The orientation of the society in contemporary times denotes the creation of pressure that necessitates the movement of people from one location to another location to ease the pressure. Migration is, therefore, a trend that is common due to the modern world that is characterized by the push and pull factors that influence the movement of populations across the world.
As Castles (2003) argues, “The most obvious reason why we should study forced migration is that it has grown dramatically in the post-Cold War period” (p. 14). The underdeveloped countries often face a lot of internal challenges, forcing most of their population to migrate internally or externally.
Political and economic instability and social pressures such as extreme poverty, joblessness, and conflict arising from scarce economic resources are some of the reasons for forced migration in search of better economic opportunities.
As a result, forced migration causes underdevelopment of the home countries of the immigrants, as well as serving as a possible catalyst for economic progress both in the host and home countries of the immigrants if they land economic opportunities in their host nations. This paper discusses the causes and effects of migration on the people who are displaced.
Political instability in most countries falls among the complex causes of forced migration in the modern day world. Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a tremendous growth of forced migration (Castles, 2003). Staples (2013) opines that states that are unstable, commonly known as failed states, bring a substantial number of problems to their citizens.
These problems range from insecurity to lack of necessities like food and water. Also, such states exhibit high rates of human rights violations. In other words, these states become inhabitable as these problems keep rising in scale, thereby posing threats to human existence and survival in these states.
An example that can be given here is Somalia, which has had its population migrate to other countries neighboring the Horn of Africa due to political instability. As long as solutions to the political instability in such countries are not realized, people in these countries remain exposed to risks that culminate into forced displacement.
Most countries in the developing world do not have the economic capacity to sustain their citizens. Thus, cases of extreme poverty, joblessness, hunger, malnutrition, and conflict over limited economic resources are very common (Castles, 2003). A combination of these factors results in forced migration in search of economic opportunities.
According to Wise (2013), the best economic opportunities remain in the hands of the capitalists, leaving the majority of the population with either limited or no opportunities to thrive in the economy. A substantial number of development index reports that are released annually denote that most countries in the developing world have huge gaps of inequality.
Kancs (2012) observed that the developing world faces a problem because the supply of labor supersedes the demand for labor due to the nature of the economic structures in place. As such, most people in these countries are forced to seek opportunities in developed countries.
Political instability and other related effects in the home country make the home country unattractive for investment and development as they are bypassed by potential investors, besides being unable to spur investment from the local population. Castles (2003) argues that political instability in the home countries of immigrants is one of the major stumbling blocks for the economic prosperity of these nations.
The population that is internally displaced remains in camps and ends up being unproductive and a liability to the economy of the home country. Although the immigrants may land on economically viable opportunities in the host nations, they hardly go back home.
Thus they do not grow their home countries (2006). In the long run, the economy of the home country of the immigrants deteriorates and makes life harder for those in the country and unfavorable for those in foreign countries to return home. Even the people who migrate do not always get economic opportunities in the host countries.
Migration can result in the economic transformation of both the home and host countries. Lindstrøm (2005) argues that developed countries somewhat appreciate and encourage receiving immigrants, especially when the immigrants come for positive reasons such as investing or working. These individuals become resourceful to the host country by paying taxes and social security funds.
Besides, the immigrants also send remittances and invest back in their home country, thus contributing positively to the home economies (Wise & Covarubias, 2009). Even persons who migrate due to natural catastrophes, economic problems, and human-generated conflicts can now get economic opportunities in their host countries as a result of changes in laws and policies governing immigrants.
For instance, the European Union has been proactive in developing policies and laws to help in safeguarding the rights and interests of the displaced people. This makes the immigrants resourceful to their host countries, as well as their home countries by making remittances to boost the economies back home.
In conclusion, this paper has demonstrated that political hostility and adverse economic and social situations like lack of jobs, abject poverty, and the resultant conflicts as people struggle for limited resources lead to migration.
It is also evident that as much as forced migration may be negative by leading to a state of underdevelopment in the home country of the immigrants as the environment becomes unfavorable for investment, it may also lead to the economic development of both the host and home countries.
However, this depends on whether the immigrants become economically productive in the host countries and whether they send remittances back to their home countries.
In summary, it is necessary for the national and international communities to promote political and economic stability to curb the problem of forced migration and its consequences. Policies and regulations should also be formulated to promote and safeguard the welfare of immigrants to promote their welfare and that of the host and home economies.
Castles, S. (2003). Towards a sociology of forced migration and social transformation. Sociology, 37(1), 13-34.
Castles, S. (2006). Global perspectives on forced migration. Asian and Pacific migration Journal, 15(1), 7.
Kancs, D. (2011). Labor migration in the enlarged EU: a new economic geographical approach. Journal of Economic Policy Reform, 14(2), 171-188.
Lindstrøm, C. (2005). European Union policy on asylum and immigration. Addressing the root causes of forced migration: A justice and home affairs policy of freedom, security and justice? Social Policy & Administration, 39(6), 587-605.
Staples, K. (2013). Fragile states, collective identities and forced migration. Forced Migration Review, (43), 20-21.
Wise, R. (2013). The migration and labor question today. Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine, 64(9), 25.
Wise, R. D., & Covarrubias, H. M. (2009). Understanding the relationship between migration and development: Toward a new theoretical approach. Social Analysis, 53(3), 85-105.