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UN pushes countries to open up migration despite US boycott

AFP  |  United Nations 

Governments that crack down on migrants are only harming themselves, UN Antonio warned today ahead of UN talks on a global response to migration boycotted by the

presented a report to the on ways to address the plight of the 258 million international migrants, some of whom are trapped in legal limbo.

"Authorities that erect major obstacles to migration - or place severe restrictions on migrants' work opportunities - inflict needless economic self-harm," said.

"They impose barriers to having their labor needs in an orderly, legal fashion."

"Worse still, they unintentionally encourage illegal migration," he said.

is threatening to deport thousands of immigrants who came to the illegally as children and were allowed to stay under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump has since scrapped.

UN member-states will next month open negotiations on a global compact for migration that would encourage governments to offer more legal venues for migrants, but the will not be at the table.

US cited concerns over sovereignty, saying "our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone", even though the document is non-binding.

Calls for stronger cooperation to address migration followed the 2015 refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, when countries were overwhelmed by the flow from and

The total number of international migrants has grown by 49 percent since 2000 and now represents 3.4 percent of the world's population, according to the

The majority of migrants move across borders legally, but warned in his report that climate change and demographic trends will lead to a further spike in migration in the future.

Describing migration as a "positive global phenomenon," called for greater international cooperation to protect vulnerable migrants.

The global compact will be adopted in December at a conference in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 22:15 IST