International migration gives rise to problems of assimilation and to the development of ethnic and religious minorities that cannot readily be integrated into the community of their adopted country. Antagonism is likely to develop against migrant groups which are different in appearance, habits and attitudes from the local inhabitants; and to grow in areas where migrants are relatively numerous. Contemporary migration is also marked by the outflow of skills from many developing countries. The problem arises not only with regard to highly skilled professionals; there is also a loss of scarce skills in various sub-professional categories, a type of middle level technical and administrative brain-drain. As a result many developing countries face severe shortages in certain skills and professions.
According to ILO surveys, in 1981 there were two million Asian migrant workers abroad, the vast majority of them in the Middle East, and most of them skilled blue collar workers in construction and transport. Pakistan had 775,000 workers abroad in 1982; 354,000 workers left the Philippines in 1982; and 250,000 Indians sought work outside India during that same year. Of the developed countries in 1991, Australia has the highest percentage of its population foreign-born with 20%. Then follow Switzerland (17.2%), Canada (16.2%), France (10.5%), the UK (8.7%) and the USA (6%).
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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