Types of Migration
“The movement of people within a State involving the establishment of a new temporary or permanent residence. […] Internal migration movements can be temporary or permanent and include those who have been displaced from their habitual place of residence such as internally displaced persons, as well as persons who decide to move to a new place, such as in the case of rural–urban migration. The term also covers both nationals and non‐nationals moving within a State, provided that they move away from their place of habitual residence.”
“The movement of persons away from their place of usual residence and across an international border to a country of which they are not nationals.” As for internal migration, this can be temporary or permanent and includes those who have been displaced from their “habitual place of residence”, and people who have chosen to move to a new country. It excludes movements that are due to “recreation, holiday, visits to friends and relatives, business, medical treatment or religious pilgrimages”.
Reasons for Migration
1. Climate Migration
“The movement of a person or groups of persons who, predominantly for reasons of sudden or progressive change in the environment due to climate change, are obliged to leave their habitual place of residence, or choose to do so, either temporarily or permanently, within a State or across an international border. “
2. Labour Migration
“Movement of persons from one State to another, or within their own country of residence, for the purpose of employment.”This includes migrants moving within the country and across international borders.
3. Irregular Migration
“Movement of persons that takes place outside the laws, regulations, or international agreements governing the entry into or exit from the State of origin, transit or destination.” It is generally used to “identify persons moving outside regular migration channels.” These migrants may have had no other option but to use these irregular migration channels. It may include: asylum seekers, victims of trafficking, or unaccompanied migrant children.
4. Forced Migration or Displacement
“The movement of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters.”
Displacement or Forced Migration
Forced migration or displacement refers to the “movement of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters. “This migration can be either within their own country or between countries after being displaced from their home country. There are some differences between the different types of displaced persons which we will explore below.
Internally Displaced Person
According to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, an Internally Displaced Person (IDP), are “persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized state border.” There are two important elements in the IDP definition: the movement is involuntary and takes place within national borders. Prevention of forced displacement and the protection of IDPs is the primary responsibility of the national authority.
While often referred to as refugees, IDPs do not fall within the legal definitions of a refugee as they remain entitled to all the rights and guarantees as citizens and other habitual residents of their home country and remain under the protection of its government. In many cases, the displacement occurs as a result of the government. This can make IDPs more vulnerable to further displacement and other protection risks, such as lack of access to basic services, family separation, sexual and gender based violence, trafficking, discrimination and harassment.
According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), at the end of 2021, there were 59.1 million IDPs; 53.2 million as a result of conflict, violence or human rights violations and 5.9 million as a result of disaster. Syria (6,662,000), Afghanistan (5,704,000), Democratic Republic of the Congo (5,540,000), Colombia (5,236,400), Yemen (4,300,000) and Ethiopia (4,168,000) are countries with some of the largest internally displaced populations.
- An asylum seeker is someone who claims to be a refugee, but whose claim has not yet been fully evaluated. When people flee their own country and seek sanctuary in another country, they apply for asylum or the right to be recognised as a refugee and receive legal protection and material assistance. An asylum seeker must demonstrate that their fear of persecution in their home country is well-founded.
- This person would have applied for asylum on the grounds that returning to their home country would lead to persecution on account of race, religion, nationality or political beliefs. Someone is an asylum seeker for so long as their application is pending. Not every asylum seeker will be recognized as a refugee, but every refugee is initially an asylum seeker. According to the UNHCR Global Trends 2021, at the end of 2021 there were 4.6 million asylum seekers globally.
In conclusion migration has always existed, and will continue long into the future but the term “migrants” has become more politically loaded over the years, and remains a contentious point of discussion. Consistent public debate is challenging when multiple definitions exist and terminology is used interchangeably. While many individuals migrate out of choice, many others migrate out of necessity and for many they are forced to leave their home. Every migrant is a unique person protected by human rights. Some migrants may have specific vulnerabilities and, as a result, have particular rights because of who they are or what they have experienced (e.g. children, people with a disability, survivors of trafficking, stateless persons and refugees). The use of ‘migrants’ as a label for all should always go hand in hand with recognizing and protecting the rights of each of the specific groups identified above.