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Indian Leads Global Remittance Report, Reports UN Migration Agency

In a groundbreaking revelation, India has emerged as the top recipient of remittances globally, surpassing the USD 100 billion mark in 2022, according to the latest World Migration Report 2024 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The report, launched recently, sheds light on the significant role of remittances in India’s economy and the challenges faced by migrant workers worldwide.

The report unveils a remarkable trajectory of remittance inflows to India over the years. Starting from USD 53.48 billion in 2010, the figure climbed steadily to USD 111.22 billion in 2022. This surge underscores the crucial contribution of migrant workers, primarily from Southern Asia, in bolstering India’s economy through financial support to their families and communities.


Challenges Faced by Migrant Workers

Despite the pivotal role of remittances, migrant workers encounter numerous challenges along their journey. The report highlights risks such as financial exploitation, excessive debt due to migration costs, xenophobia, and workplace abuses. Particularly concerning are the rights violations faced by migrant workers in Gulf States, including India, which came under scrutiny during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Gulf States, being a common destination for migrant workers, have faced criticism for their treatment of laborers. The report underscores the need for greater protections and rights for migrant workers to ensure their well-being and dignity.

The report also delves into migration trends and patterns, revealing that India hosts the largest number of international migrants globally, with nearly 18 million individuals accounting for 1.3% of its population. Major diasporas from India are concentrated in countries like the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Saudi Arabia.

Regarding irregular migration, the report highlights ongoing challenges at the United States-Mexico border, with record numbers of encounters in 2022. This influx includes migrants from various regions, including India, underscoring the complexities of global migration patterns.


Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on migration patterns worldwide. Particularly, it has significantly affected low-skilled and undocumented workers. Job losses, wage theft, and a lack of social security have plunged many Indian migrants into financial instability and deep debt.

Internally, the pandemic reshaped migration dynamics within India, with a decline in the mobility of the blue-collar workforce towards cities, affecting labor supply in major industries.

The World Migration Report 2024 provides a comprehensive overview of the evolving landscape of migration and remittances. It not only highlights both the opportunities but also the challenges faced by migrant workers globally. It underscores the urgent need for concerted efforts to address the vulnerabilities and ensure the rights and well-being of migrants in their pursuit of better livelihoods.

As India continues to lead in remittance inflows, the report serves as a call to action for policymakers, governments, and stakeholders to prioritize the protection and empowerment of migrant workers. This entails safeguarding their rights and dignity in an increasingly interconnected world.

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