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Engagement of refugees in the labor force can help to contribute to the local economy.
Engagement of refugees in the labor force can help to contribute to the local economy.

Gov’t Looking at Bright Side of Migration

Migrant workers contribute to growth and development in their countries of destination, while countries of origin greatly benefit from their remittances and the skills acquired during their migration experience

Gov’t Looking at Bright Side of Migration

The Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare has devised plans including insurance coverage for 15,000 foreign workers in Iran.
Labor Minister Ali Rabiei says nearly two million foreign migrants, mostly Afghan refugees, are currently employed in the informal sector.
“Today, there are 300 million migrant workers across continents contributing $600 billion to the world economy. We should try to get a share of this contribution,” ISNA reported him as saying.
Labor turnover measures the circulation rate of labor as a factor of production; in other words, it is defined as the number of employees replaced by an economic unit during a given period. High levels of turnover occur in workplaces characterized by hazardous working conditions, and  repetitive tasks in industries such as agriculture, construction and domestic labor.
Rabiei pointed to insurance coverage for foreign workers in Iran and said the ministry is closely monitoring immigration affairs in the country. “The Social Security Organization (SSO) feels responsible to provide security for both Iranian workers overseas and the foreign workforce in Iran.” Iranian expatriates are now covered by SSO insurance.
Skills of the workers is a driving force behind a nation’s inclination to receive or send out workers. Iran is active both ways and “sees this as an opportunity,” he said.
“Brain drain should not be falsely interpreted,” he said, adding that the ministry’s approach focuses on maintaining links of the Iranian expatriate community with the homeland.
Providing job security for foreign workers, issuing work permits and granting customs duty exemptions for their holders, launching employment agencies in countries with over 1,500 Iranian workers and continuing cash subsidy payment for Iranian workers in the Persian Gulf Arab states  are among the ministry’s other measures.  
More than 300,000 Iranians currently work in the Persian Gulf including 200 in the UAE and 5,000 in Oman, and the number is increasing. Nearly 30,000 Iranians are expected to be employed in Iraq, particularly Kurdistan, and more than 500,000 in Europe, Canada and East Asia. More than four million Iranians live abroad, reports say, but there are no figures on their insurance coverage.

  Different Connotations
The term “migrant worker” has different official meanings and connotations in different parts of the world. The “United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families” defines migrant worker as a person who is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a state of which he or she is not a national.    
In developing countries, the key factors to prompt many workers to immigrate are unemployment and increasing poverty, while developed countries have increased their demand for labor.
In Iran, the unequal proportion of the educated population and job opportunities is one of the main reasons behind the urge to leave and look for greener pastures overseas.
According to the International Labor Organization global estimates on migrant workers, in 2013 they accounted for 150 million of the world’s approximately 232 million international migrants. Migrant workers contribute to growth and development in their countries of destination, while countries of origin greatly benefit from their remittances and the skills acquired during their migration experience.
Yet, the migration process involves complex challenges in terms of governance, workers’ protection, migration and development linkages, and international cooperation. It is equally clear that communities receiving large numbers of them frequently face challenging labor market conditions. “Therefore, building the resilience of refugees and local communities alike and creating conditions for growth and job opportunities for both is important,” said ILO’s deputy director-general, Gilbert Houngbo, at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, in New York on September 19.
Likewise, the engagement of refugees in the labor force can help to contribute to the local economy, give dignity and purpose to their lives, and build the skills necessary for rebuilding their country when they are able to return safely, he said.

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