International migration has become a structural element of societies and economies in Asia and the Pacific. In 2005, the region was home to over 30 per cent of the world’s estimated 191 million international migrants. Remittances sent in 2007 to countries in the ESCAP region exceeded $121 billion, improving the quality of life of millions of poor households and sustaining national economies, financing balance of payments and increasing foreign exchange receipts. However, although the benefits of international migration are apparent, its costs remain an area of great concern.
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