Here is an essay on ‘Migration’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Migration’ especially written for school and college students.
- Essay on the Introduction to Migration
- Essay on the Concept of Migration
- Essay on the Forms of Migration
- Essay on the Types of Migration
- Essay on the Characteristics of Migration
- Essay on the Reasons for Migration
- Essay on the Sociological Significance of Migration
- Essay on the Economic Aspects of Migration
- Essay on the Social and Psychological Aspects of Migration
- Essay on the Consequences of Migration
- Essay on the Problems of Refugees and Displaced Persons due to Migration
- Essay on Migration Policy
Essay # 1. Introduction to Migration:
Migration is often defined as a move from an origin to a destination, or from a place of birth to another destination across international borders. Measures of global bilateral flows are often based on movements from a country other than a migrant’s usual residence for a period of at least a year, so that the country of destination becomes the migrant’s new country of usual residence. In developed countries, the idea of the migrant as a permanent, or at least long-term mover, is often institutionalized through flow data that admit people as immigrants as opposed to those who enter through a variety of non-immigrant or temporary migration channels.
Thus, migration is often seen as a permanent move rather than a series of backward or onward movements. Studies of contemporary international migration show high rates of immigration to developed countries. For example, in 2010, the United States accepted 1.04 million persons under permanent immigrant categories while admitting 2.82 million temporary workers and their families.
Australia admitted 213,409 migrants through permanent channels in 2010-2011, while temporary entry arrivals amounted to 504,671 persons. Canada admitted 280,681 persons in its immigrant channel against 383,929 persons in non-permanent categories.
Migration can be defined as “a process of moving, either across an international border, or within a State and includes any kind of movement of people, it includes refugees, displaced persons, uprooted people, and economic migrants”. Migration is certainly not a recent phenomenon; on the contrary, it has been part of the human history since its very beginning. People have migrated from one continent to the other, from country to country, or internally inside the same country.
According to International Organization of Migration, there are about one billion migrants around the world. This number includes 214 million international migrants and 740 million internally displaced persons. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, with improved means of transportation and communication, international migration has been growing in not only magnitude but also scope, complexity, and impact.
Today, most countries are simultaneously countries of origin, transit, and destination of migrants. Countries in both less and more developed regions face various challenges and opportunities associated with migration. Much of the growth in international migration has been regular migration, typified by the mobility of workers and their family members.
The magnitude of undocumented migrants or migrants in irregular situations has also increased, while there are growing concerns that dislocations caused by environmental degradation and climate change could add to involuntary movements of people across international borders in the coming decades.
There has been a growing consensus that migration is an integral feature of global development. It is generally recognized that, if properly managed, migration can contribute to poverty reduction and improvements in human well-being in both sending and receiving countries. In sending countries, emigration can boost development through the beneficial use of remittances and diaspora investments, the alleviation of labour market pressures, and the contributions of the diaspora through knowledge, technology, and skills transfer.
Returnees can also contribute to their countries of origin through innovation and investment capacities acquired abroad. Destination countries, on the other hand, can benefit from immigration through the alleviation of labour shortages, stimulation of job growth, and innovative behaviour of immigrants. International migration also contributes to social, cultural, and value exchanges between origin and destination countries.
However, if not well managed, international migration can also have negative consequences, such as the loss of valuable human resources and skills in countries of origin or rising xenophobia, which can lead to poor integration, discrimination, exploitation, or even abuse in countries of destination.
Migration of people, from one place in the world to another, occurs for the purpose of taking up permanent or semi-permanent residence, usually across a political boundary. Example of “semi-permanent residence” would be the seasonal movements of migrant farm labourers.
People either move by choice—voluntary migration, or are forced to move—involuntary migration. Migration occurs at a variety of scales- intercontinental (between continents), intracontinental (between countries on a given continent), and interregional (within countries). One of the most significant migration patterns has been rural to urban migration—the movement of people from the countryside to cities in search of opportunities.
1. Internal Migration:
Moving to a new home within a state, country, or continent.
Moving to a new home in a different state, country, or continent.
Leaving one country to move to another (e.g., the Pilgrims emigrated from England).
Moving into a new country (example, the Pilgrims immigrated to America).
When a government forces a large group of people out of a region, usually based on ethnicity or religion. This is also known as an involuntary or forced migration.
Individuals are not forced out of their country, but leave because of unfavourable situations such as warfare, political problems, or religious persecution.
A series of shorter, less extreme migrations from a person’s place of origin to final destination—such as moving from a farm, to a village, to a town, and finally to a city.
A series of migrations within a family or defined group of people. A chain migration often begins with one family member who sends money to bring other family members to the new location. Chain migration results in migration fields—the clustering of people from a specific region into certain neighbourhoods or small towns.
The voluntary movements of immigrants back to their place of origin. This is also known as circular migration.
The process of moving for a period of time in response to labour or climate conditions (e.g., farm workers following crop harvests, or working in cities off-season).
In India, there are two main sources of data on population mobility. They are the Census and the National Sample Survey (NSS). However, these surveys may not reflect some migration flows, such as temporary, seasonal, and circulatory migration due to empirical and conceptual difficulties. Since such migration and commuting is predominantly employment oriented, the data underestimate the extent of labour mobility.
Furthermore, migration data relate to population mobility and not worker mobility, although economic theories of migration are primarily about worker migration. Migration surveys give only the main reason for migration, and that too only at the time of migration.
In India, studies show that the proportion of migrants of both sexes, in both rural and urban areas, increased during the last decade of the 20th century. Migration in India is predominantly short distance, with around 60% of migrants changing their residence within the district of enumeration and over 20% within the state of enumeration while the rest move across the state boundaries.
A significant proportion of women migrate over short distances, mainly following marriage. For inter-state migration, it is observed that developed states show high inter-state immigration while poor states, except Madhya Pradesh, show low rates of total and male immigration.
The primary motive for migration, recorded by the census as well as the NSS, is an important indicator of how mobility is influenced by conditions of the labour market. The proportion migrating for economic reasons is greater among long-distance migrants; most male migrants moving between states did so for economic reasons. An analysis of the occupational division of migrant workers (other than cultivators and agricultural labourers) shows that among males, 43% are engaged in production related work.
In the tertiary sector, significant proportions of male migrants are engaged as sales workers, followed by clerical and related work. All the western states have a significant proportion of male migrants in secondary activity and in the southern and north-eastern states, they are mainly engaged in the tertiary sector. In the case of female migrant workers, 40% are in production related works and a significant proportion are in technical and professional activities.
In the urban areas, the NSS shows a significant transition towards regular employment and self-employment among males, with a small decline in the percentage of casual labour. In the rural areas, there is an increase in all three categories including casual labour, but the most significant shift is towards self-employment. In the case of female migrants, however, along with an increase in the percentage of workers to population in all three categories after migration, there is also an increase in casualization both in rural and urban areas, but quite significantly in the former.
Short duration migration lack stable employment and sources of livelihood at home and belong to the poorer strata. These migrants find work in agriculture, seasonal industries, or are absorbed in the amorphous urban economy, either as casual labourers or as self-employed. They may move from one type of job to another or even from rural to urban areas. There is another category of poor and destitute migrants who have virtually no assets in the areas of origin and have lost all contact with their origin.
Thus, not all poor migrants would fall in the category of seasonal/short term migrants. The National Commission of Rural Labour (NCRL) made a quick estimate of such labourers based on their numbers in industries employing migrant workers. According to the NCRL, there were approximately 10 million seasonal/circular migrants in the rural areas alone. This included an estimated 4.5 million inter-state migrants.
People move for a variety of reasons. Some are termed as push factors and some as pull factors. Push factors are the reasons why people leave an area. Pull factors are the reasons why people move to a particular area.
Migration usually happens as a result of a combination of these push and pull factors.
Several types of push and pull factors may influence people in their migration:
1. Environmental (e.g., climate, natural disasters)
2. Political (e.g., war)
3. Economic (e.g., work)
4. Cultural (e.g., religious freedom, education)
The desirability of a place based on its social, economic, or environmental situation, is often used to compare the value of living in different locations. An individual’s idea of place utility may or may not reflect the actual conditions of that location.
Opportunities nearby are usually considered more attractive than equal or slightly better opportunities farther away, so migrants tend to settle in a location closer to their point of origin if other factors are equal.
As distance from a given location increases, understanding of that location decreases. People are more likely to settle in a (closer) place about which they have more knowledge than in a (farther) place about which they know and understand little.
The dictionary definition of an economic migrant is someone who goes to a new country because living conditions or opportunities for jobs are not good in their own country. This word is used by governments to show that a person is not considered a refugee (someone who has been forced to leave their country for political reasons).
When Poland and seven other Eastern European countries joined the EU in 2004, the UK received many economic migrants. There were 500,000 workers from Eastern Europe in 2009. Some come for seasonal jobs while qualified migrants look for more stable jobs.
Migration is affected by several complex economic factors. Better quality of life, a chance at financial stability, and access to education are just some of the factors that contribute to immigration around the world. New immigrants are not the only ones who experience economic change when wide-scale migration hits; it also changes the economic landscape of their new home country and its inhabitants.
Wealthy industrialised countries offer far higher basic wages than developing and third-world economies. In addition, first-world economies also have a statutory minimum wage ensuring that even migrant workers from less developed economies receive a high basic wage.
Migrants used to a lower standard of living will also be able to survive on less, enabling them to save or send money to their family back home. This can result in wage deflation, resulting in native workers being priced out of the marketplace, particularly in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
Economies with a highly developed welfare state, such as a benefit system for the unemployed and state-funded health care, are attractive to foreign migrants who are able to access quality services without having to pay exorbitant fees. In addition, immigrants with children may elect to take advantage of a subsidised education system of a far higher quality than even private institutions in their own countries.
The economic consequences for the host country are potentially serious as large scale migration can strain welfare services. In reality, however, immigration to first-world countries almost always results in a net increase in tax revenues even taking into account increased pressure on the welfare state.
iv. Economic Policy:
The strictness of a given economy’s immigration criteria have a significant impact on the amount and type of immigration they receive. Countries with a strict points-based system receive more skilled and highly skilled workers than low-wage manufacturing and agricultural labourers. In addition, a country signed up to a particular economic area may have little control over immigration. Countries within the European Economic Area (EEA), for example, are unable to prevent large scale immigration as there are no barriers to entry for any worker travelling between countries within the EEA.
i. Family Conflict and Quest for Freedom:
Sociocultural and political factors play important roles in migration. Sometimes, family conflicts and the quest for independence also cause migration, especially of those in the younger generation. Improved communication facilities, such as transportation, impact of television, good network communication, the cinema, the urban oriented education, and resultant change in attitudes and values also promote migration. Likewise, conducive or non-conducive political atmosphere encourage or discourage migration from one region to another.
According to the Organization for International Migration, there are approximately 192 million people who live outside their place of birth. A majority of these people are migrant workers and they make up 3% of the world’s population. Human beings have always migrated from one place to another in search of better economic opportunities. But apart from economic factors, there are political factors that cause people to move from their home country to another country. War, persecution, and the absence of political rights are the predominant political factors in migration.
ii. State Persecution:
State persecution involves the harassment, discrimination, and torture of people who disagree with their government, have minority religious beliefs, or ethnic backgrounds. Because conditions in their country are unsafe, these people are forced to migrate to safer countries. Asylum seeking is a direct result of the outflow of political migrants from an oppressive state to a more democratic country.
For example, in the year 2002, United Kingdom received the highest asylum applications- 555,310 or 15% of the total global asylum applications. These numbers which remain reflect the rise in claims of persecutions in countries such as Iraq, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Afghanistan, and China.
The lack of political liberties and rights, and endemic corruption act as push factors for migrants seeking greater freedoms. Even though they are not persecuted in their places of birth, concerns that limit peoples freedoms causes them to leave. If the political environment is hostile, then the economic situation is likely to be poor. This triggers migration for political and economic reasons. Most migrants leave for more democratic countries where they can pursue better careers, education, and freedom.
According to the National Geographic’s Earth Pulse, there are approximately 42 million people worldwide who have been forced to migrate due to war. War and armed conflict have diverse causes but all these factors are influenced by political issues. War migrants not only migrate to the usual countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, they also migrate within their own geographical areas such as within their continent. Most war migrants become refugees or asylum seekers. Refugees International indicates that by the end of 2015, there were 65.3 million refugees globally.
Political instability caused by cultural diversity causes people of a certain cultural affiliation to move within the country or away from their country altogether. As a result of wars or ethnic strife, ethic groups that were initially living apart can be forced within the same geographical boundaries. An influx of one cultural group can displace another group. Governments can also force cultural groups to move from one place to another (within or outside the country) to gain political advantage in having less cultural diversity.
Migration has played a significant role throughout history in shaping the world as we know it today. The phenomenon of migration has been indispensable to human histories, cultures, and civilizations.
The connection between religion and migration is a cross-cutting issue throughout the history of major religions such as Christianity (the spread of Catholicism by Portuguese and Spanish during the 11th and 12th centuries), Islam (the first and second migration during Prophet Mohamed’s time), and Judaism (the migration of Jewish from Eastern to Western Europe and overseas, and to the United States of America during the 19th century).
Religion has been playing a fundamental role in not only triggering massive population movements, but also in influencing the lives and conditions of migrants in their displacement. Today, the ‘meeting point’ between religion and migration is at the core of contemporary migration debate. During the Age of Discovery (15th-17th century) many Europeans, with the Portuguese and Spanish leading the way, undertook maritime travels and explored the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
This transoceanic migration led to their discovery of new lands, the expansion of trade relations, and the development of the economies of both the countries of origin and destination. Commercial and strategic factors influenced migration in that period, as many European countries were competing to colonize strategic regions and territories. At the same time, in order to tackle labour shortages, the slave trade was introduced at various times throughout history, and subsequently abolished in the mid-19th century.
A second wave of labour came from Europe, especially England, Spain, and Portugal, to what was then called “the new world” (i.e. USA, Canada, Australia, and southern Africa). A great wave of migration subsequently took place in central Europe after World War I when populations resettled after the creation of many new States, especially following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Another migration period of note was from about 1935 until after World War II when population movements occurred inside Europe.
Migration at that time began with the expansion of Hitler’s Germany and later through forced or inevitable evacuations with people attempting to escape from the war and the relocations which followed in its wake. Migrants have been essential for the development of many modern states, have shaped labour dynamics around the globe, and have been a cornerstone for the global economy.
In recent years, discussions have taken place on the linkage between migration and development in a number of forums and especially since the UN General Assembly High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (GFMD) in 2006. Migration is a phenomenon, whose benefits can be maximised when countries of origin form dialogues and partnerships with countries of destination.
Mexico, for example, as the 2010 Chair of the GFMD focused on improving the collaboration between countries of origin and destination and introduced the concept of shared responsibility, collective benefits, and partnerships. The linkages between migration and development are now recognized as being strong and diverse. However, there is an inherent vulnerability in being a migrant, which can be more problematic in some situations than others.
Migrants, by definition, are ‘outside their places of habitual residence’ and often countries of origin (many times also away from their families), in a place where they might not understand the language and/or culture. They usually lack their familiar or community support mechanisms and can be exposed to racism, xenophobia, and discrimination.
i. The loss of young adult labour force.
ii. The loss of those with skills and entrepreneurial talents, which may slow economic development.
iii. Regions where out-migration takes place may suffer from a spiral decline that is difficult to halt.
iv. The loss of labour may deter inward investment by private organisations, increasing dependence on governmental initiatives.
i. Reduced under-employment in the source country.
ii. Returning migrants bring new skills to the country, which may help to revitalize the home economy.
iii. Many migrants send remittances home and much of this money is reinvested in the same economy in projects such as new buildings and services.
iv. There is less pressure on resources in the area, including basic supplies such as food essential services such as healthcare.
i. The costs of educating the migrants’ children have to be borne.
ii. There is an over-dependence of some industries on migrant labour, e.g., the construction in the UK.
iii. Much of the money earned, including pension payments, is repatriated to the country of origin.
iv. Increased numbers of people add to the pressure on resources, such as health services and education.
i. Economic migrants tend to take up the less desirable jobs.
ii. The host country gains skilled labour at a reduced cost.
iii. The ‘skills gap’ that exists in many host countries is filled by qualified migrants.
iv. Costs of retirement are transferred back to the source country.
i. The perceived benefits of migration encourage more of the same generation to migrate, which has a detrimental effect on social structure.
ii. There is a disproportionate number of females left behind.
iii. The non-return of migrants causes an imbalance in the population pyramid.
iv. Returning retired migrants may impose a social cost on the community if support mechanisms are not in place to cater for them.
i. The population density is reduced and the birth rate decreases, as it is the younger adults who migrate.
ii. Remittances sent home by economic migrants can finance improved education and health facilities.
iii. Returning retired migrants increase social expectations in the community, for example, the demand for better leisure facilities.
i. Policies to encourage natural increase.
ii. Policies to encourage immigration to counteract outflow or to develop resources.
iii. Requests for international aid.
i. The dominance of males is reinforced, especially in countries where the status of women is low—for example, in the Persian Gulf states.
ii. Aspects of cultural identity are lost, particularly among second-generation migrants.
iii. Segregated areas of similar ethnic groups are created, and schools are dominated by migrant children.
i. Creation of a multi-ethnic society increases understanding of other cultures.
ii. There is an influx of new and / or revitalized providers of local services—for example, spas, gymnasium, Turkish baths and local corner shops.
iii. There is a growth of ethnic retailing and areas associated with ethnic food outlets—for example, the ‘Curry’ culture in Britain came from Asian Indian Migrants.
i. Discrimination against ethnic groups and minorities which may lead to civil unrest and extremism.
ii. Call for controls on immigration.
iii. Entrenchment of attitudes which may encourage fundamentalism.
There are conflicting views. One view is that migration adversely affects the welfare of the source areas because of increasing rural to urban migration in spite of rising urban unemployment, increasing environmental problems, overgrowing of population, and the shortage of urban amenities.
Although the available urban opportunities and the rising wage levels in urban areas continue to be the main source of attraction for the migrants, the urban problems and the problem of shortage of labour in rural areas are aggravated more by the accelerating rural to urban migration. It is due to this reason that migration is viewed as adversely affecting the welfare of both the rural as well as the urban areas. The other view is that migration directly or indirectly takes care of the welfare of rural areas, and positively affects urbanisation, cultural transformation, and development.
Migration is a function of certain objective social conditions operating at the rural source and at the urban destination. Those conditions are generally referred to as rural push and urban pull factors of migration. The interplay of these push-pull factors plays an important role in determining the flow of out- or in-migration.
Migration is both a separative and additive process. It separates people from the place of origin and adds them to the place of destination. These functions of migration have important social consequences. The immediate effect of migration is the separation of individual migrants from the origin areas.
Essay # 11. Problems of Refugees and Displaced Persons due to Migration:
Refugee and human displacement have been a feature and consequence of conflict within and between societies. One key change in the twentieth century was the move by governments towards regulating migration, in particular immigration, and towards defining those who were to be granted the special status of refugees. The question of how governments regulate immigration and define categories of immigrants has, over time, led people to view migration as an issue related to the security both of the state and of existing citizens and legal residents.
Simultaneously, there has been an evolution of security analysis that can shed new light and renewed attention upon the importance of refugees and human displacement in international relations and security. There have also been changes in the nature of the state, in socio-economic organization within states and at the international level, and in demography that indicate particular patterns contemporary forced migration.
Many scholars have opined that changes in economic environment and the reduction of state involvement have contributed to poverty and inequality, which maybe an underlying cause of migration. In the developing world, traditional social support mechanisms have been dented by the modernisation of economic production. In many societies, localised high population density, in conjunction with environmental degradation and resource shortages, has rendered areas untenable for human support.
Urbanisation, coupled with changes in social and economic organisation that have reduced the viability of rural lifestyles, has encouraged the movement of people into unsustainable urban lifestyles. All have been offered as underlying explanations for migration. The broader context for migration flow is often identified as being a consequence of globalisation, technological progress, and interdependence- easier and cheaper transportation across greater distances, a greater awareness of better opportunities “elsewhere”, and a reduction of physical boundaries to movement in some regions of the world.
1. The actual number of migrants in irregular situation is difficult to determine, but it is believed to be significant. Irregular migration is a major concern for countries of origin, transit, and destination of international migrants.
2. In 2011, out of 146 countries with data, three out of four Governments viewed irregular migration in their countries as a major concern. Governments of 22 of the 25 countries with the largest migrant stocks regarded irregular migration as a major concern. A growing number of Governments have responded to address irregular migration by reforming their immigration laws, promoting the return of irregular migrants, and implementing regularization programmes.
3. Smuggled migrants and victims of trafficking are extremely vulnerable to severe infringements to their human rights. The exact number of victims of human trafficking is not known. For example, in 2012, the International Labour Organization estimated that globally 20.9 million people were victims of forced labour, which included victims of human trafficking.
4. Refugees and asylum seekers constitute an important component of migration flows. By the end of 2015, an estimated 50 million people were refugees, including 20.2 million fleeing wars and persecution the most since 1992. Today one in every 122 humans is someone who has been forced to flee their homes.
1. In 2013, the number of international migrants worldwide reached 232 million, up from 154 million in 1990. Currently, the global population of international migrants is growing at about 1.6% per year. Between 1990 and 2013, the migrant stock has increased more than twice as fast in the global North (by 53 million) as in the global South (by 24 million).
2. The origin of international migrants has become increasingly diversified over the past two decades. By 2013, South-South migration was as common as South-North migration. Between 1990 and 2013, the migrant stock born in the global South and residing in the global North doubled— from 40 million to 82 million, while that from South to South increased from 59 million to 82 million.
3. In 2013, 23% of all international migrants in the world (54 million) were born in the North and resided in the North, whereas only 6% of all migrants (14 million) who were born in the North resided in the South.
4. Major regions of the world account for different shares of the global stock of immigrants and emigrants. In 2013, Europe hosted 31% of the global migrant stock, whereas it was the origin of 2% of all emigrants (of whom 65% were living within Europe). In comparison, Asia and Northern America hosted 31% and 23% of the global migrant stock, respectively, while they were the origin of 40% and 2% of all emigrants.