PM: Migration must be managed better

There should be a baseline for education and healthcare access globally, says Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley, and it would aid in diminishing any burden migration puts on a country.

The Prime Minister was in discussion with President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Moreno, who posed the question of what policies could be drafted to take advantage of the vast talent in the Caribbean, with the support of the IDB, especially during the digital revolution of this age.

Referencing the need for workforce support by Guyana after the discovery of oil, Mottley acknowledged that Barbados was late to the game.

“There is no doubt Guyana has already started to pump, Suriname has been pumping for many years but the bounty is ahead of them. We have come into the game late in terms of preparation of skills that we can offer them. With the best will in the world with a population of 780 000, Guyana is going to need people to come in to deal with the oil and the non-oil economy,” highlighted Mottley.

She also indicated that Suriname was bigger than the Netherlands, but only had a population of approximately 600 000, compared to 17 million in the Netherlands; and Barbados having a similar land size to Singapore, which has a population of 5 million, while Barbados has 300 000.

“You begin to see that we just do not have enough people coming to work every day, so we need to be able to manage migration better. In order to manage migration better in the community, we need a minimum floor; a floor below which no citizen will fall, such that the xenophobia that attaches itself to migration would not be an issue.”

The leader contended that the matter was not only a Caribbean issue, but one that was global and there needed to be a global compact which worked towards having a minimum level of education and access to healthcare for all citizens.

“Such that if they choose to move, the move as a valued asset and not as a burden on other people’s population.”

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