According to the United Nations department of Economic and Social Affairs, in 2015 the primary destination of migration within the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe(UNECE) region were North America and United States hosting over 6 million migrants over the age of 65 years. Collectively Western Europe, Germany, France and the United Kingdom were at the same time hosting in the region of 6 million migrants over the age of 65 years.In recent weeks we have focused on migrant employment and this week I turn our attention to migrant care workers. A 2015 UNECE policy brief cited research that portrayed the main countries of origin and destination of migrant care workers in Europe. It showed that Africancare workers migrated from Africa to Spain, France, UK, Ireland and Denmark, from Asia to Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland, UK and Israel, and from South America to Spain and Italy. Unfortunately at the time of the study data was missing for international retirement and family care migration.“The majority of migrant eldercare workers are middle-aged and low paid women. In Western European and North American countries, up to 70 per cent of the long-term care workforce are migrant carers and 86 per cent of this workforce are women aged 40 and above.” United Nations data indicated that the tendency to be employment within the formal care sector or informal sector such as live-in carers varied according to the host country’s region and health care regime. In countries such as Denmark, UK, Austria and Germany carers were predominantly employed on a formal basis. In Southern Europe, employment tended to be on an informal basis and frequently by private households. Cyclical patterns to migration are important to consider. Data showed that circular migrationwas a frequent occurrence among migrant care workers with migrants temporarily returning to their home country. The reasons for return of course can be for a whole plethora of reasons, visa limitations, family commitments or opportunities in their native country. Interestingly research has shown that there continues to be a multi-million-currency transfer economy that occurs as the result of migrants and migrant workers transferring monies backto their countries of origin or to other parts of the world.For the countries that are emigrated from, this can potentially leave a vacuum and lead to real challenges for those who remain or are so called ‘left-behind’, be it children, older parents or other dependants, not to mention the educational and social gap as knowledge, skills and life skills leave the environment, community and country.At the time of the article it was highlighted that the lack of co-ordianted data collection was abarrier to research and missing information prevented sub-national level analysis. Sadly it was also recognised that statistically, older migrants and migrant care workers were relatively invisible.“Access to social protection and care services needs to be ensured and portability of social security benefits established where possible. The basis for this is the provision of legal entitlements, but attention needs to be paid also to other factors that may hinder access to services such as language barriers, cultural differences and lack of information.” Yes.
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Source: Lesley Shepperson / email@example.com / www.zongonews.com