit an application for the
individual or collective immigration of foreign workers on the following conditions:
(1) that he submits written evidence justifying that his business requires the
particular worker or the number of workers involved;
(2) that he enters into an engagement vis-a-vis the Ministry of Labour and Social
(a) to assume and guarantee responsibility for the persons) he will bring
into the country;
(b) to take the measures necessary for the preparation and signing of the
(c) to return the persons) to the place they came from.
Work contracts are subject to the approval of the Ministry of Labour and
Social Affairs and may not be valid for a period exceeding five years.
- 24 -
In April 1980 a comprehensive "labour code" came into force for the United
Arab Emirates through the Federal Law to Regulate Employment Belationships, No. 8 of
1980. It says:
Article 13 No non-national may be recruited for work in the United Arab
Emirates without the prior approval of the labour department and
without first obtaining a work permit ...
Such permit shall be granted only if the following conditions are
(a) that the person possesses the professional competence or
educational qualifications required by the country;
(b) that the person has lawfully entered the country ...
Article 14 The labour department may not give its approval to the recruitment
of non-nationals unless its records show that, among the nationals
registered with the employment section, there are no unemployed
persons capable of performing the work required.
The provisions of this law do not apply to domestic servants employed in
private residences and the like, employees working in small establishments normally
employing a maximum of five employees, and employees engaged in temporary jobs for
a period not exceeding six months.
The United States of America is the most important immigration country in the
contemporary world. The legislation is correspondingly extensive and complex (US
Congress, 1980). The Immigration and Nationality Act excludes from admission:
aliens seeking to enter the United States, for the purpose of performing
skilled or unskilled labor, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined and
certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that (A) there
are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified (or equally
qualified in the case of aliens who are members of the teaching profession or
who have exceptional ability in the sciences or the arts), and available at
the time of application for a visa and admission to the United States and at
the place where the alien is to perform such skilled or unskilled labor, and
(B) the employment of such aliens will not adversely affect the wages and
working conditions of the workers in the United States similarly employed"
(section 212(a) (14)).
The preferential admission of specified numbers of immigrants, i.e. presumed
permanent settlers, aims at:
qualified immigrants who are members of the professions, or who because of
their exceptional ability in the sciences or the arts will substantially
benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural interests, or welfare of
the United States, and whose services in the professions, sciences, or arts
are sought by an employer in the United States (section 202(e)(3)),
as well as
qualified immigrants capable of performing specified skilled or unskilled
labor, not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which a shortage of
employable and willing persons exists in the United States (section
- 25 -
In addition, employers in the United States may petition for an alien as a
non-immigrant, i.e. for someone who is not expected to settle permanently, namely:
an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of
abandoning (i) who is of distinguished merit and ability and who is coming
temporarily to perform services of an exceptional nature requiring such merit
and ability, and who, in the case of a graduate of a medical school coming to
the United States to perform services as a member of the medical profession,
is coming pursuant to an invitation from a public or non-profit private
educational or research institution or agency in the United States to teach or
conduct research, or both, at or for such institution or agency; or (ii) who
is coming temporarily to the United States to perform temporary services of
labor, if unemployed persons capable of performing such service or labor
cannot be found in this country, but this clause shall not apply to graduates
of medical schools coming to the United States tc perform services as members
of the medical profession; or (iii) who is coming temporarily to the United
States as trainee, other than to receive graduate medical education or
training (section 101(a)(15)(H)).
(e) Limited abrogation of controls
A number of countries have, in a limited way, modified their exclusiveness
towards citizens of countries with which they are allied economically, politically
or to which they feel specially close historically. For example, beginning in 1954,
the Scandinavian countries have abolished labour market tests for the nationals of
Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (Lnnnroth, 1978). Work permits are not required
when a citizen of these States wants to work in another Scandinavian country.
Iceland is not a member of the Common Nordic Labour Market, as it is called, but its
nationals are freed from the work permit requirement in Denmark and Sweden. Denmark
is also a member of the European Communities where the labour market border that
delineates mutual exclusiveness has similarly been put around a larger whole. Here,
the border encompasses Belgium, Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, France,
Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdcm. Greece's
accession to this system of freedom of movement and establishment will take place in
stages, and Portugal's and Spain's are to be negotiated. Persons from non-member
countries desiring entry actually still have to grapple with the immigration laws of
individual member States rather than a common jurisdiction (Hartley, 1978); once
admitted they are not free to move between the member States as they please (this
might conceivably change in the future); and there is some dispute as to who should
be considered a national (Bbhning, 1972; Goodwin-Gill, 1978).
The Trans-Tasman_ Areement between Australia and New Zealand has eliminated,
for Commonwealth citizens, the substantive control over the number or type of short-
term or settlement movements, on labour or any other grounds. The inhabitants of
the South Pacific Islands of Niue, Tckelau and the Cook Islands possess the
- 26 -
citizenship of New Zealand and need only passports, not permits, to work in that
country. They are able to come by right, without preconditions regarding jobs.
Two Arab countries, Irag and the Syrian Arab Republic, have unilaterally
decided to exempt all citizens of other Arab States from the definition of
"foreigner" for purposes of immigration and employment. They treat them as though
they were nationals; indeed, they believe that all Arabs form a common "Arab
nation". The laws of some other Arab countries contain a few highly specific
provisions distinguishing selected Arab citizens from foreigners (see Dib, 1978).
At the regional level, the League of Arab States has, since 1957, agreed to
recognize freedom of residence and employment between members. But the League's
limited competence has not given rise to appropriate domestic legislation outside
Irag and the Syrian Arab Republic.
Other regions of the world have also seen steps taken towards the pulling down
of border posts between labour markets. This holds true for the Economic Community
of West African States (ECOWAS) of 1975 and the Central African Customs and Economic
Union (UDEAC) of 1976 to name only those which exhibit a certain durability.
However, it seems that these zones of freedom of movement exist only on paper.
In each case, the countries which relax the controls on entry and employment
of selected nationalities expect this move to he in the interests of their citizens,
in a narrow economic sense or in a broader political way. Preferential treatment
does not remove the "we-they" or "in-out" distinction tut adds graduations.
Sovereignty, as such, is not relinquished. Exclusion or expulsion of foreigners on
grounds of public order or security remains a national prerogative. And the general
principle of final say rests in national hands, even where supra-national powers are
conferred on joint bodies (as in the European Communities), for national governments
keep the reserve power of withdrawal from the supra-national mechanism to which they
(f) Political contradictions and
There is, to paraphrase a proverb, many a slip between principle and
administration. For one thing, a heterogeneous society may include groups which, in
contrast to the prevailing opinion, favour permeable borders. Where such groups
- 27 -
have sufficient political clout, they may be able to render the legislation Porous.
A prime example is the United States. It is illegal to enter the country outside
the procedures foreseen. However, a group of politically powerful growers from
Texas succeeded in making the law self-contradictory by an amendment which ensures
that it is not illegal to employ illegal migrants.' Where political power has been
insufficient, certain employers have not infrequently disregarded the law and hired
foreigners illegally, sometimes simply by tapping the pool of people desperate for
employment, sometimes going out to recruit them or sending out agents to do so (see
N'Goumou and Power, 1974; Kiser and Kiser, 1979). Occasional amnesties testify the
existence of irregular labour inflows (see North, 1979).
Another reason for labour immigration being in discordance with statutory
policies is the near impossibility of policing frontiers effectively. France, for
example, is one of the European countries convinced that it is neither possible nor
desirable to seal borders and to subject every entrant tourist, businessman,
worker, etc. to draconian control and verification. Its governments have armed
themselves with increasing powers to eliminate trafficking and clandestine
employment. At the same time, they have felt obliged to tolerate a certain margin
of reqglarisatiqn, i.e. to legalise ex post facto the engagement cf foreigners who
had not been recruited through the cumbersome official channels but whose employment
would in all likelihood have been approved had it been processed as it should
(Houdaille and Sauvy, 1974; Tapinos, 1975). The so-called adjustment provisions of
the US law and practice are akin to the French regularisation procedure in that they
permit foreigners who are present as tourists, on a temporary visa or illegally, to
be assessed for legal immigration rather than have to return and start proceedings
from home. These provisions are frequently administered with regard to the economic
or family ties already established by the foreigners present in the country.
Yet another reason is laxity borne out of convenience. Saudi Arabia, for
example, has been drawing freely upon the labour of the neighboring Yemen Arab
Republic without institutionalized introduction or screening of entrants at the
i The so-called Texas Proviso of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, section
274(a) reads: Any person who "wilfully or knowingly conceals, harbors or shields
from detection ... in any place ... any alien ... not duly admitted ... shall be
guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not
exceeding $2,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both,
for each alien in respect to whom any violation of this subsection occurs:
Provided,__ hoeverthat for the g.os.esof this section ._ em-_lo including the
usual and normal Practices incident to em omenti shall not be deemed to constitute
harbourinq" (emphasis added).
- 28 -
border. They have been registered wherever they found work. However, the unskilled
work for which the Yemenis were suited is likely to become less plentiful and the
benign neglect of Saudi Arabia's south-western border may eventually be a matter of
the past (Fergany, 1980).
In a somewhat different vein, the long-standing flows of Mossi from Upper
Volta to the Ivory Coast have by-passed numerous attempts by Governments of both
countries to institutionalise and control them (Songre, 1973). The unwieldiness of
the official channels has induced most migrants to strike out on their own.
Employers in the Ivory Coast have generally been content with the responsiveness of
It can also be observed that foreign labour crosses borders in the face of
lack _of exlicit policies or administrative capacity. This used to be widespread in
Latin America (BIT, 1974). Among the factors facilitating it. were cultural
affinity, the partially low density or the rural exodus of the indigenous popula-
tion, together with the brighter prospects on the other side of the border.
Recruitment through employers or governments was of minor importance. Here, too,
the situation is changing, especially at the continent's northern pole of
development, Venezuela, where the authorities seek to close the gap between the
spirit cf nationalism, the letter of the law and reality (see Kritz and Gurak, 1979;
Marmora, 1979; Sassen-Koob, 1979; Torrado, 1979).
Il1esailabour immisa1tion, _.E Ely XgesakiJg, i.e. in contravention and
circumvention of strict laws and intense border enforcement, was for many years a
major occurrence in Hong Kong, where it blended with political refugee movements.
Mention must finally be made of conflictinqEg p1Sc_iygctives. In immigration
matters, humanitarian and economic criteria are particularly prone to mingle and
undercut each other. For example, the United States goes to great lengths to keep
out active foreigners from designated unskilled jobs where US citizens are generally
felt to be available., Anyone seeking to enter through the labour certification
procedure (see p. 24) because he has spotted or been offered a vacant job of this
kind, will be refused entry. However, the 90 per cent or so of foreigners admitted
to the US under the normal family reunification procedure, at least half of whom
subsequently become active, are completely free to pick up any of these jobs.
Moreover, even the other 10 per cent who have been allowed into the country for the
purpose of employment in a certified job can occupy any other workplace from the
- 29 -
moment the immigration controls are passed. In the US, this situation has not been
viewed as a policy conflict but as reflecting the country's history and tradition
(Sorum, 1982). A rather different approach held sway in the Federal Republic of
Germany during most of the last decade. Spouses and children cf non-EEC foreigners
who were gainfully employed and qualified for family reunification were allowed into
the country but not on to the labour market, at least not for several years (see
ILO, 1980a, p. 52; also ILO, Social and labour Bulletin, Ncs. 2/79 and 2/80). The
reason given was that these foreigners were deu.a. not admitted for the purpose of
employment and to do so de facto would be contrary to the 1973 ending of labour
recruitment, conflict with the employment privileges of citizens of the European
Communities and violate the principle of priority for national labour.
Hints have been dropped that countries on various continents are manifesting
a growing concern about the control of immigration generally and labour immigration
particularly. A recent systematic survey of governments' policies confirms these
impressions (UNGA, 1980a, pp. 51-71). The history of nation States has witnessed
periods of relatively open borders as well as tightly closed ones (Zolberg, 1978;
Bohning, 1979b). As far as the future is foreseeable, it seems to hold in store a
stricter adherence to the fundamental beliefs enunciated in this chapter. This
would entail a clamp-down on irregular or illegal migration and more control or
fine-tuning of domestic labour demand and immigration. It is worth while to list
the chief factors responsible for this prediction.
In the first instance, the world is now definitely a closed space that is
daily becoming more populated and marked by diverging living standards. The
overwhelming majority of the poor and destitute live in Third World countries of
Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the bulk of the natural population growth takes
place in the very same countries. "looking to the future ... by the year 2000 the
absolute number of poor people, whatever the definition of poverty used, will remain
roughly the same in developing countries as now" (Hopkins, 1980, p. 573). By
contrast, the populations of the well-off countries of Northern America, Western
Europe, Japan, Oceania as well as the Arabian Peninsula will be still better off
than they are already (Interfutures, 1979).
- 30 -
Poverty or extremes in living standards are, by themselves, insufficient to
trigger off international migration. In effect, contemporary labour migration is
typically fuelled by population strata above the level of destitution, and it is
propelled by the process of development. The poorest rarely have as much
information about beckoning opportunities elsewhere or the resources to get there as
the nct-so-poor. Development itself means change that renders given skills or
occupations superfluous and brings with it new opportunities, information and
ambitions. After all, the country which prides itself on the most mobile popula-
tion, the United States, is the most developed society by conventional standards.
In contrast, undeveloped societies are stagnant in terms of both economic and
Irrespective of the degree to which destitute population groups may be
involved in future economic migration humanitarian considerations might wish them
to be over-represented but the reality of immigration countries' demand for labour
will probably run counter the fact remains that more and more people will chase
the opportunities which development offers. Badio, films, television, newspapers,
letters, etc., will tell of a better life every day. Expectations will rise as such
tales become ubiquitous. Ambitions will know neither bounds ncr borders. Road,
rail, sea and air transport will facilitate travel. The possibilities of satisfying
everybody's expectations and fulfilling personal ambitions will outstrip many Third
World countries' capacities. Some people will be lucky. Others will try their luck
elsewhere, the young in particular, for they feel least constrained and most pressed
to ensure a decent life for themselves or their families; and it is they who people
the Third World (Tapinos and Piotrow, 1978). Therefore, the rest of this century
will very likely see increased emigration pressure from pocr countries, which are
usually populous and their typical inhabitant young. More development in the poor
and the rich countries will, if anything, accelerate this secular trend until that
unlikely day when living standards tend towards rough comparability within and
In the face of rising emigration pressure on a planet limited in space and cut
up into mutually exclusive sovereignties, governments will become more sensitive
about immigration, In today's major migrant-receiving countries, additional factors
militate in favour of stricter controls on inflows and residence. In the advanced
countries of Northern America, Western Europe and Oceania, the zero population
growth movement has gained some political influence, as has the related ecological
- 31 -
group, though the zero economic growth movement has not, or not yet. There is as
well a genuine concern with the least well-off strata of citizens which, on
occasions, spills over into hostility to immigrants perceived as competing for
scarce jobs and welfare services. Elsewhere, the developing Arab countries
bordering on the Gulf have, not surprisingly, been afflicted by anxieties about the
extraordinarily large proportions of foreign labour and the cultural and other
influences this might have. Their indigenous population base is small and the
States have only recently been constituted in their present form. Iraq, which hosts
almost as many foreigners today as does Saudi Arabia, appears still fairly
unconcerned, presumably because its indigenous population is a great deal larger.
But it, too, follows the policy prevailing in the Gulf region with respect to non-
Arab labour, which is to admit it temporarily and for the purpose of work rather
than settlement. South American Venezuela, whose nationals number about as many as
Iraq's but whose foreigners number more and where petro-dollars have created an
acute labour scarcity, has tightened up its policies since the mid-seventies in
concept and implementation. It is now more difficult to migrate to the country
without passing, from the start, through the proper channels.
No doubt, economic forces will continue to open borders much of the time while
social and political forces will tend to close them most of the time.
- 32 -
IV. MIGRATION CHA.EACTERISED BY l MAN
A variety of international labour movements were touched upon in the preceding
chapter. Now the whole range of migration characterized by a human resource
transfer must be sifted through systematically in order to determine which kinds of
movements may be relevant to the idea of recompense. The question whether, or
which, immigration is caused by humanitarian as opposed to economic factors looms
large and calls for an unequivocal answer. How customary or legislated
temporariness of migrant residence, which occasions much unwarranted discrimination
(Bahning, 1979a), might affect the principle or the amount of recompense is another
issue requiring resolution.
The considerations that fellow take as their starting point the finding that
it is the State as an institution rather than the migrant as an actor which
crucially determines contemporary patterns of migration. If the essence of
migration can be attributed to state action rather than migrants' motives or choice,
it makes eminent sense to conceive a typology from the causal end that actually
matters and to drop the pretence of the neo-classical approach that it is the
migrant's personal will which foreordains the distinctions that can be observed or
that his behaviour is the key to understanding what is happening.1
The summary table below gives a first impression of the kinds of movements
that may be liable to recompense. It attempts to make categories as homogeneous as
possible and yet to make them mutually exclusive. The Yes, No or ? obviously
signify recompense and will be explained in the course of this chapter. It may be
noted straightaway that no artificial cross-classifications are introduced to
differentiate brain drain from ordinary flows, temporary from permanent admissions
or rich developed immigration countries from others.
I Zolberg (1978, p. 242) has criticised the migration literature that is founded
on the axiom of individual choice as follows:
From that vantage point, the obstacles that States of putative origin
and destination erect in the path of many who want to go, as well as the
coercive measures that produce departures among many who would prefer to stay,
are treated as events that lie beyond the explanatory domain of migration
theories, as residual error does in an equation. But since the residual error
accounts for more of the variance than does the equation, migration theories
of this sort are, at best, useful as counterfactual models, suggesting what
might occur under conditions of relatively free movement and, at worst,
trivial or even ideologically misleading.
- 33 -
Broad t-yes of international migration characterized bv human
whether liable to recomernse
Official or business migration
Begularisation Lack of policy or Porous law or Circumvention or
or registration administrative incompatible law disregard of
(convenience) capacity unequivocal law
8 9 1C 11
Yes No ?/No No
by law or
------- ------------ -----lr-------- --- --------- ----------------
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Students or trainees do not figure in this scheme because they are given leave
to enter for the purpose of education or training. Should they subsequently seek or
be offered employment, the immigration country's regular procedure for foreign
labour would be set in motion and the now economically active persons would turn up
in category 4 or 6 or be regularised later (category 8), unless irregular employment
would ensue on the lines of categories 9, 10 or 11.
Pilgrims are admitted for non-economic reasons and would be dealt with like
students if they took up employment.
Tourists, even where their presence is welcome economically, are not given
leave to enter with a view to their employment. Change of status would be caught by
efuggees, although their moves involve a human resource transfer, are not
migrants whose admission is sought by the receiving country when domestic resources
are not utilised to their potential and labour demand cannot be satisfied
nationally. They are allowed entry on humanitarian grounds. Many developed
countries recognize an obligation to accept certain kinds or numbers of refugees,
regardless of their own current economic situation or the person's suitability of
skills, age and sex. Quite a few developing countries are powerless in preventing
the crossing of enormous numbers of refugees. Whatever the form, international
migration streams that qualify as refugee movements fall outside the framework of
recompense. This applies to both persons displaced by natural disasters, such as
the advance of the Sahel, and persons fleeing on political and similar grounds.
"Economic refugees" are a hybrid category that cannot in theory exist since
the internationally accepted definition only allows for political and assimilated
refugees.* However, one would have to be blind to deny that they exist in practice
and that some quietly get accepted as political refugees. As long as that is the
case, or even if an appropriate category came into being,2 because the impetus for
I Refugees are persons who leave their own country for another because of a
well-founded fear of persecution by reasons of race, religion, nationality,
political association or social grouping (culled from the 1951 UN Convention
relating to the Status of Refugees). Economic refugees might be defined
analogously, i.e. as persons who leave their own country for another because of a
well-founded fear of perishing by economic circumstance.
2 I believe there is a case for reconciling concepts and practice by
establishing an operational definition of economic refugees, exhorting particularly
the First World countries to adopt corresponding legislation, enabling the reflex of
national specification of the ceilings involved and the trade-offs that might be
(Footnote continued on next page)
- 34 -
- 35 -
admitting refugees is fundamentally humanitarian and their appearance is supply
rather than demand determined, one cannot slap a receiving country in the face by
posing the question of recompense. Refugees and labour migrants are viewed as two
totally different matters by States.
The same holds true for comparable movements that are not considered refugee
movements but where defined ethnic groups move from their country of habitual
residence to the place their forebears came from (as in the case of Germans and Jews
emigrating from Eastern Europe) or where families are reunited (as between the two
Nomads need not be covered here. They are a dying breed, and their entry into
a country is not at the behest of its employers or government.
(b) Official or business migration
When a person moves from one country to another on private or official
business, a human resource transfer occurs. However, where this transfer is not at
the heart of the admission into the migrant-receiving country, i.e. not economically
motivated, recompense would be quite inappropriate. This applies to the first
category, official or religious movements, which comprises diplomatic, consular and
assimilated personnel, including civilian employees of armed forces, related
housekeepers and personal service attendants, also officials of international
organizations, volunteers plus persons coming to join religious bodies or perform
pastoral duties. (Like all such exemplifications in this chapter, this list is
meant to be indicative rather than exhaustive.)
The second category, transport or media representatives or entertainers,
encompasses foreign shipping or airline employees, crews of ships or aircraft,
representatives of information media plus writers, artists, entertainers and
sportsmen. As far as crews and newsmen are concerned, considerations of con-
venience, custom, efficiency and reciprocity have led to the almost universal
facilitation of transitory or short-term entry outside the cumbersome procedures
(Footnote continued from previous page)
necessary with other categories of immigrants; thereby rendering immigration policy
foreseeable and controllable and stemming the mounting hostility towards a seemingly
uncontrollable influx of partly legitimate and partly false political refugees (see,
e.g. Teitelbaum, 1980; Der S elgel (Hamburg), No. 38/1980, pp. 19-26); and thus
making room for the accpetance of undoubtedly deserving categories in countries that
can provide them with a livelihood.
- 36 -
designed to keep foreign labour out. It would be extremely impracticable to change
foreign by national crews when they hit national territory or land at ports.
Newsmen are admitted because it pleases countries to see events reported, not
because they wish to use their manpower. Neither of these two subgroups could
justifiably give rise to recompense.
Foreign shipping or airline employees, on the one hand, appear to be ordinary
workers and therefore subject to the work permit procedure and recompense. On the
other hand, where shipping and airlines are public enterprises, their staff exercise
commercial functions quasi officially and are usually admitted without prior testing
of the availability of national labour. Their marginal numbers would seem to
vindicate neglect of this subgroup for recompense.
Entertainers, etc., are a harder nut to crack. They gain entry because some
section of the national population wishes to appreciate their special gifts.
Subjective rather than objective criteria dominate. They are not needed, in the
strict sense of the word, to realise the potential of other resources, although
entertainment may be a necessary complement to modern productive life. They cannot
be cast aside on grounds of small numbers because they are by no means negligible.
Still, to bring entertainers or sportsmen within the framework of recompense would
seem to deal a symbolic blow to, for instance, the international exchange of
musicians and sportsmen. It would seem best to exempt this subgroup from
considerations of recompense unless strictly commercial criteria govern their
employment in the receiving country.
None of the preceding groups or subgroups is inextricably lumped together with
truly recompensable cases of labour immigration if (as will be argued in detail in
Chapter V) the assessment for recompense occurs at the moment of admission, rather
than after the event on the basis of work permit or residence statistics. Even
where separate legislative categories do not exist, it would be entirely feasible to
determine liability for each individual migrant. As an administrative act is
required for newsmen or sportsmen as much as for apple pickers or nurses, it would
be just as practicable to denote one case of admission as recompensable as it would
be to exclude others. By the same token, such foreign nationalities as are legally
entitled to work in a receiving country, for whom recompense has to be ruled out
because the institutional link between national needs and desired foreign
immigration is severed, can be designated accordingly when the liability for
- 37 -
recompense is fixed, i.e. upon entry, irrespective of whether the receiving country
presently collects or publishes statistics on them. Recompense does not depend on
the measurability of migration (or of skills for that matter). Recompense depends
on the employment country's administrative sanction of each case of foreign
The third category, 2mloyees _of multinational enterprises, includes subgroups
for which different answers may have to be given. Intra-company moves of trainees
is one. At junior grades and young ages, they correspond in substance to those of
ordinary students and trainees (who were earlier explicitly removed from the context
of recompense (p. 34)). Training at senior levels is tied up closely with private
career development and firms' personnel policy and, more often than not, lasts only
a short time; the persons involved may be able to enter as tourists rather than
employees. To spare endless discussions of consistency and practice, it would seem
reasonable not to hold any intra-company training movements liable to recompense.
The law of the United States specifies one group as "treaty traders and
investors" who are usually either entrepreneurs or representatives of overseas
businesses. Tens of thousands are admitted each year. They undoubtedly exist
elsewhere in the world even if they are not separated out from broader groups. It
would be odd, and they would be unknown to immigration authorities, if they entered
as tourists. Admittance under any part of the labour immigration procedure is a
presumption in favour of recompense. Against this may be held that such persons
tend to follow their own impetus rather than the articulation of needs as sanctioned
by immigration countries' governments. However, where they are categorised along
with other foreigners requiring a work permit, there would seem to be no reason to
leave treaty traders or investors out of the framework of recompense.
The final subgroup under this heading brings together the many positions
occupied by foreigners in multinational organizations directors, general managers
and administrative, legal or medical specialists of any kind, researchers,
consultants and designers, also support personnel such as clerks, office machine
operators, even secretaries. All require permission to work. Table 11 shows the
numbers granted admission in a developed country, the United States, which keeps
I See Appendix for tables.
- 38 -
separate statistics for "intra-company transferees".1 This is the kind of foreign
labour to which the idea of recompense seems predestined: for it is allowed into a
migrant-receiving country because its government wishes to utilise domestic
resources fully and cannot do so without the help cf foreigners. That some
multinational enterprises have attracted academic and political wrath has mainly to
do with the distribution of benefits from economic activity, but that is another
Migrants within multinational organizations, like most persons subsumed here
under business migration, tend to view their stay abroad as impermanent, whatever
the actual duration may be. Most countries' work or residence permits for business
migrants, including the relevant US non-immigrant visas, are valid for a certain
length of time. The holders are often subject to restrictions regarding choice of
jobs. Yet none of these factors in any way invalidates the liability for recompense.
What matters is that foreign labour is admitted to further the migrant-receiving
country's ends, at the behest of one of its economic agents and after administrative
screening and approval. In principle, recompense could be due for one day of
admittance. Whether patterns of one day or one year or ten-year employment should
give rise to differential amounts of recompense is a question to be dealt with
(c) Contract migration
The first category under this heading is the one most frequently labelled
"migrant workers", namely individualswho a= decorated to perform a pre-defied
job but who are not otherwise entitled to immigrate. It includes the so-called
guest workers of Western Europe, whether they are normal, seasonal or frontier
workers; people admitted under the temporary employment visa system operated by
Canada and the non-immigrant labour system of the United States; the many Asian
sailors manning foreign-flag ships; the bulk of the migrants aiding the development
of Arab OPEC countries or Venezuela, and so on. For the purpose of recompense it is
1 Their definition is a little bit more restrictive than the general
characterisation given above. The so-called non-immigrant L-l visa class envisages
a foreigner who immediately prior to entry has been employed abroad for at least one
year by a corporation or other legal entity in an executive, managerial or
specialised knowledge capacity and who is seeking to enter the United States to
continue such service with the same employer or an affiliate (sec. 101(a) (L) of
Immigration and Nationality Act). But, in the United States, employees of
multinational organizations who qualify for entry as ordinary immigrants may very
well prefer to enter as such and continue to work for their employer. Thus, the
true number in this category might be a little larger than table 1 suggests.
- 39 -
irrelevant whether an active foreigner is hired under a limited time programme with
built-in return (as a seasonal in Western Europe is and a non-immigrant in the US);
whether the institutional arrangement under which he is admitted initially limits
the duration of his work permit without administratively enforcing return in the
event of expiry or unemployment (as is the rule for a normal guest worker in Western
Europe); or whether he is welcomed as a settler (as some foreigners in Venezuela
are). All movements crucially have in common the incidence of demand-determined
human resource transfer,* which justifies recompense. Table 2 provides an example
of relevant statistics for the Federal Republic of Germany, table 3 for Kuwait and
table 4 for one occupational group, nurses, admitted to the US either as temporary
workers (non-immigrants) or as settlers (immigrants), which demonstrates the
irrelevance of this distinction in the context of recompense.
Of course, it would be wholly laudable if a rich country dispensed with
requests for recompense where its citizens are engaged in a poor country a
question that will probably pose itself repeatedly in the context of recompensable
business migration but can also arise generally. Morality urges unqualified
affirmation. But this moral and diplomatic problem does not affect the justifia-
bility of recompense whenever migration is characterized by a deliberate human
resource transfer. To draw the line somewhere, and to do so with the aid of a
criteria of national economic well-being, I would suggest that countries whose per
capital income is lower than the average per capital income of developed market
economy countries should not be held responsible for recompense. Appendix (c) lists
the countries that could be the target of a demand for recompense according to the
preceding threshold definition and regardless of whether or not they are migrant-
receiving countries. Whatever might be the internationally acceptable income
threshold, United Nations and World Bank data are readily available to determine
which countries fall under it.
Liability for recompense should be ruled out where the foreigner who is
permitted to work was originally admitted on humanitarian grounds. Employment
subsequent to family reunification is an obvious example, the employment of refugees
I Simple regression analysis has confirmed the extremely close variations
between domestic labour demand and the intake of foreign labour in the case of
typical guest worker employment. Ninety-six out of 100 annual admissions in the
Federal Republic of Germany were due to variations in unfilled vacancies (see
- 40 -
another.1 Where the humanitarian resolve is the dominant factor it should entail the
right to pick up work after entry; it would be contradictory to allow access to
employment only when labour demand has first been articulated, then screened and
finally sanctioned officially. This does not rule out that such events are
bureaucratically notified and registered. At any rate, there should be no
insurmountable administrative difficulties when decisions on recompense have to be
taken. One can actually find general statistics on the lines of the distinctions
made here, as table 5 demonstrates with French data.
The second category of contract migration concerns collective moves and
consists of two kinds. The first is group contract migration for the benefit of an
employer in the immigration country, of which a legislative example was given
earlier from the UAE. Statistics do not appear to be published separately for the
persons involved, their numbers are amalgamated with those relating to individual
contracts. The rationale for issuing group contracts is administrative ease. The
underlying economic reason for calling on many foreigners at one time is identical
to that for calling on each of them separately need. Therefore, group contracts
should likewise be subject to recompense.
The same holds true for the second kind of collective moves which includes (a)
the foreign firms which provide "labour only" subcontracting services, and (b) the
foreign enterprises which successfully bid for a project and then provide their own
management and labour and sometimes also the raw material for the execution of the
project. Construction activities have lent themselves well to both "labour only"
subcontracting and the "all-inclusive" moves of enterprises. The Republic of Korea
was the first country systematically to exploit the many opportunities in the oil-
producing countries of the Middle East (see Birks and Sinclair, 1980, pp. 111-113;
and Phili.2ine Labour Review, 1979, pp. 57-66); but enterprises of market economy
countries as well as socialist countries of Europe have long been engaged in this
kind of activity, albeit on a modest scale, those from socialist countries operating
in Western Europe and vice-versa.
I The access to work by foreigners born in the country ("second generation") is
a related point.
- 41 -
(d) Settlement migration
Several countries follow a policy of settlement migration. Its distinguishing
characteristic is that a certain maximum number Jguotalor__a defined cateq.oy __o
foreigners is allowed into the_ country for_good, subject to formal suitability.
Economic considerations can play an important role in deciding who is to be
admitted, but the selection and entry procedure is coloured by the picture one has
of the immigrant as a future citizen rather than as a worker admitted for a limited
The most outstanding example of settlement migration is the United States.
The briefest possible exposition of its policy is helpful in illustrating the
principles of recompense as elaborated in this monograph. The United States
Immigration Act,i firstly, allows for the unrestricted entry of the foreign parents,
spouse and children of adult United States citizens. The inspiration is obviously
humanitarian and the cases involved cannot, therefore, give rise to recompense.
Secondly, the Act makes available 290,000 immigration opportunities each year
according to five humanitarian preferences, two economic preferences and one non-
preference category,2 which are ranked in order of priority. The humanitarian
preferences aim to bring families together or permit the admission of refugees.
Again, liability for recompense cannot arise. The two economic preferences are
ranked third and sixth. The third provides up to 29,000 opportunities for members
of the professions and scientists or artists of exceptional ability, the sixth opens
the door for up to 29,000 ordinary skilled or unskilled foreigners. Immigration
candidates who appear qualified to apply under one of the economic preferences are
informed that they must first have a job offer. Additionally, their prospective
employers in the US must obtain certification from the Department of Labor that
there are no willing, able and qualified resident workers available for the
envisaged occupation and that the employment of foreigners will not adversely affect
the prevailing wages and working conditions in that occupation (see above, p. 24).
Depending on their profession or skill, the foreigners are practically sure to enter
if the Department of Labor has issued a blanket certification for the occupation
concerned. Occupations which are totally barred entail refusal of entry but
applicants can seek other employment. Employers can contest the decision of the
I Specified here in the form valid since October 1978 but disregarding the
Refugee Act of March 1980.
2 The latter enables applicants not entitled to enter under the seven
preferences to immigrate to the extent that numbers are not taken up by preference
- 42 -
Department of Labor in the courts. Non-preference applicants are also subject to
the labour certification procedure. It follows that labour market needs are the
decisive criterion of admission under the economic preferences as well as for
economically active non-preference candidates. It is clear that all certified
labour immigration should be regarded as recompensable. Furthermore, the absence of
large-scale recruitment by US employers tends to favour the "adjustment" of
foreigners already in the country to full immigrants under the appropriate
preference. The labour certification procedure is also applied to them and
recompense would likewise be appropriate. Table 4 documents the extent of legal
immigration on economic grounds and compares it with non-recompensable cases for a
selected occupational group, nurses.
It is worth while to compare the similarities and differences between
settlement migration under economic auspices and the contract migration typical of
Western Europe and the Arab OPEC countries. The difference is basically twofold:
(i) settlement migration gives certain foreigners the right to claim a job offer,
contract migration enables employers to look for any foreigner to fill a specified
vacancy; (ii) settlement migration admits foreigners as presumed future citizens,
contract migration admits foreigners only in their capacity as economically active
persons. Quotas, by themselves, are not a differentiating characteristic; they can
also be found in Switzerland, for example. The similarity of settlement immigration
under economic auspices and contract labour migration lies in the economic
determination of whether a foreigner should be admitted. The institutional
procedures, too, resemble each other. The crucial criterion of admission is the
utility of the foreign human resources in relation to one's own labour market needs.
Both types of migration, therefore, fulfil the conditions for recompense.
Several instances were earlier mentioned of countries that have abolished
their usual entr- and-labouLr market controls for defined_qagous of fioreiners (see
Chapter III(e)). The fact that an international treaty or a national law invests
foreigners with the right, not merely to claim entry, but actually to enter as well
as to work is obviously a deviation from the established principles regulating these
matters. The excluding function of the border and the priority of national labour
are set aside by superior values. In the cases mentioned, the wish to benefit from
the labour of certain other countries is either secondary or non-existent. At any
- 43 -
rate, the basic preconditions for recompense the assumption that active foreigners
are excludable and that employers' requests for them are to be filtered
administratively do not exist. Thus, free migration cannot be subject to
The corresponding earlier chapter (III(f)) already described the various kinds
of irregular migration streams found today. If one were to classify them according
to their apparent liability to recompense, one would have to put the cases of
re12_arisation s or lristiratioL first. There is little doubt that a degree of
administrative inefficiency in controlling entry to the country and labour market
is sometimes accepted, because the demand-determined nature of the migration flow
remains assured and the extent of administrative supervision of the labour market
tolerable. Those foreigners whose presence is judged desirable are regularised or
left to work, others are excluded or deported.2 Testing the availability of national
labour forms part of regularisation procedures. Therefore, when this kind of
irregular migration has been regularised the cases concerned should qualify as
recompensable. Table 6 exemplifies the extent of regularisation in France. Table
4 also contains relevant data in terms of the US adjustment practice under the
third, sixth and the non-preference category.
Where international labour flows are practically uncontrolled due to lackof
EliX_2or _lack of administrative capacity, as was the case for many South American
countries until recently, the preconditions for recompense can hardly be said to be
fulfilled. Although these particular flows were probably largely caused by economic
demand factors in the countries to which the migrants went, they were not positively
sanctioned by governments or administered by them so as to correspond to articulated
Irregular migration resulting from 2orous laws or incompatible laws is less
easy to assess. The bulk of the irregular flows of workers into the US, especially
1 See the exclusion of Danish, Irish and UK nationals from table 2 since their
countries of origin acceded to the European Communities.
2 Figures presented by Tapinos (1975, p. 103) show that in 1971 and 1972 some 11
per cent and 23 per cent, respectively, of the requests for regularisation were
turned down in France.
As the foreigners involved do not claim to be refugees, the migrant-receiving
countries are not constrained by the obligation of non-refoulement.
from Mexico, can be traced to deliberate employer action and, in this sense, is
demand-determined (Bdhning, 1982). Such an observation would be a necessary but
insufficient presumption in favour of recompense, and it would be contested in this
particular case. More importantly, the opposition of successive Federal Governments
to this kind of migration is a strong assumption against recompense. The lack of
success in imposing their declared will does not detract from the strength of the
presumption. The balance of the two arguments appears to swing against recompense.
Considerations of practicality weigh down on the same side.
The employment of foreigners cannot be liable to recompense where foreigners
knowingly_ circumvent unequivocal immigration or employment laws or where employers
disregard such laws, irrespective of whether economic demand in the immigration
country plays any role. Hong Kong was a prime example until it brought illegal
inflows under control in October 1980. The contravention of public policy and jthe
circumvention of the procedures foreseen go right against the basis of recompense.
Ruling out liability to recompense under certain types of irregular
immigration will not open up opportunities for evading legitimate obligations. The
rising sensitivity on immigration generally and the trend towards a clamp down on
irregular labour immigration particularly (see Chapter III(g)), will have the effect
of closing the seeming escape hatch of the system of recompense proposed here. The
financial price to pay for legal immigration can be expected to be small in relation
to the unknown economic, social and political dynamics and consequences of
unregulated inflows, which tend to be heavily negative the more so the larger the
flows and the longer they last. A welcome side-effect would be the incentive given
to emigration countries to do their best to ensure that the international migration
of their citizens takes place in the framework of regular channels.
- 45 -
V. RECOMPENSE: _HY, HOWHOW MUCH?
The 2rinci2al _institutional justification
Of all international resource flows, the migration of labour is the most
universally and tightly controlled by the State. The nature of the contemporary
State is responsible for this fact as is, indeed, human nature. Foreigners are non-
belongers who have no right to enter. If, exceptionally, their presence is judged
desirable, the doors open to the extent determined by the migrant-receiving country.
Backdoor entries are increasingly clamped down upon.
Foreign labour is desirable only when it is needed. Employers must
demonstrate to the competent authorities of the State that their needs cannot be
satisfied with resident labour before the foreigners will be permitted to enter.
Litigation may be involved, as in the United States. Where the economy does not
require the engagement of foreigners, their admission is undesirable and therefore
prevented. Where economic needs are identified and approved, it is in the State's
interest to see to it that they are satisfied.
It is this interplay of the nature of today's State and the satisfaction of
its economic needs which gives legitimacy to the idea of recompense. Whether, or
how much, emigration countries gain or lose from the outflow of their human
resources is not of primary importance.
Put in simple form, immirartion countriesshould arecoSmpenseto _emiarat
countries whose citizens are admitted because they are needed for the purpose9of
SEl.2ment. This is a moral position only in so far as the hitherto unrequited flow
of human resources is called into question. It is an economic position in so far as
a demonstrable need is the cause of the engagement of labour from abroad, where the
satisfaction of that need is thus programmed. In this sense, then, the call for
recompense has a readily apparent base: if one wants foreign labour one should pay
for__i. That immigration countries generally command a buyer's market is another
question, which affects perhaps the size of the payment but not its principle.
- 46 -
ThS4neslemaintaY economic justification
The philosophy of international distributive justice can be drawn uppn to
provide a secondary justification for recompense through an analysis of the
differential gains from labour migration between immigration and emigration
The demand-determined immigration of labour leads to a fuller utilisation of
the co-operant factors of production, i.e. local labour, capital, land and energy.
As a consequence, the national product rises in terms of both the supply of real
goods and the generation of income. Profits and investments as well as wages tend
to go up. The real goods being produced food, houses, roads, hospital services or
whatever migrants help to supply will benefit the population in the migrant-
receiving country. (Some real goods may be exported and benefit other people.) The
income being generated the remuneration of the various factors of production -
will also bear fruit largely within the immigration country. (Some of the migrants'
earnings may be remitted and, where foreign employers are involved, some of their
profits.) In the long run, when the original need for the employment of a
particular foreigner may have passed and he is employed elsewhere or unemployed or
retired, the accumulated gains may be consumed somewhat by the provision of houses,
schools and other services for him and his dependants. However, in any viable
economy the economic gains will still exceed the costs (Jones and Smith, 1970;
Whereas the migration-induced distribution of real goods is rarely questioned,
the distribution of income is often seen as favouring employers' profits rather than
workers' wages in market economy countries. Such a conclusion is unwarranted when
immigration is regular(-ised)2 and demand-determined. The additional income
generated by a foreigner will get divided up like all earned income unless employers
fail to defray non-wage labour costs or violate the administrative requirement of
equal pay for equal work. Theoretically speaking, demand-determined labour
immigration corresponds to labour import in full or over-full employment conditions.
1 Social tension and political friction may provide non-economic reasons for the
reduced attractiveness of immigration. To estimate monetary values for these
phenomena, as Gehmacher (1974) tried to do, and to put the several measures on one
scale, raises more questions than it answers.
2 I will henceforth use this formula to refer to all migration denoted as
recompensable in Chapter IV. Regular migration which is not recompensable is of no
interest. Irregular migration which is not recompensable may have effects quite
different from those postulated here.
- 47 -
In such conditions the supply price of labour will not be depressed. This holds
true even if the country experiences aggregate unemployment; for in the real world
of heterogeneous labour one inevitably finds surplus skills, occupations, industries
or regions side by side with scarce ones. Moreover, the multiplier and dynamic
effects of demand-determined immigration inject further income and labour demand
with beneficial repercussions on growth, including growth of wages.
Immigration is sometimes said to delay the introduction of modern machinery.1
Again, however, such fears are unfounded when immigration is regular(-ised) and
demand-determined. Labour's supply price stays unchanged relative to machinery.
Furthermore, in the decentralised system of market economies it is up to the
individual employer to assess current and future supply and demand he bears the
risk and reaps the profit. He should receive undistorted market signals because the
labour maLrkt is, in principle, closed and full or over-full employment prevails in
his sector or region. The State's authority judging whether to give him access to
foreign labour is not competent to refer him to machinery instead. At best, it can
insist that labour is available in the country and that the employer should make
greater efforts to avail himself of that labour.
Not only are the gains from immigration tangible and sizeable, they are
obtained through the utilisation of a practically ready-made production factor, the
foreigner, who has cost the immigration country nothing to rear or educate.2 If
population growth could have taken place instead, the domestic formation of labour
would have involved a substantial expenditure over a period of 15 years or more
before a national could have been productive.3 Once active, the national would
continue to absorb public investments as much as the newly-entered foreigner would
if he enjoyed equal treatment in the migrant-receiving country.
1 That access to labour can encourage the introduction of new technology (see
Cohen and Jenner, 1968; Le Pors, 1977) is surprisingly neglected.
2 The rigour of this statement could be attacked on the grounds that some
migrants may have benefited from scholarships and similar financial support by
migrant-receiving countries before they took up work there, or that training
activities of the UN system are largely financed by the industrialized and migrant-
receiving countries for the benefit of developing countries which are often migrant-
sending countries. Both factors are neglected here for simplicity's sake.
3 Blitz (1977) estimated the saved subsistence and education costs of migration
into the Federal Republic of Germany during the years 1957-73. On the basis of
several simplifying assumptions (including average rather than marginal costs), the
total sum would have been equivalent to nearly DM 123,000 million at 1962 prices,
i.e. over US$30,000 million.
- 48 -
EriaSaion, on the one hand, can help the satisfaction of needs in the country
of origin and the development of its productive capacity. Where people leave an
underdeveloped and supply-deficient country, the lessening of the demand for food,
houses, clothes, schools, hospitals and so on will be the most direct, immediate and
beneficial impact. Unemployment will be relieved, too. Although emigration, as
such, will not (as immigration does) lead to the production of more food, etc., it
will enable non-migrants to consume what is now not needed by the persons who left.
In years hence, the non-consumed or "freed" resource pool could be invested. To the
extent that the latter happens, there would be less of the short-term consumption
effect. If one goes by the most reasonable assumption, such as the long-term
average propensity to save and invest out of income, the overwhelming proportion of
the freed resource pool would be swallowed up by consumption. A comparatively small
amount would be invested productively and help the country to meet its needs in
coming years. Where migrants remit part of their earnings (which is a common but
not a necessary feature of either contract or settlement migration) the recipient
non-migrants will be able to consume or invest them and the migrant's country of
origin will be able (other things being equal) to pay for more imports than in the
absence of emigration.* Where foreign employers have to pay recruitment fees or
contributions to domestic workers' welfare funds and are responsible for travel
arrangements as in the Philippines, for example the inflow of money will create
a little employment in the public and private sectors.
On the other hand, emigration may cut into the production of goods or the
delivery of services where the move of the farmer, worker or entrepreneur causes
dislocation and new costs.2 Dislocation will hamper production. Output will also be
forgone while replacements are trained. The training itself will require resources
that otherwise might have been put to directly productive use. This effect will be
more pronounced the more valuable or scarce the human resources that leave the
1 Remittances are not a proxy form of recompense. They are transfers between
private individuals and have absolutely nothing to do with the institutionally
derived justification of recompense payments between governments.
2 The thinning out of the labour force, changes in income distribution, return
migration and the migration-induced growth of international trade or urbanisation
would have to be assessed in a fully comprehensive balance sheet. There is
insufficient agreement on the many pros and cons involved and they will therefore be
neglected here for simplicity's sake (but see B8hning, 1975, 1978; and Stahl, 1982).
The social costs of emigration (such as the anguish faced by many migrants or that
of separated family members) and the political implications (such as the
asymmetrical dependence of any single emigration country on immigration policies)
defy translation into dollars and pence. They would balance somewhat the economic
arguments favouring emigration.
- 49 -
country. Moreover, a closer look at the utilisation of remittances shows that
"other things" are seldom "equal". The first point to note is that remittances
usually serve consumption needs. This has a self-evident reason: the bulk of the
migrants, indeed those who do not intend to settle abroad and who suffer hardship in
order to remit savings, want life back home tc improve straight away rather than in
the distant future. Building or improving one's house top the list of priorities.1
Conspicuous consumption out of remittances is a familiar phenomenon. Little of the
hard-earned savings is earmarked for direct investment. When it comes to that,
tractors, repair shops and transport services are among the favourite items. Small
as they are, these investments do not amount to much in the aggregate and,
individually, face an unpromising future. Spare savings might be mobilised through
the banking system. But there is another side to the coin. The additional demand
may run into domestic supply bottlenecks and induce inflationary pressure or draw in
imports. Foreign goods, with which migrants have become familiar and which often
represent a kind of status object, may be favoured. This would influence the
country's consumption pattern for the worse rather than the better. The rising
consumer goods imports will lower the productive potential of the foreign exchange
held by the central bank. More importantly, the inflow of earnings is an uncon-
trolled addition to the money supply. Whether one believes in a mechanic
relationship between money supply and inflation or the demand-pull effect of remit-
tance expenditure, either or both will fuel domestic inflation.2 The previously
strengthened balance of payments will, in turn, be weakened. Coming as it does on
top of the increased consumer goods imports, it follows that a considerable
proportion of the newly-acquired foreign exchange will be lost to the country's
Apart from this there is the psychological awareness that the labour leaving
the country has been reared and educated at its cost.
As far as regular(-ised) labour migration is concerned, the many, direct and
certain economic gains of the immigration country contrast with some benefits, some
likely deleterious effects and some possible losses on the part of the emigration
I Investment in private dwellings yields a high multiplier effect during the
construction phase but its productive impact on the economy practically ceases with
the completion of building activities. Besides, this form of low productive
investment entails high costs of physical infrastructure.
2 The thinning out of the labour force in the course of emigration also tends to
induce cost-push inflation.
- 50 -
country. Counted migrant for migrant, or dollar for dollar, an immigration country
gains more from the human resource transfer than an emigration country.
Institutionally, the cards are stacked in its favour. Economically, it profits from
the direct link between labour inflows and production, while the productive impulses
of emigration will probably materialise in the main indirectly through the
remittance-fed increase in consumption expenditure. The emigration country will
generally be better off with than without migration, but it will not be able to
advance as fast with migration as the immigration country does. As a rule, the
transfer of a valuable and highly productive human resource benefits the receiving
country most and the sending country least. At any rate, the migration of labour
from poor to rich countries augments the economic inequalities between them.
The legal ineguity
The inequality of the production and income gains is reinforced by a legal
inequity stemming from international law. Immigration countries have the undisputed
right to close their borders to foreigners when it is in their interest to do so.
Emigration countries are denied the right indefinitely to hold back citizens who are
bona fide emigrants. Again, this provides a supplementary justification for
recompense if viewed from the standpoint of international distributive justice.
The economic and the legal inequities attaching to international labour
migration lend strong moral support to the idea of recompense.
A system of recompense must be solidly based to prevent a tug-of-war at the
stage of implementation. To base it on incomplete, unreliable and out-of-date
migration statistics would be extremely unsatisfactory. Statistics would be totally
lacking in many cases. As with any other kind of transfer payments so also in the
case of migration: one must be able to determine in each case whether the payment
is due or not. If the criteria are clear there should be no dispute within or
The administrative assessment of every request for regularised labour
immigration makes a case-by-case approach possible. The need articulated by the
employer, or the potential signalled by foreign self-employed persons or
entrepreneurs, is scrutinised and approved or disapproved by the competent state
- 51 -
authority. Immigration visas, residence or labour permits are issued and much other
paper may be signed, stamped or exchanged. In short, there is no shortage of
administrative acts concerning each individual foreigner. The green light given by
the labour immigration machinery is the decisive step and can easily be documented.
The types of migration that should not be subject to recompense such as
official movements or free migration either will fall automatically by the wayside
because the checks of the labour procedure are not applied to them, or they can be
sorted out (see also Chapter IV).
The kinds of human resources that should not be liable to recompense such as
students entering institutions of higher learning, housewives or old-age pensioners
- are not normally caught up in the labour immigration procedure. Where that is the
case they can be endorsed out in accordance with the principle that the bounds of
recompense extend merely to economically active persons (see Chapter III(c)). Where
inactive persons are permitted incidental employment not subject to labour market
tests for instance, students during holidays their cases should not be liable to
recompense. However, if they become active and undergo labour market screening -
for instance, graduates who take up a teaching position liability to recompense
would arise. Migrants originally admitted to the country through the family
reunification procedure or on other humanitarian grounds should nevertheless be
exempted, the second generation of foreigners also.
The fact that the notion of economic activity defines the scope of recompense,
means that low-skilled workers as much as own-account workers, seasonal labourers as
much as entrepreneurs rather than merely salaried professionals or some such
arbitrary group are recompensable. Canada, for example, encourages the permanent
inflow of self-employed persons and entrepreneurs who show promise of successful
establishment in their occupation and business. Canada obviously expects to see its
resources more fully utilised and thereby to satisfy more of its needs, which is at
the heart of the justification of recompense.
Two reasons suggest that recompense should consist of a single payment at the
moment of entry. Firstly, a second or nth payment of recompense would be severed
from its justification where renewals of work or residence permits are not subject
to the usual labour market procedures. The labour market tests may be eased or
dropped and permits may be renewed on humanitarian grounds. Secondly, several
immigration countries, such as the United States, currently do not keep tabs on
- 52 -
foreigners once they are admitted. It would be unreasonable to call for changes in
the name of recompense which affect ingrained and deeply-held political convictions.
It might deal a death blow to recompense altogether.
Fortunately, the derivation of the idea of recompense from the nature of the
State and of economic immigration implicitly favours the once-and-for-all assessment
on a case-by-case basis at the time of entry. This may occasionally incur problems
of double payment where a foreign worker was first and rightly denoted as
recompensable when he entered through one particular immigration channel and
subsequently switches over to another category of'labour immigrant after passing
through a further labour market test.' However, it should not be impossible to find
an appropriate solution. Perhaps one should draw the line where the foreigner has
to leave the country before being readmitted to a promised job.
A similar question can arise when foreigners leave the migrant-receiving
country for a lengthy period and seek to re-enter its labour market. The
administrative ruling concerning recompense should logically follow the ruling
concerning readmission. Where absence for a certain number of months or years or on
compassionate grounds or for a defined purpose such as military service, does not
invalidate the terms of stay, the foreigners are effectively continuing residents.
Where their re-entry is subject to the labour immigration procedure, recompense
would have to be paid once more.
Where the permission to work is granted prior to entry and recompense is
determined at that stage, the payment should become due only if the migrant actually
enters the country of employment and becomes economically active.
Verification against misuse may be necessary if it is feared that a migrant
who has been assessed, and for whom recompense has already been paid, could leave
the country in order to make room for a further admission. For instance, one could
rule out two or more payments for the same job in any one year.
It goes without saying that the government rather than the employer or the
migrant has to pay for recompense. It is the government which is responsible for
allowing the foreigner into the country. The employer and the migrant merely ask
I The statistics on nurses shown in table 4 illustrate this point (see footnote
5). Seasonals accepted for year-round work in Switzerland are another case in
- 53 -
for permission and cannot act lawfully without the authority of the State in these
Identification of nationality, country of tirth or departure will be
indispensable to the administration of recompense if any money is to be transferred
to the migrant's country of origin. The formal and legal expression of a migrant's
affiliation, i.e. his nationality may not always correspond to his country of birth
or last residence. The latter could be designated as recipient of recompense,
although one would normally expect this to be the country whose nationality the
migrant bears. In case of double foreign citizenship the payment could be split.
Abortion of the basic _wae
The answer to the question "how much?" should form a coherent whole with the
justification and procedure of recompense. Unfortunately, the justification derived
from the nature of the State does not indicate what amount might be right or just.
The objective of this section is to show that the case-by-case procedure for
admission and recompense can serve as a basis for a pragmatic and flexible solution
that might also be rationalised as adequate and reasonable. (Whether one could use
the economic concept of human resources flow accounting as a crutch will be explored
At the moment of entry the competent authorities examine, firstly, whether
suitable resident labour is available and, secondly, whether the wages and
conditions offered to a foreigner are not less favourable than those obtaining in
the area for the same or similar work.' I would suggest making the once-and-for-all
payment of recompense a function of the second assessment. More specifically, I
would suggest that the amount of recompense should be equivalent to a portion of the
basic wage or salary concerned. One month's basic wage or salary would appear
I There is, to my knowledge, only one exception to the rule that foreigners
should enjoy the same wages as nationals for work of equal value. This is laid down
in a recent decree authorising Greek shipowners to conclude bilateral crewing
agreements with seamen's unions in the developing countries. According to the
decree, foreign seamen will be paid no less than the rates paid in their own
countries or the going rate on ships of other major maritime nations. The Times
(London), 26 January 1981.
appropriate. It is an obvious and the most available point of reference.'
Deductions for social security or taxes should not enter into consideration nor
should overtime earnings or family allowances, etc.
A month's basic wage or salary can be multiplied or divided by whichever
factor the negotiating parties might agree upon in special circumstances.
The advantages of such a scheme are multiple and powerful. It represents, as
it should, a case-by-case determination and does not have to rely on unreliable or
unavailable migration statistics. It is easy and cheap to administer. The data
must already be in the hands of the competent authorities where duties are performed
correctly. It would incur but a minimal cost and practically no additional labour
to include the assessment for recompense in the labour immigration procedure and to
note the amount of basic wage or salary in each approved case.2 The system would be
verifiable domestically and even by emigration countries. This would inspire public
confidence, guard against national maladministration and reduce to a minimum the
dissension between immigration and emigration countries that may potentially afflict
the implementation of agreements on recompense. Another important advantage is that
wages or salaries can be assumed to reflect better than other indicators any or all
of the matters economists worry about: (a) the value, analytically speaking, of the
human resource being transferred, (b) the gain reaped by the immigration country in
terms of real product and income, (c) the impact on the emigration country in terms
of real product and income, and (d) the costs of rearing, educating and training a
Taking a month's wage as a yardstick also enables a solution of the temporary
migration phenomenon consistent with the earlier consideration that temporariness is
immaterial to the principle of recompense (see, for example, pp. 38-9). I would define
"temporary" as "passing" or "transient" and differentiate it from "seasonal" and
"permanent" or "ordinary" in relation to the job for which the foreigner has been
admitted rather than in relation to administrative decisions regarding the length of
stay. Entertainers are typically engaged temporarily. Seasonal workers, on the
other hand, do not occupy a transient post but labour on a job that will normally
1 In the exceptional case mentioned in the previous footnote, the domestic wage
would be replaced by whatever figures have been chosen. They cannot be a trade or
2 The odd case of unpaid family members, who are economically active and subject
to recompense where their labour market entry is controlled, would not pose any
problem as they do not receive a basic wage.
- 54 -
- 55 -
have to be done again next year, and thereafter, i.e. on a job which is recurrent
and regular and in that sense ordinary. Foreign contract migrants admitted for a
standard period of 12 months are mostly employed on ordinary work places of a
permanent nature in so far as anything economic can be permanent. At any rate, the
work does not disappear after a predictable period of 12 months. A suitable
description of temporary moves has been given in the context of the categories
excluded from the ILO Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975,
Article 11(2) (e), namely:
Employees of organizations or undertakings operating within the territory of
a country who have been admitted temporarily to that country at the request of
their employer to undertake specific duties or assignments, for a limited and
defined period of time, and who are required to leave that country on the
completion of their duties or assignments.
The words "at the request of their employer" do not confine temporariness to
workers who are posted abroad for a short while by employers from the country of
origin to carry out a job on their behalf. The passing nature of the job itself is
the crux of the matter. If, when migrants are admitted on temporary work places, a
notion must take the place of a standard maximum length of time, one could fix the
amount of recompense so as to correspond to the fraction of a year specified for the
completion of the job. If, for example, it were a case of three months, a quarter
of the otherwise payable month's basic wage or salary would be appropriate, in the
case of seven months, 7/12ths of the amount. It would be inconsistent with the
ordinary cases of recompense to ask for the full amount unless 12 months of work are
foreseen.' It would be incongruous to ask for more when truly temporary work lasts
longer than twelve months. Similarly, if the extension of the work proves
indispensable to the completion of the work for reasons that could not be foreseen
at its beginning, recompense should not be paid for a second time, even if the
continuation of employment requires the agreement of the immigration country's
competent authority. Ordinary migrants do not give rise to two payments, either,
when their employment is extended.
The disadvantages of implementing recompense through a basic wage scheme are
threefold. Firstly, the amount is determined pragmatically if not arbitrarily.
However, the alternative methods of human resource flow accounting are riddled with
1 The monthly pay packet of seasonal workers in the construction industry is
sometimes said to reflect the fact that they are out of work for a time. Seasonal
wages in agriculture more generally reflect low producer prices. However that may
be, seasonal employment is regular and recurrent rather than transient and,
therefore, should qualify for full recompense.
- 56 -
problems and, in the final analysis, rest on several arbitrary decisions. Of two
second-best solutions, preference should be given to the one which is easiest to
administer, flexible and least likely to sow discord, which is the basic wage
scheme. Secondly, when self-employed persons or entrepreneurs cross borders the
amount of recompense cannot be determined straightforwardly. This hurdle can be
surmounted, for instance, by reference to average entrepreneurial income in the
migrant-receiving country or a calculation of the per capital amount of recompense
for wage and salary earners, to be applied to the number of own-account workers.
Thirdly, when contract migration takes the form of collective moves under the
auspices of a firm or enterprise from the country of origin (see p. 40), the
migrant-receiving country may not be concerned to test and ensure that the wages and
conditions of the foreigners' employment are similar to those of resident labour.
Nevertheless, the sovereign immigration country could request information on basic
wages and salaries (it may do so in any case for tax purposes), and the emigration
country could under its own law oblige the firms and enterprises to volunteer the
It might be interesting to speculate which order of magnitude of payments our
proposal would have yielded in a recent year if it had been applied in typical
immigration countries or occupations of migrants. Appendix (b) provides the details
of the selected cases. The hypothetical nature of the demonstration must be
stressed. Information on basic wages and temporariness of the job is, of course,
not published on a case-by-case basis. The illustrations assume that known or
estimated average basic wages are the appropriate point of reference and that no
foreigners are employed on temporary work places as defined here. The amounts
supposedly destined to individual nations or regions supplying labour are probably
further off the mark than the over-all sum, because differences in the educational
endowment and relative remuneration of individual nationalities could not be taken
The calculations for the Federal Republic of Germany (table 7) yield a
sizeable figure for 1979, about US$41 million. The country's high basic wage level
(estimated as US$1,093 per month) is responsible for this rather than the number of
migrants. The figure might actually have been very slightly higher, but it is
- 57 -
impossible to account for the few recompensable frontier workers and British
In the example of Kuwait (table 8) the known average monthly basic salary
received by foreigners presumably over-estimates the level of recompense, because
newcomers tend to get less well-paid than older established persons. The figure of
US$6 1/2 million might also be reduced by the incidence of truly temporary
migration, which in Kuwait is marked but not always of less than 12 months' duration
and cannot be documented statistically. The notable differences in the total amount
of recompense between Kuwait and the Federal Republic of Germany (well over 80 per
cent), where numbers of admissions are not very far apart (about 20 per cent), can
be explained partly by the lower wage levels of Kuwait and partly by the
comparatively smaller portion which the basic salary forms of total remuneration.
In 1976 the non-Kuwaiti's basic salary of US$214 per month was about half of their
total salary of US$424.
The nurses admitted to the United States on economic grounds might have
brought their countries of origin (not identified in table 9) some US$4 million
worth of recompense. The truly temporary cases among the 2,857 contract migrants
would depress this figure to the extent to which they were employed for less than 12
months. The non-preference admissions or adjustments that are subject to the labour
certification procedure and therefore recompensable would boost the amount of
The three examples clearly show the influence of the factors that determine
the size of recompense payments according to the system which, in my opinion, would
be the best. The number of migrants admitted plays a role as well as the basic wage
or salary they will receive at the beginning in their different jobs. Because true
temporariness of the workplace is mostly of minor importance, the over-all level of
recompense can be anticipated with a fair degree of accuracy.
Imputinn values to human resource flows
Does the new art of human resource flow accounting provide an alternative
method of fixing the amount of recompense? Its basic line of reasoning is that the
family and/or the State have expended much money in rearing, educating and possibly
training the emigrant. When he moves to another country this expenditure will bear
fruit there. At first sight it would be a small step from calculating either the
- 58 -
past expenditure or the profits it will generate to holding up the results of the
calculation as the appropriate amount of recompense. One might be tempted to go
even further and label the emigration country's expenditure as a loss that should be
compensated or the value created by it in the immigration country as a gain that
should be shared.
That the immigration country gains is undoubted. That the emigration country
suffers is on balance unlikely, it is possible in exceptional circumstances but
impossible to demonstrate on a case-by-case basis with acceptable, all-embracing
concepts and methods. The investment costs of subsistence, education and training
are historical or "sunk" costs which rarely create obligations between the parties
involved and cannot create obligations towards third parties. International
reimbursement could conceivably be claimed where an agreement required the
emigration country to supply specified quantities and qualities of labour and where
this country would have to set up institutions or courses in order to fulfil the
agreement. Outside such an eventuality, when an emigrant leaves and the human
capital embodied in him goes with him, this does not by itself cause a loss or
represent the loss of past expenditure. Remaining at home would not as such signify
a gain either. What matters is how much the human resource produces, if anything,
relative to what it consumes; and further, whether it might not help the country's
population and the emigrant more if he were employed abroad. To cut a long story
short, human resource flow accounting may be able to estimate how much things have
cost or how much they are worth, but it cannot tell what can justifably be taken
into account for the purpose of either compensation or recompense. It could be all
If the justification of valuing human resources for the purpose of recompense
were not flawed, could the values nevertheless be estimated reliably and serve as a
basis for an agreement on sharing the costs or benefits? Two methods have gained
currency: the calculation of "historic costs" and of "present worth". The basic
question for both is what one should take into account. The following list shows
that the answers would continuously border on arbitrariness and probably be guided
by the availability of data. In the case of historic costs, should one take account
all or part (which?) of the money parents spend on children?
- 59 -
all or part (which?) of the money countries spend on education or training?
all or part of the health and welfare services aiding the formation of human
regional, rural or urban costs?2
average or marginal costs?3
actual expenditure in the past, duly deflated, or current replacement costs?
periods spent outside the country of origin?
the prices of the immigration or of the emigration country, and at which
opportunity costs in terms of taxes and social security contributions forgone
during education and training?
In the case of present worth, should one take account of:
averaged or grouped net income?
working life up to retirement or adjusted for mortality?
variable or fixed (by whom?) rates of discount?
the prices of the immigration or of the emigration country, and at which
the possible return of the migrant (whc knows?) from the immigration country?
It is evident from this incomplete list that the imputation of values to human
resource flows requires several quite arbitrary decisions.4 While these questions
could be settled by convention between countries, most of the data needed would have
to be collected first, and the administration of recompense payments on this basis
would be nothing short of a nightmare impracticable, costly and contentious.
1 Should one disregard the portion of expenditure destined to research rather
2 Espenshade (1980, p. 11): "Expenses will depend upon the region of the country
in which the family lives, the race of the head of household, educational levels of
the parents, and the tasks and preferences for alternative lifestyles".
3 The marginal costs of public services are below average costs. The upbringing
of children also has economies of scale. As The Times (London), 8 September 1980,
reported: "For a couple with average earnings a child could cost more than 32
thousand pounds over an 18-year period... Having two children could cost about 48
4 Witness the proliferation of caveats in the literature, for instance, in Toh
- 60 -
Furthermore, a case-by-case calculation of historical costs, if not beyond the realm
of possibilities, would be totally cost-ineffective. The present discounted value
is in any case a function of guesses. Finally, whether the reimbursement of
investment should be staggered or take place once and for all, or whether future
returns should be shared indefinitely, cannot be deduced with certainty from the
framework of human resources flow accounting. It is no match for the basic wage
- 61 -
VI. IN LIEU OF CONCLUSIONS: OUTLINE OF A MODEL AGREEMENT
This section depicts a model agreement on recompense. It will necessarily
have to ignore the numerous peculiarities of individual countries and the
differences between legal, monetary and administrative systems. Only the essential
elements of recompense can be incorporated. The quasi-legal language forces one to
deal precisely and concisely with a number of points not yet touched upon, for
instance, whether countries should be liable to recompense for past migration (they
should not). The terminology is that of a layman trying to make himself
intelligible rather than that of a governmental draftsman guarding against juridical
pitfalls. One simplification introduced is that immigration countries should
recompense countries of origin for all of their citizens, irrespective of their
place of birth or departure. A reciprocal rather than unilateral scheme is
MODEL AGREEMENT ON RECOMPENSE
The contracting parties, guided by the desire to strengthen the relations
between their people in the spirit of mutual benefit and solidarity, have decided to
establish by common agreement the conditions of recompense when citizens of one
country are admitted to another country for economic purposes.
Article 1. Access to territory and activity
1. The countries deem it to be their sovereign right to control the access
to their respective territories and to economic activity within them.
2. If henceforth a country admits a citizen of any other country which is
a party to the agreement it shall hereinafter be referred to as "the immigration
country" and the person concerned as "a migrant". The country whose citizenship a
migrant bears shall be referred to as "the country of origin".
3. The countries agree, with regard to their respective territories, to
take all practical steps to ensure that a migrant uses the regular channels foreseen
for migration and that irregular migration is suppressed.
- 62 -
4. Nothing in this agreement shall affect the terms of stay of the persons
who are legally resident in the immigration country at the coming into force of this
agreement. The mere fact of such residence shall not give rise to recompense.
Article 2. Procedcedure concerningEm ment
1. The employment of a migrant is subject to the decision of the competent
authorities of the immigration country. The decision can be positive if there is a
demonstrable need for employing a migrant or as otherwise determined by the
legislation or public planning procedure of the immigration country. Requests shall
be addressed to the said authorities in accordance with the following procedure:
(a) employers resident in the immigration country shall notify the vacancies
(b) non-resident firms or enterprises which have successfully bid for a project
located in the immigration country shall submit a list of the workplaces and
citizenships involved in the execution of the project;
(c) self-employed persons or enterpreneurs from the country of origin who wish to
work or establish themselves in their occupation or business in the
immigration country shall furnish appropriate documentation.
2. Each request under paragraph 1 shall include details of the temporary,
seasonal or other nature of the prospective employment and, in the case of temporary
activity, of its probable duration. Each request under paragaphs 1(a) and (b) shall
also present information on the conditions of remuneration, including the monthly
basic wage or salary, and shall further indicate what steps have been taken to
attract resident labour.
3. Nothing in this article shall prejudice the conditions to be met under
government-sponsored or private recruitment between countries.
Article 3.__ Liabilitv for recomoen.seh
1. The immigration country shall be liable to recompense where:
- 63 -
(a) requests have been granted in accordance with article 2 except when a migrant,
voluntarily or for reasons for which he is not responsible, fails to commence
(b) persons regarded as in irregular or illegal situations have their situation
regularised in analogy with article 2.
2. Incidental employment of a migrant not subject to the procedure of
article 2 shall not be liable to recompense.
3. The parties hereby jointly declare that the immigration country shall
not be liable to recompense where internationally accepted statistics of the UN
system show that its per capital income is lower than the average per capital income
of developed market economy countries.
Article 4. Catesgries exempt from recompense
The following categories shall not come within the meaning of recompense under
(a) refugees and assimilated persons;
(b) students and trainees;
(c) persons entitled by law or treaty to free migration;
(d) diplomatic, consular and assimilated personnel;
(e) persons belonging to religious bodies and assimilated personnel;
(f) transport or media representatives;
(g) entertainers or sportsmen;
(h) persons joining relatives in the immigration country under the family
(i) a migrant's children born and resident in the immigration country;
(j) any other category which may be agreed upon at the international level.
- 64 -
Article 5, Procedure concerninqrecoP sense
1. Where a request under article 2(1)(a) and (b) has been determined as
recompensable the immigration country shall pay the country of origin the equivalent
(a) a migrant's monthly basic wage or salary if the job concerned is not temporary
in nature or if the temporary job is foreseen to last 12 months or longer;
(b) the portion of a migrant's monthly basic wage or salary corresponding to the
fraction of a year specified for the completion of the temporary job.
2. Where a request under article 2(1) (c) has been determined as
recompensable the immigration country shall pay the country of origin the equivalent
of the average per capital amount assessed under paragraph 1(a) of this article
during the relevant interval.
3. A payment of recompense shall be made only once in any one year for a
job. If a migrant leaves his job or the employment is terminated, there shall be no
further liability for recompense if the job is filled again with non-resident labour
during the same year.
4. A payment of recompense shall be made only once for a migrant in respect
of whom a payment was already determined upon first admission and employment,
(a) he is entitled or allowed to take up new employment in the immigration country
without having to leave and to return thereto under the procedure in article
(b) he is a continuous resident who is not subject to the procedure in article 2.
5. Nothing in this agreement shall be construed as giving any government a
right to hold a migrant or his employer responsible for the payment of recompense.
Article 6. Transfer and use of funds
1. The immigration country shall transfer the sum total of recompense at
agreed intervals and in agreed currencies to a body designated by the country of
- 65 -
2. The country of origin and the immigration country shall form a joint
committee to advise the aforementioned body on the beneficiaries of the funds
received. The committee shall aim to ensure that the funds generally serve the
social progress of the country of origin and particularly its education and training
Article 7. Dispute settlement
Disputes shall be settled amicably.
(a) Tables: Statistical examples of hypothetical numbers of cases liable to recompense
inthe pas (according to the criteria given in the text).
Table 1: Business migration: intra-company transferees admittedto the USJ_by
region of birthfiscal years 1971-78t
1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 July-Sept. 1977 1978
Africa 55 97 147 196 254 158 75 422 499
America-North 977 1 375 1 875 2 256 2 341 3 699 1 208 3 001 2 733
-South 180 397 727 1 312 1 227 2 091 554 1 601 2 941
Asia 271 477 898 1 400 1 290 1 255 395 1 694 1 736
Europe 1 997 3 549 4 927 6 862 6 933 7 247 3 450 10 205 12 955
Oceania 138 203 319 452 524 662 165 750 631
Total2 3 618 6 098 8 893 12 478 12 569 15 112 5 847 17 673 21 495
1 Ending 30 June 1971-76 and 30 September 1977-78.
2 These figures also contain the few nurses who are identified separately in table 4 below.
Source: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Washington.
- 68 -
g.nfrect aireatJg;. foreign workers admitted to the Federal republic of
1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
5 903 5 823
113 323 75 501
9 548 1 773
660 831 1 100 789 777
34 982 29 725 27 463 15 170 7 179 8 408 10 547 6 517 13 982
9 140 10 965 7 675 11 006
23 925 29 389 19 394 37 500
(7 018) (5 718) (8 686) (2 698) (1 474) (1 726) (1 625) (1 363) (3 014)
(397 360) (307 908) (327 414) (48 758) (23 199) (25 651) (31 014) (20 757) (40 514)
n.d. = no data given in original source.
I Data for original members of European Communities not included because their cases are not
considered liable to recompense since the coming into force of the free migration provisions in 1968.
2 Since the accession of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom to the European Communities on 1
January 1973, figures discontinued for those of their nationals who are entitled to free movement (but see
also footnote 3).
3 British nationals lacking the right of abode in the UK and the right to free migration in the
European Communities (see Bdhning, 1972).
4 Nationalities not available. Presumably mostly citizens of European Communities who are not
recompensable, hence the brackets.
s Excluding unknown nationalities and stateless persons but including non-recompensable frontier
P2B3IS: Bundesanstalt for Arbeit, Nuremberg.
25 294 23 809 22 058 13 612 8 052
390 342 302 190 318 728 46 060 21 725
Germany, by nation 9
'- --"---"'I -'
Table 3: Contract migration: foreignersgranted labour permits, Kuwait,
yln at ion ali ty _1974- 78
1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978
Egypt 1 730 1 998 2 379 2 284 4 164 6 336 6 723 7 258
India 2 439 3 467 3 412 3 136 4 479 5 772 6 075 6 345
Iran 2 079 3 780 4 311 3 883 3 787 2 990 2 370 2 437
Iraq 1 479 1 292 939 944 874 942 849 1 049
Jordan and Palestine 5 975 4 808 4 678 5 135 5 533 5 042 4 674 4 742
Lebanon 1 007 835 920 748 843 1 204 1 264 1 346
Pakistan 1 623 2 102 2 454 2 103 3 059 4 097 4 074 4 104
Sudan 68 54 51 62 84 n.d. n.d. n.d.
Syrian Arab Republic 1 631 1 429 1 751 1 898 1 762 1 475 1 559 1 692
United Kingdom 250 230 146 135 227 n.d. n.d. n.d.
Arab Gulf States 2 349 2 181 2 342 2 300 2 433 1 914 1 657 1 651
Other 178 164 236 301 460 1 010 1 551 2 168
Total 20 808 22 340 23 619 22 929 27 705 30 782 30 796 32 792
n.d. = no data given in original source.
Source: Kuwait Annual Statistical Abstracts.
Table 4: Contract and set1ement _igration:
nurses admitted tcthe OS,_bycateg ry,
1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 July-Sept. 1977 1978
Contract migration in
the form of2,s
worker of distin-
guished merit (H-1)
Settlement migration in
the form of3,s
3rd pref. admiss.
3rd pref. adjust.
6th pref. admiss.
6th pref. adjust.
I Ending 30 June 1971-76 and
19 17 22 63
1 630 1
(4 826) (4
(7 763) (8
2 These are the so-called non-immigrants, i.e. persons admitted temporarily. The H-I and H-2 cases correspond to the
legislation quoted above, pp. 38-39, the intra-company transferees to the section mentioned on p. 38. The exchange visitors
scheme has de facto become a labour immigration programme (see North, 1980). Non-immigrant trainees are included in "other"
because trainees are not held subject to recompense.
3 See explanation for admission preferences and adjustment in ch. IV(d). As adjustments are counted against preference
quotas they are shown here rather than in a separate *able for irregular migration.
4 Most nurses enumerated here were admitted under the humanitarian preferences which means they should not be considered
liable to recompense, hence the brackets. However, there is also an unknown but small number of non-preference admissions or
adjustments subject to labour certification, which would be recompensable.
s There is an unknown extent of double counting because some 3rd or 6th preference adjustments, as well as non-preference
adjustments, included in the "ether" figures, are likely tc have first been admitted to the US with contracts as non-immigrant
6 Also included in table 1 above.
Source: Adapted from North, 1980.
- 71 -
Table 5: Contract migration: foreign workers admitted to France Jand labour permits
issued to "second generation" forei qers or persons earlier admitted through
family reunificationLwhBere biity to reccmoense should nct a rise[j_b
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Admitted with annual contracts
Morocco 1 663 839 578 20 23
Portugal 31 31 27 23 28
Spain 32 29 246 116 83
Tunisia 221 153 21 7 9
Turkey 10 3 4 6 7
Yugoslavia 14 13 5 10 7
Subtotal 1 971 1 068 881 182 157
Other 685 623 883 897 849
Total 2 656 1 691 1 764 1 079 1 006
Admitted with seasonal contracts
Morocco 10 515 11 472 11 247 11 745 12 597
Portugal 2 138 2 946 3 802 5 478 8 235
Spain 109 215 104 5o5 94 310 102 816 101 098
Tunisia 973 1 291 1 250 1 282 1 504
Yugoslavia 259 28H 27 27 2
Subtotal 123 1C0 120 563 110 879 121 597 123 689
Other 478 602 886 784 801
Total 123 578 121 165 111 765 122 381 124 490
"Second generation"/family members
permitted to work from3
Morocco (2 876) (4 158) (4 796) (4 334) (4 587)
Portugal (14 862) (17 652) (19 244) (19 035) (18 511)
Spain (6 661) (8 243) (8 366) (7 739) (6 988)
Tunisia (1 422) (2 275) (2 530) (2 375) (2 296)
Turkey ( 477) ( 752) ( 859) ( 937) ( 937)
Yugoslavia ( 999) (1 336) (1 296) (1 051) ( 888)
Subtotal (27 297) (34 416) (37 091) (35 471) (34 207)
Others (4 052) (4 940) (6 068) (10 626) (7 789)
Total (31 349) (39 356) (43 159) (46 097) (41 996)
1 Data for members of European Communities not included because their cases
are not considered liable to recompense. Refugees are also excluded.
2 Introduced through the Office National d'Immigraticn. Cases regularised
after entry are not included here but shown separately in table 6 below.
3 Comprises essentially young foreigners who have left the french educational
system and wives who have joined their husbands under the family reunification
procedure. The brackets are meant to indicate that these cases should be exempted
from recompense. Algerian nationals not included in original source.
Source: Direction de la Population et des Migrations, Ministere du Travail, Paris.
Table 6: Ieqular migration: foreigners whose em1oyment was regularised after entry
into Frances_ by nationalit._ 1975-79'
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1 Statistics concerning admissions from abroad are shown in table 5.
2 Not subject to recompense.
3 Includes an unknown number of so-called quasi-refugees (apparently
asylum seekers who have not asked for or obtained the status of refugees.
matter of course, i.e. without being subject to labour market tests. The
cases are not liable to recompense.
over 500 annually). These are
They are given employment as a
brackets indicate that their
Includes both refugees and quasi-refugees.
Source: Direction de la Population et des Migrations, MinistAre du Travail, Paris.
(b) Tables: Statisticalexamples of_ hypothetical amount of recompense due in a recent year
(according to the criteria given in the text).
Table 7: Federal Republic of Germany: estimate of identifiable amount of recom2ense L b
recipient country or region _l1979
Recompensable nos. Average monthly basic Amount of recompense
admitted in 1979 wage in DM (estim.)--------
in Deutsche Mark in US Dollars
(a) (b) (c) (d)
Greece 777 2 000 1 554 000 849 200
Portugal 97 2 000 194 000 106 000
Spain 232 2 000 464 000 253 550
Turkey 5 676 2 000 11 352 000 6 203 300
Yugoslavia 5 730 2 000 11 460 000 6 262 300
Other European 13 982 2 000 27 964 000 15 280 850
Non-European 11 006 2 000 22 012 000 12 028 400
Sum 37 500 75 000 000 40 983 600
1 See table 2. Frontier workers and British nationals who are recompensable cannot be identified
and have been disregarded.
(a) = source table 2.
(b) = own estimate.
(c) = (a) x (b).
(d) = $1.00/1.83 DM. Rounded to the nearest 50.
Table 8: Kuwait: estimate of amount of recompenseLy recipient country_ or re_ onlA 1976.
------------------ ------ --------- ----------- -------------
Recompensable nos. Average monthly basic Amount of recompense
admitted in 1976 wage in KD
in Kuwait Dinar in US Dollars
(a) (b) (c) (d)
Egypt 6 336 62 392 850 1 355 250
India 5 772 62 357 850 1 234 650
Iran 2 990 62 185 400 639 550
Iraq 942 62 58 400 201 500
Jordan and Palestine 5 042 62 312 600 1 078 500
Lebanon 1 204 62 74 650 257 550
Pakistan 4 097 62 254 000 876 350
Syrian Arab Republic 1 475 62 91 450 315 500
Arab Gulf States 1 914 62 118 650 409 400
Other 1 010 62 62 600 216 050
Sum 30 782 1 908 500 6 584 300
(a) = source table 3.
(b) = average monthly basic salary of non-Kuwaiti in February 1976. Source: Annual Statistical
(c) = (a) x (b) Rounded to the nearest 50.
(d) = $3.45/1,00 Dinar. Rounded to the nearest 50.
Table 9: United States: estimate of identifiable amount of recom ense fornurses_bycateorof
admissionr.fiscal ear 1978,
Fecompensable nos. Average monthly basic Amount of recom-
admitted in 1978 wage in US$ (estim.) pense in US$
(a) (b) (c)
Contract migration in the form of:
worker of distinguished merit (H-l) 2 744 1 000 2 744 000
exchange visitor 105 950 99 750
other "temporary" worker (H-2) 6 650 3 900
intra-company transferee 2 700 1 400
Subtotal recompensable 2 857 -2 849 050
Settlement migration in the form of:
3rd pref. admiss. 731 850 621 350
3rd pref. adjust. 238 900 214 200
6th pref. admiss. 45 750 33 750
6th pref. adjust. 479 800 383 200
Subtotal recompensable 1 493 -1 252 500
Sum 4 350 -4 101 550
1 See table 4. Recompensable non-preference admissions or adjustments disregarded. Double
counting, which would give rise to double payment, assumed to be nil.
(a) = source table 4.
(b) = hypothesised and deliberately differentiated so as to reiterate the importance of a case-by-case
approach. The nurses surveyed in 1978 by North (1980, p. 138) earned a median monthly wage in
excess of US$1,000. They were "non-immigrants" and would fall under contract migrants according to
the terminology used here.
(c) = (a) x (b).
- 76 -
(c) list of countries-i^.hPl2h2Sil
The threshold is fixed at the average per capital income of developed market
economy countries. These are the countries of Europe, North America (Canada and the
United States), Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) and Israel, Japan and South
Africa. Countries are free from the liability for recompense if their per capital
income falls below the threshold. The latest available statistics are taken from
the UN Yearbook of National Accounts Statistics, 1979, Vol. II: International
tables (New York), 1980).
Per capital Gross Domestic
Product in. urchasers' values
(current US dollars)
Developed market economies:
1977 = 6 650; 1978 =
Per capital national income
in market pricess (current
Developed market economies:
1977 = 5 880; 1978 = 7 000
1978 = 19 380
1978 = 9 687
1978 = 7 918
1978 = 16 665
1978 = 8 612
- 77 -
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International migration and
development in the Arab region
In 1975 over two-and-a-half million Arab workers and their dependants, as well as
another half-million non-Arabs, were living in Arab countries other than their home-
land. Migration on such a scale is largely the result of economic forces, in particular
the apparently insatiable demand for labour in oil-exporting, capital-rich States
such as the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Saudi Arabia.
In this well researched book the authors examine the volume and pattern of
international migration for employment to, from and between the Arab States of
the Middle East and analyse the factors underlying it. In so doing they draw atten-
tion to the advantages and disadvantages of these flows both to the countries of
origin and to the countries of employment, and suggest what might be the conse-
quences of the ever greater recourse now being had by the migrant-receiving
countries to labour from the Indian subcontinent and the Far East. The book con-
cludes by setting out a number of courses that the Arab migrant-sending countries
might consider in order to improve their position vis-A-vis the capital-rich
xii +175 pages 25 Swiss francs ISBN 92-2-102251-X (limp cover)
35 Swiss francs ISBN 92-2-102252-8 (hardcover)
Black migration to South Africa
A selection of policy-oriented research
Edited by W R Bohning
The results of research initiated by the ILO in 1976 into the whole question of Black
migration to South Africa are brought together in this study, which is published
with the financial support of the UN Fund for Population Activities. Taking as their
starting-point the assumption that Black migration to the Republic of South Africa
should be eliminated on both moral and political grounds, the researchers set
themselves two aims: first, to examine how the working and living conditions of
both the migrants and their dependants can be improved as long as migration con-
tinues; and second, to discover what means there are of reducing the dependence
of the migrant-sending countries on job opportunities in South Africa and, in partic-
ular, to consider how the existing migration link can be used to relieve these coun-
tries of their need to send workers to South Africa. The final chapter suggests a
possible plan for the gradual phasing-out of migration over a period of 15 years.
20 Swiss francs ISBN 92-2-102759-7 (limp cover)
30 Swiss francs ISBN 92-2-102758-9 (hard cover)
Trade in place of migration
An employment-oriented study with special reference to the Federal
Republic of Germany, Spain and Turkey
By U. Hiemenz and K. W. Schatz
An important feature of a new international economic order would be an efficient
international division of labour that would encourage a mutually profitable revival of
world trade. The present book is one of a number of case studies carried out under
ILO auspices to quantify some of the factors involved.
After examining in some detail the competitiveness of the industries of the
Federal Republic of Germany, in particular, which is one of the developed countries
already most integrated in world trade, the study estimates the effects of a liberali-
sation of the country's imports on employment in the Republic by industry, by area,
and by the skill, sex and nationality of the workforce. The possibilities of re-employ-
ment in their own countries for the Spanish and Turkish migrant workers who
might well be displaced by such a liberalisation are assessed in a concluding sec-
tion, which contrasts the economic policies recently followed in Spain and Turkey
and points to their employment implications.
x + 118 pages 17.50 Swiss francs ISBN 92-2-101865-2 (limp cover)
27.50 Swiss francs ISBN 92-2-101864-4 (hard cover)