Family migrations

Family migrations

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Family-related migration has been the main channel of legal entry into the European Union (EU) as well as to traditional immigration countries, such as Australia, Canada and the United States. It accounts for two-thirds of immigration into the U.S. and between one-third and a quarter in Canada and Australia (OECD, 2006). 

This chapter first considers the reasons why family migration has traditionally been marginal to studies of international migration and recent developments that have generated interest in the role of families in migration. Second, it outlines the trends and types of family migration and difficulties of comparing situations in different countries. Third, it examines international conventions concerning the right to family life and policy developments within the context of managed migration. This includes recent restrictions on entry, especially the control of marriage, and integration measures required for long- term settlement as well as debates on the relationship between family migration, skills and employment. The chapter focuses on policies in destination countries and the impact of family migration on host societies, although it is important to underline that mobility for the purpose of employment also has important economic and social consequences on societies of countries of origin as well as on those family members left behind.

 

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  • Kofman, Eleonore and Meetoo, Veena. 'Family migrations' in International Organization for Migration World Migration 2007: Managing Labour Mobility in the Evolving Global Economy, ch. 6, IOM Geneva, 2008, p.151-172.