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Social Development Working Paper No.



Arjan de Haan
Social Development Department

February 2000


Preface i

Introduction: reassessing migration 1

1. Migration and deprivation 3

Labour migration : predominantly young men? 4
Are migrants poor, and the poorest? 6
Rural-urban migrants 8
Box 1: theories of migration 10

2. Livelihoods and migration 11

Poverty, inequality 11
Capabilities 13
Vulnerability 14
Environment 15
Box 2: estimates of migration and remittances in Africa 17

3. Migration as a social process 18

Migration, household, gender 19
Agents of social change 21

4. Can and should policies support migration? 24

Box 3: Migrants, migration laws, human rights and HIV/AIDS 26
Box 4: Strategies for improving migrants’ livelihoods 27

Notes 29

Bibliography 34


This paper aims to inform development policy debates with an improved understanding
of migration. The paper starts from the idea that these debates pay too little attention to
the contribution of migration to poverty reduction: policies tend to ignore migration, or
have the implicit or explicit aim to reduce migration. The paper identifies possible
negative aspects of migration, including increasing inequality and other effects on those
who stay behind, but the emphasis is on the positive role migration plays for poor
households. Building on new literature on sustainable livelihoods, the paper argues that
we need a better understanding of the capabilities and strategies of poor people, in their
own perspective, and that this will help to improve development policies.

DFID’s White Paper of 1997 referred to migration in several respects:

• large-scale population movements triggered by conflict, forming a threat to security
and livelihoods;
• the rural poor migrating to cities finding life there equally hard;
• and intentions to help developing countries manage migration flows as beneficially as
possible, through conflict prevention, humanitarian assistance, and broad-based
growth - but not through using resources to reduce voluntary migration.

The present paper develops some of these issues. It focuses on voluntary or economic
migration, particularly rural-rural migration which tends to be most relevant for poor
people. Review of the literature reaffirms the White Paper statement that policies should
not aim to reduce voluntary migration. But it also brings to the fore the opportunities to
enhance the positive contributions of migration. This paper develops a view of migrants
as agents of change, economic as well as social. It stresses the lack of rights of migrants,
in international contexts but also at the national level, and how this limits migrants'
livelihoods opportunities.

This paper is the outcome of a workshop organised by the Poverty Research Unit,
University of Sussex in June 1998. This focused on two issues: (1) the relationship
between migration and livelihoods, and (2) conceiving migration as a social process,


rather than as just individual and economic reactions, or as societal ruptures. Workshop
conclusions were summarised by Glynn Jones and the present author, and published
separately. This was made possible with the financial assistance from the Seedcorn Fund
of the Social Development Department of DFID, which also commissioned the present
working paper. The co-organiser of the workshop, Ben Rogaly, has provided significant
input to the current paper, as have the presenters and discussants at the Sussex
workshop. I owe Bridget Dillon, Rosalind Eyben, Barbara Hendrie, Mike Scott, Janet
Seeley, Francis Watkins, and Sushila Zeitlyn for comments and suggestions. Opinions
expressed are mine only (so are the errors), and do not necessarily represent DFID


but is also determined by social context. the paper stresses the need to understand migration as a social process (Section 3). These issues are discussed in Section 2. that tend to get less attention. households and communities. Migration is part of active livelihood strategies. but also socially and politically: migration may reinforce ‘traditional’ structures. political or social instability. varied and active way in which people combine different sources of livelihood. the paper shows the importance of migration for the livelihoods of many individuals. Reassessing migration in this way helps to enhance our understanding of peoples’ livelihood strategies. the diverse. or political or civil tensions and violence. and unravelling social fabric and support systems. economic exploitation.1 but intends to contribute to a more positive assessment of population mobility. gendered ideologies and social contacts and networks determine who migrates. Migrants are agents of change. ideologies and support networks. throughout the world. of environmental disaster. First. But the main argument of the paper is to emphasise the positive aspects of migration. This is done through two main arguments. and is determined by social norms and structures. like environmental degradation. Migration tends to be less disruptive of social structures than often assumed. Whereas analyses of migration in countries in the South. and in the popular press. have focused on rural-urban migration. It is often seen as the consequence of ruptures. economically. often straddling economic sectors and ecological zones.describes manifestations of such problems. And it is often perceived to be a cause of problems.INTRODUCTION: REASSESSING MIGRATION Migration tends to be seen as problematic. The paper is not a ‘celebration of migration’.though arguing that there is no direct link between migration and poverty . and how migrants continue to maintain links with their areas of origin. declining law and order. Second. technologically. ‘brain drain’. and who can profit from opportunities arising elsewhere. as in 18th or 19th century Europe. Household composition. Section 1 of this paper . in academic and policy debates. and throughout time. including the denial of refugees' and labour migrants' rights. health problems. but migrants also create new identities. this paper emphasises migration between rural areas. 1 .

political or environmental refugees. and more sensitive to the negative consequences of measures that restrict migration. Understanding how migration is structured may help devise measures in which migration can be supported. geographical distinctions can limit our understanding of livelihoods. Assessments of the importance of migration are often based on an idea of different economic areas. Thus. Migrants often effectively link village and town.6 2 . forced and ‘economic’ migration are inter-linked.2 this paper pays little attention to forced migration. Work remains to be done in developing specific policy measures and instruments that can do so. Because of an interest in poorer groups of people.described by the 1951 Geneva Convention as people with 'a well-founded fear of persecution' . as a study of burkinabè women and men put it. Sometimes. and less on international migration. rather than conceptualising areas of origin and destination as a singular economic space where people carry out livelihood activities and from which they derive income. the circumstances in which many migrants live and work question categories like voluntary. or forced evictions. the central focus of this paper is migration as part of people’s strategies to enhance their livelihoods. In fact. the questions regarding the two forms of migration are sufficiently different to warrant separate discussions. “hoe and wage”.3 Also.5 But the geographical categories are less important than understanding the role migration plays in livelihood strategies. and on rural-rural migration (though in Latin America urban-urban migration tends to be more important than in Asia and Africa).and economic migrants. there is some emphasis on national or internal migration. On the other hand. when forced migration builds on patterns established earlier.4 In any case. and thus build on people's capabilities and assets. building on the ways groups have facilitated migration.Is this relevant for policies? The fourth and final section of the paper argues it is. A main conclusion put forward is that an understanding of the role of migration may help to make policies more relevant to peoples’ livelihood strategies. Though there may be more refugees world-wide now than at any time before. immigration policies during the last decades have sharpened the boundaries between refugees . and continue to circulate between. origin and destination. and the paper will discuss some of the possibilities. or flights initiate new livelihood strategies.

1. and remittances as only a minor compensation in the highly unequal process of exchange between core and peripheral societies. Migrants are welcomed when demand for labour exceeds supply. also differ. The box at the end of this section provides an overview of theoretical approaches to migration. political or social discrimination. MIGRATION AND DEPRIVATION Images of migrants differ. indentured labour and colonial exploitation forcing people to move. 3 . and migration strategies as elements of collective portfolios of activities and income sources. to contributors to economic welfare and cultural diversity. including welfare state provisions in the West tend to predominate. able to judge differences in opportunities and rewards at home and the place of destination. but debates switch to an emphasis on limiting immigration when the demand-supply balance tilts to the other side. as sexually transmitted diseases spread more rapidly if populations are more mobile. or environmental degradation. images of international migrants as those able to profit from opportunities. or the contributions of migrants. who have been seen as resource degraders. Southern African migration literature has focussed on the effects of Apartheid. Historical studies of population movements in the South have emphasised slavery. but studies have also pointed out that refugees like others adopt sustainable strategies. On the one hand. In the political arena and the popular press. The reverse image is of migrants as victims of economic deprivation. Recent economic theories have emphasised the role of households. Ideas of the effects of migration. Critical development studies have stressed increasing landlessness. capitalist transformation and the need for poor rural people to leave home villages in search for opportunities elsewhere. HIV/AIDS similarly is one of the concerns in discussions about migrants.7 Environment is often a concern in the context of large number of refugees. migrants tend to be seen as rational economic agents. A 'historical-structural' analysis of migration from Mexico for example emphasises the manipulation of labour in the interest of developed countries. Popular opinions and public statements about immigrants swing between ideas of users of provisions in the ‘host community’.

similar to patterns of female participation in West Asian and North African Arab countries. Overall. but there are empirical reasons as well. but variations between and within regions. providing insights into links between migration. and in Anhui a local migration tradition caused an almost equal gender balance in some of the variations in characteristics of migrants in different migration streams. and in different periods of time. But this is not universal. The differing opinions are often related to contrasting political or ideological positions. This confirms other studies showing contrasting patterns of female rural-to-urban migration: the North has lower rates of female migration.9 as well as individually and through trafficking rings. which can equally be considered a form of labour migration even if women 'only' contribute to domestic production and reproduction.10 An estimated 70 to 85 per cent of Chinese rural labour migrants are male (70-80 per cent are 30 years or younger).8 The migration of children is also significant. Also.All these portrayals can be realistic. Migration streams differ to a great extent. Labour migration: predominantly young men? How gender influences migration processes is discussed in some detail in Section 3. a focus on 'labour migration' tends to understate the participation of women. and contain some truth. My research in Calcutta showed much higher female labour migration by women from southern Orissa and Andhra Pradesh as compared to women from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. and increasingly documented: young children migrate with their parents. are large. whereas the pattern in southern India resemble those of Southeast Asia. particularly over greater distances tends to be dominated by young men. as women move for marriages. 'able-bodied' men. In poor counties the participation of women was somewhat higher in less poor households. 4 .11 Differences within India are also striking. here the focus is on the gender composition of migrations. but female migration is high in many places.drawing on a random set of studies from around the world . the majority of labour migrants probably are young. labour migration. making it impossible to generalise about characteristics of migrants. This section . gender and poverty.12 In Africa also.

and so is migration to construction and other jobs in the Gulf states. Kenya and Mali. Global shift towards a more service-intensive economy and more labour-intensive manufacturing for exports have increased demand for female labour. and single female 5 . The Dominican Republic and Mexico shows high rates of female migration from rural to urban areas. Congo. particularly perhaps in polygamous societies.19 Thus. composition of migration streams are diverse. including through migration. Male migrants predominate in northern Benin. Domestic work is the most highly demanded occupation for women in many countries. But women cross borders in large numbers as well. For example. a woman’s age and marital status are more important in determining whether she migrates or not than a man’s.17 Female employment in garment factories in Dhaka has probably increased rural-urban migration by women. to work in the maquila industries for example (as well as in domestic jobs). In China. forming 48 per cent of the total ‘stock’ of migrants. both motivations for.18 Female migration is thought to have increased in Africa as a result of economic crisis and structural adjustment programmes. Also.15 Some people have argued that female migration is increasing compared to men’s. often in segregated labour markets. but women are predominant in the centre and south of the country.16 Research in Bolivia. and may be changing over time. and returns from migration may differ. may predominate. female migration in Mali tends to be related to the desire to earn money for dowries. This is undoubtedly true for migrations for some kinds of activities. though empirical evidence for this is not strong. Botswana.13 International migration streams are similarly diverse. it should not overshadow the fact that women have always contributed to household’s livelihoods.14 The number of women among the international migrants is hardly less than the number of men: in 1990 world-wide an estimated 57 million women were ‘foreign-born’.including Ethiopia. though the large majority of migrants remain men. During the 1960s and 1970s much migration to western Europe from former colonial countries was dominated by men. Women from the Philippines and Sri Lanka for example migrate for service oriented jobs. while men in rural areas tend to migrate more for rural temporary jobs. in any case.20 whereas migration by men to earn cash for the bride price.

21 Women and men can have different patterns and motivations of remittances. casual and low paid jobs.migrants in northern China tend to remit a lower proportion of their income than married male. In the same region. Are migrants poor. Families that are slightly less poor and somewhat more food-secure migrate less often with the whole family. Migration streams are usually strongly segmented. for the discussion here. as has been shown for Dominican immigrants in the US. to work in mostly unskilled. is that such segmentation may lead to unequal access to opportunities. He has described changing labour relations in western India since the 1960s. Within Calcutta’s jute mills. married female and single male migrants.23 Gender is perhaps the most important form of social differentiation that influences migration (see Section 3). What matters. They send out young men. and the poorest? The exploitative conditions in which migrants live and work has been documented seminally by Jan Breman.24 Causes of such segmentation are complex. Migration is very common among the Bambara ethnic group in Dalonguebougou in dryland Mali. and employers’ preference for cheaper and often more docile outside labour. make-shift tents in which migrants live. now among India’s poorest districts. but it is not the only one. and combine migration 6 . there were and still are strong concentrations of labourers from districts in western Bihar and in south-eastern Orissa (and not south-west Orissa. describes the absence of nearly half the adult population from the upland tribal districts. paltry wages. patterns are not uniform. for relatively short periods and short distance. research by Mosse et al. or Bengali districts nearby). and historically determined.22 Women’s income from migration tend to be worse than men’s. and the high rates of female participation. and less among the Fulani and Maure in that particular area. extreme conditions of work in the sugarcane harvesting in south Gujarat. for example related to different rules of inheritance.25 Even within this context. It is very common to find groups of migrants that have come from the same areas. focusing on unskilled labourers wandering around in search of rural seasonal or urban informal sector work.

or do they migrate because they are better-off? Recent IDS research shows that the first migrant from Zaradougou in the Sudan- sahelian zone of Mali to Côte d’Ivoire was not from one of the better-off households. Whereas for the poorest families migration is an option of last resort. or contradictory. and now migration is closely linked to households’ wealth. for longer periods.26 In Zimbabwe. those who are less destitute use migration as a means to reduce vulnerability and for some investment in agriculture. while in Uttar Pradesh all except the large landowners have high rates of out- migration. for transport. and that migrant households are socio-economically and educationally better placed than others. but lower castes had migrated more in earlier years. for food during the 7 . In China the educational level of rural migrants is higher than the average. though survey data from Hebei province in 1987 indicated that migrants come from households suffering ‘absolute disadvantage’ in farming.30 None of these findings are as surprising as they may look. The following issues are central in understanding links between migration and poverty: • There is often an unresolved question of causality: are migrants richer or more educated because they have migrated. This is partly a consequence and not a cause of migration. The poorer migrate more often with all members of the family. households with migrants have less cultivated land than households without migrants. but they have slightly more education. • The poorest have most need to improve their income.28 But in different states differing dynamics exist: in Bihar the landless were more prone to migrate. in Kerala the middle peasantry migrated more.29 And the dynamics may change over time: in Palanpur in western Uttar Pradesh. Migration needs investment.with agricultural work in the home village.27 Research in India has emphasised that the poorest and landless are least likely to migrate. Diversity of patterns is the rule. Among these groups female migration tends to be high. higher castes were prominently represented among migrants in the early 1980s. and often a reaction to indebtedness. but at the same time are less able to migrate. Migrants tend to have more special skills. But it has become an effective strategy to improve households livelihoods.

These issues make the analysis of migration difficult. while migration constitutes only a small part of urban growth (at present most urban growth comes from natural population growth). but it is important to understand the complexity and diversity of migration. whereas the poorest have access only to least-skilled and worst-paid jobs.assets that the poor are less likely to possess. journey. as households with fewer earning members may be less likely to take up opportunities for migrant work. With this. and for who profits from migration. urban poverty is becoming increasingly relevant. as physical infrastructure is crucial for people to migrate. its role in the livelihood strategies of households. the total number of urban poor is growing. for the composition of migration stream in terms of gender and other socio-economic differentiation. By 2025. in short access to opportunities is central. and it needs contacts . distance. Household composition may play a role. and without guarantees. bribes for employment officers or officials implementing immigration and settlement policies. and more than 80 per cent in Latin America. Rural-urban migrants As cities grow. Urban poverty may belong higher on the agenda of development agencies that in presently is. UN estimates suggest that over 90 per cent of world population growth over the next 25 years will be in urban areas. First. But research on rural-urban migration suggests two other points. though poverty incidences are usually higher in rural than urban areas. migrants do not necessarily come from the poorest areas. particularly if they do so on a more regular basis. including also the possibility that migration increases inequality. as the last will migrate only for the more rewarding occupations. half the population in Asia and Africa may be living in cities. rates of urbanisation do not reflect all migration that takes 8 . That both the poor and the rich migrate is not a paradox. • The kind of work. Also. This is strikingly illustrated in the differences between international and internal migration: only the better-off in the South can afford the investments (often thousands of pounds) for travel or to pay the touts who will illegally. take them abroad.

how work in cities help them to keep their small plot of land.33 And the poorest people from rural areas have less chance to make it to cities. rural-rural migration . and are more likely to migrate over shorter distances.31 Studies in South Asia. Initial differences may be made up over time.32 partly perhaps because their migrant existence make them put up with longer hours and more exploitative conditions. garbage pickers and prostitutes suggest differently. migrants in urban areas are not necessarily among the poorest . particularly if skilled formal employment provides a small number of of a circular character. to 'invest in agriculture' as a Bihari migrant in Calcutta put it.even though images of rickshawpullers. as research in Tanzania showed. this has been attributed to policies that restrict the settlement of migrants with their families. Africa and (though perhaps less so) Latin America show how migrants continue to maintain links with their rural areas of origin. and sometimes moderately improve their situation. 9 . In the southern African context. or colonial India. But many studies also show how this circulation is part of rural households' strategies to maintain or improve their livelihood. and within rural areas. Much rural-urban migration . Income of migrants in urban areas is not always lower than that of people born in

including gender analyses portray more complex pictures of migration. e. as determined by gender-differentiated inheritance rules. Famous is Todaro’s (1969) analysis of rural-urban migration. Standing (1985).Box 1: theories of migration The following scheme summarises the central emphases in various theoretical approaches to migration. and emphasise positive aspects of migration. They see labour migration as inevitable in the transition to capitalism. Breman (1985). and Rubenstein for Mexico (1992). and the gendered nature for motives of remitting. but the only option for survival after alienation from the land. Sociological and anthropological approaches. and the instrumentality of migration in capitalists’ control over labour.Structuration theory ---------- anthropological ---------.Gender analyses ---------- Economic approaches focus on individual behaviour. Authors like McGee (1982). Recent theories have emphasised that analyses need to incorporate both individual motives. plus expected probability of employment at the destination. ‘new Push-pull economics’ Negative Marxism Structuralism Sociological/ ---------. Determinants of Effects: Unit of analysis migration Individual Household / family Institutions Economic Positive Todaro Stark. Migration is not a choice for poor people. These analyses assume that migrants act individually according to a rationality of economic self interest. challenge the individualistic emphasis in the analyses of Todaro and others.. The decision to move to cities would be determined by wage differences. and emphasise the advantages of migrant labour for capitalist production. Protero and Chapman (1985). Marxism and structuralist theories focus on political and other institutions that determine migration. Sinclair 1998). Push-pull models are an extension of this. ‘myths of origin’. an awareness of cultural underpinnings. by emphasising households rather than individuals as units of analyses. Stark (1991) extended the Todaro model. and tend to emphasise the negative consequences. and remittances as an inter-temporal contractual arrangement between the migrant and the family. In the ‘new economics of migration’. institutions and the structural factors in which the migrants operate. 10 . Gender is seen as “an essential tool for unpicking the migration process” (Wright 1995. There is now more emphasis on differential migration responses by men and women (themselves context dependent). including about ‘destiny’. gender discrimination in returns to migrant labour. Gender analysis has made a crucial contribution to understanding the institutions that structure migration processes.g. in the form of a ‘structuration theory’ (Chant and Radcliffe 1992). and ‘honour’. The analysis builds in.

This strategy is much more common than is often assumed. • But there is little evidence that migration helps to reduce economic inequalities between areas of origin and of destination.35 This concept developed during this decade. It emphasises the need for a multi-disciplinary and people-centred approach. and that the livelihoods of people are not restricted to one particular economic sector. as they often escape counting in surveys and censuses. and poverty- migration links are complex and context-specific. The approach adopted here contributes to debates around the concept of sustainable (rural) livelihoods. inequality As indicated. poverty is not necessarily the main cause of migration. vulnerability. and tend to be skilled. and has gathered popularity among donors and academics. Poverty. Some ‘stylised facts’: • There is consensus that migrants tend to help to increase the welfare in the areas of destination. households or communities to enhance their livelihoods. LIVELIHOODS AND MIGRATION Migration is best understood as one of the strategies adopted by individuals. in terms of poverty and inequality. capabilities. The literature has not solved the question how migration and development in general are related. This section describes evidence of the contribution of migration to livelihoods. The contributions of migration to reducing poverty are equally complicated. have high rates of labour force participation. and has been so throughout history. Migrants often contribute much to the economy of the host society. research suggests that during the 1930s as many as two-thirds of peasants in northern Vietnam moved around in search for work during part of the year. but it should be stressed that there tends to be little quantitative information about migrants.2. and sustainable use of the environment. The box at the end of this section provides some idea for Africa. Economic expansion may be dependent on 11 . For example. 34 Census data from some districts in Bihar indicates that one out of every two households had a migrant labourer at the beginning of this century.

36 Research on the effects of migration on areas of origin is relatively scarce. Jullundur was booming. analyses of continuing poverty in areas of out-migration need to consider the counter-factual: it is assumed that migration keeps the home area in poverty. and livelihoods for those with small plots. and the environment to which remittances are sent back matters much. but it is clear that out-migration usually does not radically transform poor areas. effects differ. • With development of the home area. First. income from migration may form a more important part of their income that that of the better-off. Jullundur in India and Mirpur in Pakistan showed striking differences in economic success. Second. However.38 Returns are often hidden as well. Even though poor households have less access to opportunities. Research on migration to Britain from two Punjabi districts. while a similar flow of remittances precipitated economic decline and dependency in Mirpur. provides investment funds. 12 . as research in Kenya showed. while the areas of origin may suffer a decline in agriculture in the face of the loss of young wage-earning men. Empirical studies show that migration reduces the uncertainty of a family income. as they may go straight into paying-off debts. or spent during annual festivals like Meskel in southern Ethiopia.37 Third. My research on Bihari migrants in Calcutta showed that income from migration has for generations provided an inseparable part of households that remain based in rural areas. remittances facilitated local entrepreneurial activity. migration does not necessarily decline - development and migration may very well accompany each other. contributions of migration are more significant than this suggests. macro-level studies do not necessarily square with evidence at micro level. cheap migrant labour. Remittances are thought to contribute relatively little and the absence of the most productive members of households might have negative repercussion for agricultural development. and Mirpur was stagnating. In the first. but poverty could be worse if migration opportunities did not exist.

40 Capabilities Material gains are only a part of what migrants obtain and bring back. Sometimes practical skills help returned migrants to set up trading or other activities. Migrants tend to invest in education and other community activities. these educational gains may also increase differentiation and inequality. and much debate has been generated around its meaning. and occasionally to improve productivity in agriculture. Sometimes these amount to little more than speaking a little in a foreign language. and only one of the reasons . In the case of Indian rural to urban migration.”39 Research in Pakistan.wrongly .41 In the livelihoods’ framework (as adopted by DFID). ‘social capital’ is one of the five types of assets. If it is recognised that the material gains from this form of ‘capital’ is only one aspect of what matters in social relationships.Migration helps to reduce poverty. even though in many cases it does not radically improve living conditions. whereas internal migration is more likely to reduce it. Like the material returns from migration. but they are also sources of new inequality.42 13 . except for a recent World Bank publication where migration is thought .though usually the main one . The research in Kenya quoted above does not contradict this: though remittances are less important for the rich. they might still contribute to increasing inequality. this can be a useful metaphor. But as access to opportunities are not randomly distributed. while the poor are ‘pushed’: “‘push’ and ‘pull’ migration are twin children of inequality in the same sort of village. like migrants from Mali who picked up a few words of French in cities in Côte d'Ivoire. Bangladesh and the Philippines indicates that international migration increases inequality. it may also contribute to increasing inequality. through remittances or after their return. but many labour migrants come back with some newly acquired skills as well.why people leave. The terms has as yet found little entry into migration studies. The term captures the idea that social bonds and social norms are an important part of the basis of people’s livelihoods. as was shown in Western Kenya. and help to build or teach in schools. Education is a very common motive for migration. it has been emphasised that better-off migrants are ‘pulled’ towards better job be associated with a loss of social capital.

or political changes. through experience gained abroad."46 14 . migration has a function of reducing vulnerability.44 But the gains in social capital may be as unequally distributed as material gains: though the poor also may gain status at home. etc. they shouldn't be clustered in one place because. Effective migration strategies helps people to reduce the risks of seasonality. Vulnerability Much of the literature has linked migration to insecurity of the rural economy.Though the term has hardly been used. as well as isolation in insecure living and working environment.45 However. and influenced by affairs in their home villages. Labour migrants are vulnerable to changes in labour demand. sometimes they even fly the bodies of the deceased back home. For Pakistani labour migrants in Manchester. social analyses of migration have shown how access to migration depends on social capital or contacts. trying to make a living. When they are in different environments. harvest failure. and how migration helps to increase the migrant’s social capital. how links between home and host community are maintained. and his or her investment in social relations. when they die. An extreme expression of how migration helps to reduce vulnerability was encountered in research near Mafikeng in South Africa. manifested for example in the retrenchment and forced repatriation from countries hit by the East Asia crisis and during the Gulf war. they all die. from the perspectives of migrants and their communities. they won't all die at the same time. their migration may be more likely to lead to a loss of social networks at the place of origin. where the father of a successful household moves between his two sons' and his brother's houses: "When you have a family. honour and status.43 Punjabi migrants in England continue to be well informed about. gifts are the vehicles for objectifying the continued relationship between the migrants and their natal homes. International migration "creates a series of umbilical links between geographically separated communities".

particularly in smaller households and when those who stay 15 . for example of young women. earnings by young women may not contribute directly to the household income. Finally. Again. and that refugees like others adopt long-run sustainable strategies. Also. there has been increasing emphasis on environmental refugees. Circulation of labour. with declines in vegetation near refugee camps. Indeed. and have spent their income just to feed themselves. the out-migration of youngsters may help to reduce tensions within households. but the accumulation for marriage expenses imply significant household savings. Young men that are absent and do not eat from the common pot may be a help to households in coping with periods of food insecurity. There is relatively little information about the way out-migration affects environmental management in the migrant's area of origin. as IDS research did in Ethiopia. environment is also a concern in the context of large number of refugees. between households. also provides the necessary labour in times of harvest. But a focus on tangible monetary returns neglects other aspects that help to reduce vulnerability. those who are being displaced because of environmental change. Research by SOS Sahel (discussed below) emphasised that contributions may look small. older people being dissatisfied with young migrants who go out and come back with nothing except for clothes for themselves. the direct environmental implications of large-scale refugee movements may be serious. and it is better to see it as a central part in the maintenance of rural people’s strategies. or where this is difficult to do for those who stay behind. who have received the label of ‘exceptional resource degraders’.47 Some have argued that numbers of environmental refugees have exceeded those displaced by war. Environment In recent years. and thus help to keep them together in the long run. There are cases where the loss of labour decreases the chances to maintain agricultural strategies. It is common to find. etc. changes in soil and water balances. but are still vital to food security and diversification of risks. Conversely. The potential of migration to radically transform social and economic situations should not be overstated.Amounts of remittances tend to be small. migration does not usually lead to radical transformation of agriculture. But recent publications have pointed out that this notion is flawed.

and social structures and institutions allowing women and others to pursue activities previously reserved for men and household heads. but in Bankass. Sudan. Women in Passoré were forced to work longer in the communal field. Burkina Faso.behind do not have access to necessary inputs and services. Passoré.48 Impacts of migration depend on the context. while in Diourbel. The recovery of the Akamba lands over several decades was to a significant extent . migrants did buy carts. though migration also contributed to polarisation in landholdings. Migrants have also played innovative roles. the length of time spent away. Diourbel. enabling for example women to take on essential roles as men leave. including for example the introduction of double cropping or mechanisation. ploughs and animals. In three of the four case studies by SOS Sahel (El Ain. but with the right environment. Out-migration may have negative effects on agriculture. the absence of men was not that much felt. Mali. where labour is less scarce. 16 .achieved through migration and remittances. educational levels of migrants.and particularly in the later stages of recovery and less labour intensive agricultural intensification . and had less time for their own land. or support from the men who stay behind (as was most common in the four SOS Sahel case studies) migrants invest in agriculture and the environment in a rational manner. like seasonality of movement. Senegal) migration had little impact in agricultural investment. assets. where more fertile land and less population pressure allows for more investment opportunities in agriculture.

A Rapid Appraisal Survey in Eritrea in 1993-94 noted the heavy reliance of villages on seasonal migration of young men to nearby towns. reasons for this are complex and total migration has not necessarily declined.800. and colonial and Apartheid policies have strongly determined movements. Estimates of remittances vary hugely. but this coincided with rapid commercialisation brought about by the promotion of maize cultivation. whereas it was as high as 75 per cent of total non-farm earnings in areas close to major cities. In rural Botswana at the end of the 1970s. internationally from Rwanda. from Malawi and Mozambique to southern Africa. as an indication of rates of male out-migration.during the 1980s. as economic and political conditions increased interregional disparities. for trade and conquest. Survival strategies have depended for centuries on movements in search of new land and pastures. Migratory flows probably increased during the 1980s. As much as two-third of Nigerian households may have out-migrants. and circulation actually increased. In the 1980s. Returns from migration have generally decreased.000 in 1995. mainly from Burkina Faso and Mali. West Africa is an area with long traditions of population mobility.700. one-third of Kenyan rural household heads were estimated to have out-migrated. and from Sudan and Eritrea to the middle East. and 13 per cent of its 1986 population was registered as absent (since the early 1970s migration to South Africa has been declining). and . almost half of these may have been in Sub-sahara Africa (despite containing only 10 per cent of the world’s population): between 17 and 35 million. Migration directions have changed since the colonial period. 17 . one-third of adult males and one-quarter of adult females were absent. Though net rural-urban migration may have decreased. the movement of some to Saudi Arabia. at a time when urban employment was decreasing. But study in Nigeria suggests that crisis and adjustment has not stemmed rural-urban migration. Sources: references in de Haan 1999. East Africa has a history of labour migration. financed 80 per cent of the current account deficit in Botswana. The numbers of refugees in Africa increased from 2. but mobility remained the rule rather than the exception. At present. Rural-urban networks have come under pressure. and migration of entire families with livestock during years of poor rainfall. an estimated one-third of West Africans live outside their district or village of wide estimated to be US$71 billion.Box 2: Estimates of migration and remittances in Africa In the late 1980s. Southern Africa equally has been marked by high rates of population mobility.about one-tenth outside their country of birth. Over 3 million immigrants live in Côte d’Ivoire (about a quarter of its population). Migrants in urban areas in Kenya remit between 13 and 22 per cent of average income earned.excluding Nigerians . The consequences of economic crisis and structural adjustment on migration have been diverse. women were estimated to constitute 65 per cent of Zambia’s rural population. Kenya and Tanzania. Burundi and Zaire to Uganda. Forced labour and colonial taxes increased the need to earn cash and increased population mobility. Migration from Zambia’s Northern Province declined during the 1980s. 8 per cent of Lesotho’s 1980 population was estimated to have migrated to South Africa. and 70 per cent of total commodity export earnings in Sudan.000 in 1980 to 6. Studies in Kenya and Zambia and the Niger PPA have shown that adjustment led to a decrease in rural-urban migration. An overview of Africa’s rural non-farm sector showed that in areas which are not close to major cities. more than total official aid . During the 1980s. International remittances . Urban-rural remittances in Africa have been estimated to constitute between 10 and 13 per cent of migrant workers’ incomes. of an estimated 80 million international migrants world-wide. over 50 per cent of foreign exchange earnings in Lesotho. migration earnings constituted 20 per cent of total non-farm earnings.

many studies exposed the way in which oscillating migration unravelled the social fabric and undermined traditional leadership structures. Many studies now emphasise that migration need not be associated with such a decline of social structures and values. In southern Africa. Schapera’s research on the Tswana concluded that migration undermined social cohesion. Van Velsen showed that absent male workers played an important role in sustaining traditional practices in the rural areas because it was in their interest to counteract the instability of a temporary urban existence.49 Migration.3. it describes the contribution migrants make to changing social structures. Read already stressed that migration did not bring the negative effects that were expected in Malawi. but also by reinforcing old ones. first. 18 . Adepoju. Watson argued that participation in the Zambian colonial economy actually strengthened social cohesion and that co-operative labour relations were able to survive in the absence of men. by creating new identities. Since Wilson’s work on northern Rhodesia in the early 1940s. this theme has been particularly strong. apart from contributing to livelihoods. how migration is determined by social structures. This section describes. states that migration is eroding day-to-day mutual support among family members. and uneven capitalist development have been central issues in debates. through continued ownership of land and maintenance of social networks. population and development in Africa. where the links between migration and apartheid. Second. In 1942. also is part of social networks. in the introduction to his edited volume on family. and is usually consistent with communities’ values and norms. MIGRATION AS A SOCIAL PROCESS One of migration's undesirable effects that is often quoted is that it destroys social bonds. This view of declining social structures is consistent with conceptualisations of migration that focus entirely on its economic motivation. unravel the social fabric. with a focus on household forms and gendered ideologies that are among the most important factors determining the dynamics of migration.

As male migrants in northern India said.Migration. common in Kenya and highland Ethiopia for example (both areas with high population density. despite being poor. and more clear-bounded large units as in West Africa. Research has shown that nuclear households have been able to develop effective livelihood strategies that straddle different rural areas. and matrilineality is combined with male out-migration. fluid household structures as in Zambia or Botswana. 50 The first form of household structure is the nuclear type of rural households. effects of a young men being absent may be particularly harsh on the smallest households. Research in these areas has questioned the notion of household as a residential unit from which people depart.rather than being a disruption to normal household life and composition . as in Zambia. and the receipt of remittances is considered a poor substitute for the young man’s contribution to filling the family granary. In this case. and relatively high degrees of commercialisation) and in much of South Asia. they could only leave when there were other people to take care of the rest of the family . one might argue that migration . To illustrate this. In such households.constitutes the very form of 19 . Also. or their migration strategies may be less effective.those with small families or households. But a comparison with more extended households also suggests that migration strategies are limited by this form of household. may not be able to migrate. small households like larger ones need to send out migrants. Botswana or Lesotho. as well as urban and rural areas. labour and food are commonly shared. this section describes migration strategies in the context of three different types ('ideal-types') of household: nuclear types of households. Particularly with high population density. and who is able to profit. gender Above the term household has been used without a definition. household. and that household and gender ideologies determine who migrates. It was suggested that economic theories that incorporate households in the analysis are improvements upon theories focusing on individuals. and return back to. as research in Mali showed.51 A second type of households is marked by a fluid family structure.

His mother moved back to her parents household. and members of the household may be residing in the compound or at the lands.often far from the village .52 A life history in this study illustrates the complexity of social links as they relate to migration strategies. or in South Africa. Field work in a village west of Gaborone . who was living with her parents. extended households.where men tend to establish their own household only when they are forty . to live with her widowed mother and one of her own daughters. would be dependant on his kin for work in case he returns. and has inherited cattle that is herded by his mother's brother herds in the remote west of the district. which change over their life course. as well as giving money to sisters living with kin in the village. But he also gave money to the mother of a child he had fathered. Mothudi's mother never married. and varying and conflicting claims on men. and refers to the physical compound. migration dynamics are determined in yet another way. of the extended households in West Africa for example.showed multiple forms of co-habitation. Members of the same household cultivate a common field and eat from a 20 .households. and between different households. links between households and town. He herded cattle. but also to the social unit or extended family whose members may be residing elsewhere. Senoufo have traditionally organised themselves in complex. and he was raised in his grand-parents lolwapa. Lolwapa can be translated with household. owning small plantations in Côte d'Ivoire. but also at the cattle post . multiple. Despite the physical separation. and headed by its oldest male member. Mothudi contributed to his mother's household. related by patrilineal kinship. Mothudi also maintains an economic base in the rural areas. In the third case. They may have another dwelling at the agricultural land. Research by IDS in South Mali showed how Senoufou households manage to straddle two agro-ecological zones. Movement of people between households (residential units) is the norm rather than the exception. overlapping social units that characterise social organisation. Social arrangements are fluid. and after his grandfather's death the grandfather's brother took him to Gaborone to become a driver and helper.

There is always the possibility that the young men use the opportunity to establish their own household. and migration movements are consistent with social norms and rules. It also sheds light on the relationship between household size and poverty. and the role of migration in this. since large households is the norm. large households are better-off. 21 . and the meaning ‘migration’ has within the context of norms about household forms and formation. The research in Mali put little emphasis on migration as an economic household strategy. and the absence of migrants can more easily be adapted to. Heads of households decide about the migration of their sons or nephews – and their wives. Migration decisions are household decisions. but also has a social function. But migration also influences these social structures and norms. in this case the forms of households. alleviating the frustration of young men and allowing them some independence within the household structure. This is an economic investment. regarding links between migration and poverty or well-being. but this needs to be sensitive to the social dynamics of which migration is a part. The argument here is not one of causality. As other West African research suggests.single granary. to avoid conflict. and individual income generation has a negative association. and perhaps even to delay marriage). This is partly a normative issue. Linking migration to poverty is not impossible. but in many cases households in Zaradougou have remained unified. Individual wealth is rare. Household forms do not entirely preclude migration options. while increasing the number of plantations in Côte d’Ivoire. But different household forms may lead to different migration strategies. or determines directly the kinds of effect they have. but emphasised household management and hence the social functions of migration. Well-managed large households are associated with well-being in participatory rankings. But the migration strategies indicate the economic advantages of such large households: large households offer opportunities for the head of the households to devise efficient strategies (they are also essential in the social maintenance of the household. Agents of social change Migration is part of social structures.

In the case of migrants from western Bihar.. in the context of a devaluation of women's labour. But these practices also point to the way migrants transform societies at home and at the 'host community'.after various generations of (circular) migration from rural communities. First generations establish cultural and religious symbols in areas of destination. The effects of migration on social change are diverse. chicken tikka masala) where invented in new areas of destination rather than being part of the tradition of immigrants. which can perhaps be interpreted as a process of closure in the face of racism in the 'host' society. as in the case of the household management strategies discussed above. As argued 22 . The increase in single-male urban migration in late colonial (northern) India was accompanied by changing social constructions of gender. including for example the literature of Bhikari Thakur or songs by women in which the leaving of men and its consequences. communities. languages.enhancing one's status . it enhances material livelihoods. The social processes in which migration is embedded. In some cases. dressing.The preceding section argued that migration helps to enhance 'social capital'. It can help to reduce social tension. and political differences . But it may also increase these.53 Research among contemporary international migrants in particular often shows how migrants aim to maintain traditional norms . Marriage for South Asian communities in the UK for example tends to be within own communities. patterns of residence. positive ('pots of golds') and negative (men's concubines.often reinforcing or inventing them in the process. kinds of food (pizza. and spread of dowry and purdah (seclusion of women). including with partners from the areas of origin. They can both re-inforce 'traditional' norms and establish new practices. women having children with other men) are central. and its social consequences. migration has given rise to. in language. What were once sub-cultures. religious symbols. have become mainstream youth culture. are of course ambivalent. and returns from migration often has as much a symbolic function . it broadens networks. and now is embedded in a culture of migration. helps people to establish contacts. Migrants in Calcutta have maintained their own identities. English food habits have undergone large changes due to communities that have arrived since the Second World War.

for example for women. and create new forms of social differentiation. 23 . Also. these considerations can change over time. single male migration in northern India may have contributed to increasing gender differences. was resented. It may be important to emphasise that such cultural changes and inventions come arise in situations of insecurity and discrimination. Partly because of this. and the changes in social structures that arise from migration can vary greatly. and in turn reinforce these. some of the changes can have negative effects. and the economic role of young female migrants may be enhanced. Migration is embedded in social norms and structures. But what this suggests is that it would be wrong to perceive migration as occasions which disrupt social structures. research in an Indonesian transmigration area for example shows. Even so.above. But it was accommodated within local rules and norms. Migration of young women to factories and urban areas. migration can be socially embedded in many different ways.54 Thus. indeed. migration may lead to changes in consumption patterns and norms. work and migration can obtain more acceptable meanings as migration becomes institutionalised. it is possible for policies to support migration. as the next and last section describes.

• Policies in Zimbabwe after independence encouraged urban workers to choose between rural and urban areas – though workers continued to attach much importance to rural landholdings.despite land owners dependence on multiple sources of livelihood. rather than assuming that people are sedentary and immobile. The third section developed the idea of migration as a social process. First. depends on a range of economic. extreme controls have been abolished. officially to ensures that peasants would not experience the effects of capitalism and flood into the cities. the Department of Land Affairs in the Northwest Province of South Africa insisted that applicants for land through the land redistribution process make a full- time commitment to the enterprise . even if 'effects' of migration cannot be easily identified. For example: • Governments in urbanising countries often want to slow down or reverse rural-urban migration. CAN AND SHOULD POLICIES SUPPORT MIGRATION? The argument so far can be summarised as follows. • Similarly. and that negative implications of policies should be more central in debates. and how migrants are agents of social change.56 24 .though the possibility that migration increases inequality was highlighted. Policy makers often see migration as undesirable. The second section described the effects of migration. social. This section discusses the implications of this for policies.55 • China established strict controls over population movements. the paper described the complexity of the composition of migration streams. and a threat to established lifestyles. that are equally complex . Who migrates. This argued that. but China still fears its ‘floating population’. migration needs to be seen as a common element of livelihood strategies. cultural and political factors. The first implication is that policies should be based on a recognition of the centrality of migration for the households' livelihoods. arguing that policies should aim to support migration.4. and who profits. how social structures determines the dynamics of migration.

policies have greatly interfered with population movements. like colonial policies that created a need for cash earnings and provided opportunities. In the second case. discussions of policies that can reduce ‘migration pressures’. development policies tend to emphasise countries as the field of operation. but the desire to reduce migration is common. This does not apply in all cases: there are forms of migration that occur in such exploitative circumstances that the aim should be to stop this and provide alternative means of livelihoods to the migrants. Ethiopia’s current government has not given up the hope to limit urbanisation and settle its nomadic population. China and Ethiopia may have been exceptional. And indirectly.• After periods of extreme forms of control on population mobility. investment and development aid. In the literature. • More general. for example. • Agricultural or rural development policies tend to ignore the movement of people. Employment programmes in India. colonial and post-colonial policies that created border which often greatly interfered with the livelihood strategies of groups straddling different zones. though many vulnerable groups live spread out across borders. The West African gestion de terroir is explicit in the conceptualisation of the space of livelihoods. rather than implicitly or explicitly aiming to reduce it. often have the aim to prevent migration of labour. as being limited to a particular area. including trade. are popular. Integrated rural development has tended to do the same. The argument put forward here is that policies should be supportive of migration.57 25 . for example. It is essential to distinguish ‘worst forms’ of migrant labour from those that provide essential contributions to their livelihoods. providing access to health and education facilities seem crucial as recognition of the contribution and rights of migrants.

Jamaica etc. and public health in general. Expulsion of migrant workers obviously does the same. development is not likely to reduce migration. Provision of opportunities at home will provide people who otherwise migrate for unskilled and uncertain jobs elsewhere. Positive examples. Failure to respect human rights of migrants (regarding free circulation. public health will be neglected. and that development or poverty reduction programmes do not aim to reduce migration for its own sake. relating to international migration. Sri Lanka.essential of course in the establishment and identity creation of nation states . Isolation from the family increases vulnerability to AIDS.Box 3: Migrants. ‘Migration and HIV/AIDS’. the Philippines. and more sensitive to the negative consequences of certain measures. being accompanied by family members) may have unanticipated effects on the health of migrants. include the employment bureaux like in Bangladesh and the Ministry for Malians abroad. as well as the need to review human rights violations (such as discriminatory policies associated with HIV screening) which contribute to migrants’ vulnerability to HIV infection. They are unable to buy health services. South Korea. It is important that livelihoods approaches builds in an understanding of the contributions and possibilities of migration for livelihoods. The establishment of borders .including for example Turkey. “As long as illegal and undocumented migration continues to be viewed only in relation to security and national interests. and exploited for meagre wages. that help to provide information and facilitate migration movements. Migrants. 9-11 December 1998. - 26 . The West Africa ECOWAS protocol on free movement of people also helps (or helped) households to maintain or improve their livelihoods. care and support. although it may change its composition. Paper presented at the second ad hoc thematic meeting. that historically in many cases crossed current borders. Bangladesh. A variety of countries . is likely to reduce migration by that particular group. particularly at the national level. or see reduction of migration as an indicator of success. migration laws. Few policies relate directly to migration. as evidence quoted in this paper shows. Understanding the role of migration may help to make policies more relevant to peoples’ livelihood strategies. Programme Coordination Board.” Source: UNAIDS. asylum.may cut migrants off from part of their livelihoods. New Delhi. human rights and HIV/AIDS A UNAIDS paper presented at a meeting in December 1998 emphasised the need to review restrictive migration laws that limit in their view effective AIDS prevention. particularly refugees and ‘undocumented migrants’. or are denied access to local services due to their legal status. They are often forced into unsafe working conditions and accommodation. But generally. often occupy vulnerable positions.

in terms of.g. with institutional support provided by governments. providing information about migration opportunities. provide migrants assistance in readjusting after work abroad. and how this decreases the chances that migration helps households to improve their social end economic situation. health and hygiene. arrangements for child care. Box 4: Strategies for improving migrants’ livelihoods Research in Western India shows the importance of seasonal labour migration for the livelihoods of Bhil farming families.. and increase direct access to employers. and informal channels preferred. • Practical measures to improve conditions of employment. though they may change migration patterns. improved information. could very well depart from an understanding of these informal networks. through training. some countries have financial programmes to attract remittances. for example regarding conditions at work. or break-down in networks than in Mali and Bangladesh. have established labour-export agencies to manage control recruitment. facilitating remittances. Thus. like Sri Lanka. and some have special programmes to attract back emigrants who have acquired high levels of skill or wealth. and some provinces in China. The informal institutions that structure migration processes provide an opportunity for policies that aim to support livelihoods. and co-ordinated group responses. Whereas international remittances are often difficult. discussions with government labour offices and NGOs supportive of migrant worker’s interests. by de-linking it from debt and high interests . The suggested strategy for this consists of: • Increasing the productivity of poor migrant labourers. Design of support to migrants. e.have implicitly or explicitly encouraged emigration. and provide bilateral agreements on behalf of their workers. • Enhance migrants' awareness of labour legislation and rights. and education. • Improve the bargaining power of migrants in relation to recruiting agents. The research emphasises how migration is linked to long-term debts. with low-cost credit through banks. a policy priority is to aim for reducing the costs of migration (not reducing migration itself). There is much experience. though little documented. and build on them. train potential migrants. and enhancing the productive impact of remittances. explore new labour markets. Some countries. Rural development projects will not be able to provide an alternative to the central function of migration. A focus on the institutions helps to show that migration does not necessarily lead to a decline in norms.savings and credit programmes building on ‘self-help’ groups. A few countries. 27 . and of support to the contribution of migration to livelihoods. encourage rich countries to employ their workers.

Source: Mosse et al. And even in the case of ‘conservative’ cultural strategies adopted by immigrant. and express own international contexts but also at the national level. who like others develop long-term sustainable strategies. In the case of environmental refugees.. Policies should focus on enabling environments. more enabling environments might very well result in other strategies designed less at protection. histories of immigrants who are able to do that clearly show that they contribute significantly to the ‘host society’. requesting and obtaining asylum. 28 . the important policy question is to provide the means of doing so. op. In rural areas with large scale male labour migration. cit. of racism and discrimination.and again these policies itself might be inevitable . it is likely that they are at least partly the result of the insecure environments in which they have lived. Immigrants without legal status . Denial of rights of migrants . and being accompanied by family members . enabling migrants to build up their own livelihoods.relating to free circulation. In closed refugee camps .are not able to build up own means of existence. gender-sensitive policies are called for to assist those staying behind to enhance their livelihoods and reduce vulnerability.though often inevitable - these means are clearly not there. limits migrants in building their own livelihoods.

‘A Celebration of Migration’. Winter. Massey. Changes in European policies are discussed by. Davies. ‘International Migration at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century: The Role of the State’.unhchr. International Migration Review. requesting and obtaining asylum. Human Rights Watch. The Hostile New Agenda (London. Another recent positive account of migration is R. V. 7 The percentage of states that adopted policies to lower immigration rose from 19 per cent in 1986 to 35 per cent in 1993 (UN.115). May 1997. South African policies have become increasingly anti-immigrant (W. Singh. 1997). 1997a). The 1969 Organisation of African Unity Convention on refugees has had limited impact in preventing abuse by governments of African refugees (The Lawyers 29 . Dpt. such as the trafficking of girls and women for prostitution (e. J. ‘Migration in the Central Sub-Region of West Africa: Trends. Cordell. Rights of refugees and migrant workers relate to free circulation. p. Piché.g. Skeldon.NOTES 1 R. and J.characterised as a new system of slavery . Of Economic and Social Affairs. Hoe and Wage. Gregory. South Africa’.W. Migration and Development.. Vol. and an equal number displaced within their own countries.D.took almost reverse positions: critiques emphasised the forced nature of labour recruitment. and evidence that out-migration does not always have positive impacts on the people left behind. International migration may have increased particularly after the end of the Cold War. Ghana expelled many workers in 1969. Geneva: www. Susanna. Nigeria some 2 million in fact. World Population Monitoring 1997. 1998. and the Ivoirian public has become “increasingly xenophobic” (M. that “held world emigration rates at artificially low levels” (D. 1988-1994’.. Adaptable Livelihoods: Coping with Food Insecurity in the Malian Sahel (London: Macmillan Press. 1998). No. Population and Development Review. Report prepared for ODA. ‘DFID Migration Policy Paper’.2. particularly the right to housing" (UNHCR. W. 2 There may be as many as 20 million international refugees at the end of the 1990s. Circular migration between the rural areas of former KwaZulu and metropolitan Natal has been described as search for work as well as fleeing political violence and escaping personal conflict. on a large scale.31. e.1. No.g. University of Sussex. A Social History of a Circular Migration System in West Africa (Boulder: Westview Press. International Migration and Development. New York. King. while defensive voices stressed the contribution of migration to reducing poverty in poor villages. 30 January 1996. Trafficking of Burmese Women and Girls into Brothels in Thailand. Numbers have increased since the 1970s. Donecker. 1993). Population Division. Fact Sheet No. 1996). 1997). Every year at least 10 million people world-wide are forcibly evicted. Forced Evictions and Human Rights. 1997).. ‘The Rural Linkages of Urban Households in Durban. Mimeo. Forget TEBA”: The Plight of Malawian Ex-migrant Workers to South Africa. A Modern Form of Slavery. No. 4 Debates about indentured migration during the colonial period . Minority Rights Group International. New York.25. Environment and Urbanization (Vol. and can lead to increasing inequality. 1996). London).C.htm. A Global Perspective (Harlow: Longman. Professorial Inaugural Lecture. of which more than half migrate between developing countries (A. and Reflection’. 6 D. 3 S. Smit. Issues.10. Refugees in Europe. p. 1999. Vol. Chirwa ‘“No TEBA . 1997). Modern forms of slavery still exist.25. Main reasons for hesitating to celebrate migration include continuing discrimination and vulnerability of migrants in ‘host societies’ (despite many success stories of immigrants). described by the Commission of Human Rights Resolution 1993/77 as a "gross violation of human rights.3.311).. and being accompanied by family members 5 Total numbers of international migrants have been estimated at 125 million.

and by Human Rights Watch. Sen. as economically non-active are also included (though one might argue that ‘family migration’ is also ‘labour migration’. ‘Sustainable Livelihoods Project: Mali Country Report’. 13 K. Brock. Croissance Urbaine. 9 The next sub-section indicates that this may be more prominent among poorer migrants. indicates that about 5- 30 . 1992).2. 'Family Migration and the Economic Status of Women in Malaysia'. in: J. Coulibaly. research in Malaysia showed that family migration decreases women's propensity to work. See for example K. cit. The Bengal Jute Industry. Mimeo.5 (Paris. 1997). Fawcett et al. Mallee. Manuscript.. 1995).6 (Paris. Vol. Wodon. Asia- Pacific Population Journal (Vol. Authorities at the destination side have erected barriers in terms of job discrimination. V. The World Bank. Family reunion in western Europe after the labour migrant influx in the 1960s has probably increased the percentage of women. 1997). LCSPP. the Philippines and Thailand women form a larger proportion of migrants than men. K. Unsettled Settlers. led by Martin Greeley and Kazi Ali Toufique. Local authorities continue to control migration. New York. Guingnido.T. Les Migration Internes au Kenya 1979-1989. Migrant Workers and Industrial Capitalism in Calcutta (Hilversum: Verloren. 17 Q.Committee for Human Rights. ‘China's “Tidal Wave” of Migrant Labour: What Can We Learn From Mexican Undocumented Migration to the United States?’. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. op. International Migration Review. R. Nos 3-4. (Brighton: IDS. Refugee Crises. 1994). World Population Monitoring 1997. and because geographical mobility separates the family from childcare and family support (A. cit. 'Poverty and Policy in Latin American and the Caribbean'.. 1999).1. CEDEP Etudes No. 15 UN. 8 On the other hand. 14 M. A. No. But it is relevant to note that the emergence of a single. China Information (Vol.N. The Journal of Developing Areas (33.and adult-male migrant labour force in the large-scale industry during the late-colonial period was accompanied by a long-term trend of devaluation of women's labour. Golaz.. Cordell et al. 11 H. op. and N. Women in the Cities of Asia. 1997). ‘Restructuring of Labour Markets in the Philippines and Zambia: The Gender Dimension’.31. academic and policy circles. 16 In the Republic of Korea. CEDEP Etudes No. Total numbers of foreign born does not represent labour migration very well. International Migration Review (Vol. Singh. changing gender ideologies.and female labour force participation (S. cit.31. Human Rights and the 1969 OAU Convention.J.D. op.T.2. Roberts. de Haan. p. 10 For example. No. trafficking of children is documented by the Center for Legal Research and Resource Development in Kathmandu. 1984). 18 IDS research in 1994 and 1997. African Exodus. ‘In Defence of Migration: Recent Chinese Studies on Rural Population Mobility’. ‘Rural-Urban Migration and Its Implications for Poverty Alleviation’. and decreasing child. 1997). No. Migrations et Population au Benin. 12 A. China’s ‘floating population’ or ‘tidal wave’ of rural migrant labour has generated much debate in press. Fall 1998).12. Chattopadhyay. Skeldon.10. ‘Rural-to-Urban Migration of Women in India: Patterns and Implications’. October 1999. and removal of migrants. perhaps because of increasing (husband's) income. 1999). Schaefer. 1995/96). Migration and Urban Adaption (Boulder: Westview Press. Sagrario Floro and K.10). Women and Labour in Late Colonial India.

The Indian Economic Journal (Vol. ‘Agricultural Changes and Inequality in Palanpur 1957-1984’ (London: 31 . S. Resource Management and Migration in the Sahel (London: SOS Sahel. Adepoju. David. S. K. Golaz. Family. op. Powers and W. No. and S. No. Laishley. Food Consumption and Nutrition Division. cit.2. Determinants and Consequences of Internal Migration in India. Adepoju and W. Oberai. though with differences between villages. op. 28 J. de Haan.121. these findings will be summarised in A. cit. de la Brière. G. P. 1995). and female migration may have been under-recorded. ‘Labour Migration and Remittances: Production and Food Security Effects in Chirau and Magondi’. M.A Review’. 2000. 1996/97). 1997). 20 R. Sardana. Lipton.K. 26 Mallee. cf. 1976).S.44. M. cit. 27 N. ‘Why Do Migrants Remit? An Analysis for the Dominican Sierra’ (Washington: IFPRI. Women who migrate to Nairobi are also slightly better-educated. Seltzer. Sadoulet. International Migration Review (Vol. Rees and the KRIBP Project Team. and M. ‘Migration and Family Interactions in Africa’. Lambert. No. 19 A. ‘The Changing Economic Role of Women in the Urbanisation Process: A Preliminary Report from Zimbabwe’. Song. ‘undocumented’ migrants in the US improve their earnings and occupational status over time. ‘Occupational Status and Mobility Among Undocumented Immigrants by Gender’. 1997). June 1998. Stern. 23 For example.6 per cent of migrants were women. Mbugua. Spring 1998).G. op. and M. Yadava. Shah. ‘Rural Out-migration and its Economic Implications on Migrant Households in India . op. J. both in: A. cit. B.N. Studies in Bihar. 29 A. ‘Migration and livelihoods: case studies in Bangladesh. L. and research in the context of DFID-funded participatory agricultural development. Drakakis Smith. Sussex. Mimeo (1999). Wage Hunters and Gatherers. ‘The Role of Women in Labour Migration: A Case Study of Northern China’. 1984). Discussion Paper No. Migration from Rural Areas: The Evidence from Village Studies (Delhi: Oxford University Press. 30 P. ‘Brokered Livelihoods: Debt.W. Yadava and R. S. ‘The African Family: An Overview of Changing Forms’.H. but improvements tend to be greater for mean than for women. A 1987 survey found that permanent out-migrants are much better educated than seasonal migrants. Prasad. Search for Work in the Urban and Rural Economy of South Gujarat (Delhi: Oxford University Press.18. R. 1989). Brock and Coulibaly.37. V. International Migration Review (Vol. Lanjouw and N. Changing Places: Women. L. A. and E. Population and Development in Africa (London: Zed Books.32. et al. Amin. 1996). Connell. Dasgupta. Kerala and Uttar Pradesh (Delhi: Oxford University Press.4. ‘Is Rural to Urban Migration of Labour Worthwile in China’. 24 Brock and Coulibaly. 21 Mallee. Mosse.S. Labour Migration and Development in Tribal Western India’. 22 B. forthcoming IDS working paper. 1997). Sinha. Findley.S. 1994). op. But already in the early 1980s it was indicated that in Zimbabwe the role of women had become increasingly important. 25 J. Song. Gupta. presented at the workshop on Migration and Sustainable Livelihoods. Mehta. de Janvry. D. Ethiopia and Mali’. Mimeo (Oxford University: Institue of Economics and Statistics. Breman. Mimeo (Oxford University: Institue of Economics and Statistics. D. cit.

analysis of DHS data in 15 cities showed that child mortality disadvantages of migrants is more pronounced among migrants who have lived in the city for many years than among recent migrant (M. ‘Migration form Rural Areas of Poor Countries: The Impact on Rural Productivity and Income Distribution’.2.1. In Japan emigration continued during industrialisation and urbanisation (Skeldon. 36 The argument about continuing and increasing inequality has been put forward for example by Cordell et al. E. cit. 1981).10. Rodriguez. ‘The Context and Consequences of Migration: Jullundur and Mirpur Compared’. 32 The literature suggests that in many cases there is little wage discrimination against migrants. No. P. No.95).24.). 1/2. No. op.10. op. D. Native Workers’. 1995). mentioned 32 . The Journal of Development Studies (Vol. Economic Development and Cultural Change (Vol. unpublished data from Bangladesh collected by Martin Greeley. No. Ellis. and most East Asian countries are net emigration countries despite being among the richest economies (Singh and Donecker. Vol. 1997a. for migration from Burkina Faso to Côte d'Ivoire during the 1950s and 1960s. 40 R.8. International Migration Review (Vol. ‘Migration and Differentiation in Western Kenya: A Tale of Two Sub- locations’. ‘Child Survival in Big Cities: The Disadvantages of Migrants’. IDS.LSE. 1993). Journal of Development Economics (Vol. ‘An Analysis of Income Transfers in a Developing Country’. Vijverberg.45. 31 A useful overview of links between rural and urban areas is: C. F.31. p. and J. 1989). ‘Non-Farm Income and Inequality in Rural Pakistan’. World Development (Vol. ‘Household Strategies and Rural Livelihood Diversification’. Brighton. cit. Policy Research Working Paper. But the migration history of the Punjab in India suggests that relative successful development does not preclude out-migration (combined with in-migration from poorer Indian states). Schiff.1. 11. Migration and Welfare: the Impact of Social Capital. 34 A. 41 E. 1999). 8. No. Brockerhoff. as livelihoods can be and often are partly urban-based. ‘Comparing Earnings profiles in Urban Areas of an LDC: Rural-to-urban Migrants vs. Hoddinott. 35 Ian Scoones. Journal of Development Studies (Vol. Francis. and L.1. Knowles. 1998). New Community (Vol. 1994). Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: A Framework for Analysis (Brighton: IDS Working Paper. Goldstein.C. pp. Environment and Urbanization (Vol..A.. Anker. No. ‘Rural-Urban Interactions: A Guide to the Literature’. Journal of Development Economics (Vol. A McNally. Journal of Development Studies (Vol.2044 (Washington: World Bank. 1997). cit).35. 1998). However. Carney. 1980). Adams. 39 M. 1998). and R. 'Internal Migration and Development in Vietnam'.M. 1998). though Burmese workers in Thailand are thought to earn about one-third of a Thai worker’s wage (Human Rights Watch.2. Dropping the adjective rural is I believe consistent with the principles of the livelihoods framework.40. Ballard. S. Lipton. ‘International Migration and Income Distribution in the Philippines’. Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: What Contribution Can We Make? (London: DFID. op cit. 1998. 1994). Trade. 42 M.48.1983).1. No. Social Science and Medicine. 37 R. Tacoli. 1998).30.31. No. 33 W. Zeager. Dang.R. This mistaken diagnosis is linked to suggestions that immigration countries are therefore justified in putting up immigration restrictions .. 38 A.1. No. DEP No. No.

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