should get a better , enjoy the same rights as locals and have access to
basic services such as shelter, medical treatment and education, says the UN
Development Programme’s latest Human Development Report.
We agree. Migration is a fact of life, and has been taking place since the beginning of history. The early man moved from place to place in search of food. The basic instinct that drives people to migrate from their place of birth has not changed, only the circumstances have. Even the rise in the number of nation states and of border police posts, racial discrimination and regional chauvinism have not really limited the movement of people.
Migration and development are closely linked. The originating region of the migrants as well as the destination gains from migration. This is why migrants deserve all support. By no means is that an easy task, given the size of the migrant population across the world.
The UNDP estimates that one in seven persons is a migrant, meaning about one billion of the world’s estimated 6.7 billion people have migrated. Most of the movement happens within the borders of a country, only 214 million are international migrants. Further, contrary to popular perception fewer than 70 million (just about 7% of all the migrants and 33% of the international migrants) move from developing to developed countries.
India is a country that has a large mass of people on the move, thanks to changes in the structure of the economy. People will move from primary activities to secondary and tertiary activities that are more urban-centric. So people will move from country to town. Ideally, new, and better planned, towns should house the bulk of them as well as the burgeoning industrial and service establishments. The migrants will need new skills. In their interest, and in the interest of the economy’s higher productivity, migration management policies should also involve teaching people skills that are in short supply and would help them earn a better living.
Most importantly, migrants should be empowered as citizens to seek their due, without resorting to or being threatened with violence.
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