According to a Human Development Report by the United Nations, Portugal comes out tops when welcoming and integrating legal immigrants.
It was the country that received the best classification with regards to rights and services awarded to foreign residents out of 60 countries in the report’s list.
The report was based on a number of questionnaires distributed in countries as different as Sweden, France, Germany, Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom, India, Chile and China.
The United Nations has warned that this year alone up to a billion people worldwide are or are likely to migrate, either within their own borders or abroad because of better opportunities, work, or to escape war, disease, natural disasters and famine.
However, the report did not evaluate Portugal’s immigration laws and benefits in practice, and stated that for every 10 immigrants coming into Portugal – mainly economic migrants from Eastern Europe, Cape Verde, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola and the so-called Silver Sector or Western European wealthy retired EU citizens from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Holland and Germany – 100 Portuguese left the country.
The study looked at access to education, health, the right to vote, labour rights, social security and assistance for families – all of which showed that Portugal was a generous country compared with other, richer Western European neighbours.
“Portuguese initiatives for immigrant integration are in the vanguard of the world,” said Isabel Pereira, a political specialist working at the UN Office for the Human Development Report.
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