Common misconceptions about migrant workers

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There are many myths about migrant workers. These myths are harmful as they help spread negative attitudes towards migrants. That’s why we wanted to help shed some light on these common myths and see if there is any truth behind them.

1. Migrant workers only benefit their home country. False. While remittances from migrant workers all over the world are huge, migrant workers also generally have a positive impact on the host country’s economy. Migrant workers often do the jobs that others don’t want to. Many of these jobs are not visible to the general public, which causes people to overlook how important migrant workers are for the local economy.

2. Migrants pose a threat to the socio-cultural status quo. False. Particularly in several Asian nations, this fear is prominent. Yet there is no proof to support this claim, especially since migrants tend to represent only a small percentage of a host country’s population.

3. Migrants commit more crimes than locals. False. This is a common fear in many countries. Several studies have shown that there is no evidence to support this myth. Some studies from around the world even show that migrants tend to commit less violent crimes.

4. Migrants carry and spread diseases. Not necessarily. This is not true for documented migrant workers who usually have to go through mandatory health screenings. However, even for undocumented migrants there is no substantive proof that they carry diseases. Trafficking victims, particularly people trafficked for sexual exploitation face a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

5. Migrants steal jobs from the local population. False. Migrant workers often take on jobs that others do not want to. There may be some competition with the local population, depending on the job market, however, migrant workers do not only take jobs but also help create more jobs. With an increase in migrants comes an increase in demand for services and products. So while there may be some overlap for certain jobs, migrants in general, are not ‘stealing’ jobs.

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