Governments worldwide should look at changes to their immigration policies with a view to offering a "new deal" to migrant workers whose skills can help spur economic recovery, a UN report said on Monday.
Wealthy countries with ageing populations in particular are likely to face an increase in demand for expatriate labour as they pull out of recession, said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the report.
"The recession should be seized as an opportunity to institute a new deal for migrants one that will benefit workers at home and abroad while guarding against a protectionist backlash," said Jeni Klugman, the report's author.
"With recovery, many of the same underlying trends that have been driving movement during the past half-century will resurface, attracting more people to move," she said.
Nearly one billion of the world's 6.7 billion people are on the move that means one in seven people is a migrant, according to the report titled "Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development."
Movements of workers within Asia accounts for nearly 20 percent of all world migration and exceeds the total flow that Europe receives from all regions.
With the US and European economies struggling to emerge from recession, creating jobs has become the main focus of concern in a highly mobile world.