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Migration policies tend to be increasingly restrictive

Policies limiting immigration flourished during and after the crisis, and were reinforced by the Arab Spring. Even the right to the free movement of people within the Schengen area in Europe has been questioned. In 2011, for instance, Denmark suspended the agreement and re-introduced border controls while France also considered the idea.

In the South, policies are also becoming more protective of the local population. Since 2008, the Malaysian government has officially aimed at reducing the employment of migrants. Fences are being built in different parts of the world, from Costa Rica to India, to keep "intruders" from entering the country. Identification card systems are being implemented to distinguish those who belong from those who do not.

In the event, many of these policies sometimes come at a cost for local employers. In Thailand, the crackdown on irregular migration from neighbouring countries has left many agricultural employers searching for much-needed labour. The government has had to bend the rules to allow non- regularised migrants to continue working and give them more time to apply for regularisation. A similar situation is developing in the GCC countries, where the lack of available labour arising from stricter policies has led to a decrease in productivity and more bargaining power for emigrant countries. These tensions are emblematic of the lack of international co-operation on migration issues.

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