This House would offer increased aid to developing world countries that encourage and accept large influxes of immigrants

Immigration is an increasingly divisive topic in the European Union as there has been a rapid increase in the numbers of migrants, both economic migrants and asylum seekers, crossing into Southern Europe across the Mediterranean and through Turkey into Greece. The large numbers, a record 107,500 in July 2015, have caused increasing pressure in some individual European countries who are at the entry points;  Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, and to a lesser extent Spain. And the crisis also affects those countries who take in the migrants, such as Germany which is expecting as many as 750,000 asylum seekers in 2015.[1]

However we should not think of this as a strictly European problem. The causes of migration from developing countries have been diverse and not just about poverty and the economy. The war in Syria in particular has resulted in over 4 million people having fled the country and 7.6 million internally displaced.[2] Many of those who flee have not attempted the long and dangerous journey to the developed world of the OECD but instead have stayed as close to their own homes as possible, to take a couple of examples; Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey in the case of refugees from Syria, and Pakistan for those who have fled the instability in Afghanistan since 1979.

The increased awareness of the problem in the developed world has lead to increased efforts to come up with ideas to stem the flow of migrants but so far only Australia has attempted anything similar to providing aid to developing countries in return for taking in migrants and in their case the cooperation is from Naru and Papua New Guinea hosting a detention centres for the processing of asylum applications, the legality of which has been questioned.[3] The proposal would be to increase aid from the OECD countries to any country that is willing to take in large numbers. This would for the most part not prevent the intial migration but would involve migrants being moved to the participating countries from the OECD countries once they arrive. A potential addition to the scheme would be providing aid to developing countries along migration routes to send the migrants directly to those countries taking them in.

[1] ‘Europe migrant crisis: Surge in numbers at EU borders’, BBC News, 18 August 2015,

[2] ‘Syrian Arab Republic, OCHA, May 2015,

[3] Doyle, Julie, and Tlozek, Eric, ‘Offshore processing challenge: Greens to press for concessions as Government tries to rush through last-minute law change’, abc news, 24 June 2014,


It is just to redistribute migrants

It is an accident of geography, or history, simple bad luck that has resulted in some countries getting large numbers of immigrants while many others get none. The first developed country on migrant routes get large numbers as those wishing to seek asylum have to apply in the first safe country. Similarly those countries next to conflict zones, or places affected by natural disasters, get very large influxes of migrants who hope to return home as soon as possible; there are more than 1.1 million refugees from Syria in Lebanon[1] a country of less than 6million. It is right that there should be a mechanism to help even out the burden of migrants and that rich developed countries should be those who pay that cost.

[1] ‘Syria Regional Refugee Response’, data.unhcr.org, accessed 19th August 2015 


While the burden of migrants should be shared the burden is not just monetary. Developed countries should not be able to dodge their responsibility to take in large numbers of migrants simply because they can pay poorer countries to take migrants in their place. Being burdened due to geography may be unfair but so is being burdened because you are poor and can be bribed. A truly just system would redistribute migrants within the developed world rather than shifting the burden to those who are still developing.

Aid can ensure better treatment of migrants

Migrants in developed countries are often not very well treated, for example the Traiskirchen migrant camp in Austria, one of the richest countries in the EU was condemned for its inhumane conditions by Amnesty in August 2015.[1] The aid provided can be earmarked to ensure that migrants being well treated and provided for through safe transportation and access to essential government services such as healthcare and welfare.

The advantage of this provision in developing rather than developed countries is cost. The same amount of money goes a lot further in a developing country. This provision therefore makes sense in a time were many developed countries are both struggling with greater numbers of migrants and with austerity. Greece, which has had 124,000 migrants arrive in the first seven months of 2015, a 750% rise over the same period in 2014, is a notable case.[2]

[1] ‘'No respect' for human rights at Traiskirchen camp’, The Local at, 14 August 2015,

[2] Spindler, William, ‘Number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece soars 750 per cent over 2014’, UNHCR, 7 August 2015,


Providing money to developing countries to provide for the migrants they take in does not ensure that the money will be spent on those who it is meant to be spent on. In some developing countries aid is badly spent or is badly affected by corruption; in 2012 the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated “Last year, corruption prevented 30 per cent of all development assistance from reaching its final destination.”[1]

Moreover even if the aid is spent on those it is earmarked for there are problems. Many developing countries are affected by poverty, poor housing, and few government services. Aid being provided to pay for such services for migrants is likely to cause resentment among a population that does not have the same access as the newcomers.

[1] Ki-moon, Ban, ‘Secretary-General's closing remarks at High-Level Panel on Accountability, Transparency and Sustainable Development’,, 9 July 2012,

Migrants can benefit developing countries

Migrants can bring the benefit of their industriousness to developing countries. When there are crises it is the middle professional classes who are most likely to migrate as they have the resources and knowledge with which to do so. When it comes to economic migrants it is often the educated youth who are looking for better work opportunities; skilled workers make up 33% of migrants from developing countries despite being only 6% of the population.[1] Developed countries already have a highly educated and skilled population, and will take in those migrants with skills they need. Developing countries on the other hand have a much less well educated population so derive more benefit from the influx of skilled workers to help them develop thus counteracting the ‘brain drain’.

[1] Docquier, Frédéric, Lohest, Olivier, and Marfouk, Abdeslam. ‘Brain Drain in Developing Countries’, The World Bank Economic Review. Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 193–218, p.198


Migrants also benefit developed countries albeit in a slightly different way. Migrants, often even those who are highly educated, provide a cheap workforce doing the jobs that native workers don't want to do. This is particularly the case in agriculture in developed countries where anything that is labour intensive relies upon cheap migrant, often illegal, labour. In the US somewhere between a quarter and a half of the farm workers are illegal immigrants.[1] This results in goods and services being cheaper in the developed country than they otherwise would be benefiting the whole country.

[1] Baragona, Steve, ‘US Farmers Depend on Illegal Immigrants’, Voice of America, 11 August 2010,

Developed countries have a greater responsibility to take in migrants

Developed countries have a responsibility to take in large numbers of migrants. There are several reasons for this. First they have a historical responsibility resulting from a legacy of colonialism, imperialism, and industrialisation that benefited the developed world at the expense of the developing world. This helped create the inequalities in the world that drive migration so developed countries should accept that a greater responsibility for migrants is the price.

Second developed countries have a much greater capacity to absorb migrants than developing countries. Developed countries have more jobs, and the ability to create more through using the state’s financial resources to increase investment. They already have the legal framework for large numbers of migrants; laws that ensure equality and fair treatment regardless of religion or ethnicity. And in many cases they already have sizeable migrant communities (with some exceptions such as Japan) that help create a culture of tolerance that embraces the diversity migrants bring.


An argument based upon ‘historical responsibility’ and capacity to absorb migrants runs into several problems. First not all developed nations bear historical responsibility for colonialism; should Switzerland and Denmark bear the same historical responsibility as the UK and France? What about countries that were themselves essentially colonies; Finland and Czech Republic? Identifying what counts towards this responsibility is tricky and very open to argument, and even more so working out how many migrants a certain responsibility should result in taking in.

Capacity to absorb migrants is also difficult to judge. A country may have a lot of migrants already showing tolerance but it could also mean that country is already at the point where it can take no more with racism and discrimination rising as a result.

Large influxes of migrants will create conflict in unprepared countries

It is regrettable that difference is a major source of conflict among humans with differences in religion and ethnicity having regularly been the source of conflicts household human history. While many countries have traditions of accepting migrants others don't and even those that are tolerant may not be prepared for a large influx of migrants.

This policy would bring about such an influx in those countries that take up the offer of aid for taking in migrants. A new community is likely to be labelled the ‘other’ by the natives of that country and be blamed for taking jobs and putting pressure on services. This happens because the newcomers are easy to blame and have few influential voices in the country to speak out in their defence.

Places with existing large migrant communities are less likely to experience anti immigrant hostility. Thus in India Delhi with 38.4% of the population immigrants (not just international) has less conflict thant Mumbai with 26.5%, and in the US New Mexico with a 45% Hispanic population has less anti-Hispanic sentiment than Florida with 21%.[1]

[1] ‘Causes of Conflict’, University of North Carolina, accessed 20 August 2015,


Whether a country is developed or not is not necessarily a good indicator of if a country is prepared for a large number of migrants. Nor is whether a country has large numbers of immigrants already; Israel is a country made by immigration yet has still seen anti immigrant riots.[1] In order to prevent social conflict it would be far better to have migrants in countries with a similar culture to their own thus migrants from an Arabic nation would be repatriated to an Arabic country that is participating in the aid scheme. Of course no two countries culture is the same but it should be possible to find cultures with more similarity than the developed country.

[1] Greenwood, Phoebe, ‘Israeli anti-immigration riots hit African neighbourhood of Tel Aviv’, The Telegraph, 24 May 2012,

Migrants will simply return to the countries they have been sent from

Moving migrants to developing countries in return for quantities of aid is simply not a sustainable policy. Migrants fleeing conflict looking for safety may accept any safe country but the migrant problems affecting rich countries are in large part economic migration. These people are looking to get to a developed country to earn more and have better prospects than they could at home so are unlikely to accept a country at a similar (or potentially lower) level of development as a good alternative. They are therefore likely to simply tray again to make their way to a developed country when they can. There have been examples of migrants such as Rachid from Algeria who has tried to get into Europe three times already and is waiting for a ship to try again,[1] it is unclear how this proposal would alter this problem.

[1] Ash, Lucy, ‘Risking death at sea to escape boredom’, BBC News, 20 August 2015,


Part of the payment of aid would be to ensure that migrants can't simply set off in an attempt to get back into a developed country. The aid would fund sufficiently good living conditions to encourage the migrants that staying where they are is a better option than attempting another harsh and dangerous journey. Moreover a part of the aid would be to ensure monitoring of migrants who have just arrived in the developing country to ensure they remain.


Ash, Lucy, ‘Risking death at sea to escape boredom’, BBC News, 20 August 2015,

Baragona, Steve, ‘US Farmers Depend on Illegal Immigrants’, Voice of America, 11 August 2010,

BBC News, ‘Europe migrant crisis: Surge in numbers at EU borders’, 18 August 2015,

‘Syria Regional Refugee Response’,,, accessed 19th August 2015

Docquier, Frédéric, Lohest, Olivier, and Marfouk, Abdeslam. ‘Brain Drain in Developing Countries’, The

World Bank Economic Review. Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 193–218, p.198

Doyle, Julie, and Tlozek, Eric, ‘Offshore processing challenge: Greens to press for concessions as Government tries to rush through last-minute law change’, abc news, 24 June 2014,

Greenwood, Phoebe, ‘Israeli anti-immigration riots hit African neighbourhood of Tel Aviv’, The Telegraph, 24 May 2012,

Ki-moon, Ban, ‘Secretary-General's closing remarks at High-Level Panel on Accountability, Transparency and Sustainable Development’,, 9 July 2012,

Spindler, William, ‘Number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece soars 750 per cent over 2014’, UNHCR, 7 August 2015,

The Local at, ‘'No respect' for human rights at Traiskirchen camp’, 14 August 2015,

United Nations, ‘Syrian Arab Republic, OCHA, May 2015,

University of North Carolina, ‘Causes of Conflict’, accessed 20 August 2015,