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The Nature and Impacts of Forced Migration Essay

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Updated: Oct 8th, 2020


Nowadays, the problem of immigration needs to be examined particularly critically due to the drastic change in the socio-economic environment. It is particularly important to study the phenomenon of forced migration that is associated with a series of negative consequences for both the immigrants and the native population. Forced migration is a multifaceted phenomenon that occurs for a variety of reasons. As a rule, people are driven by the search for more favorable socio-economic conditions of living or by the desire to survive. This essay will explain the impact that forced migration has on both immigrants and native populations, putting a particular emphasis on its socio-economic, ethical, and political consequences.

The nature of migration, as well as the direction of migration

First and foremost, it is essential to realize that the nature of migration, as well as the migration destinations, has changed significantly (Bartram, Poros, & Monforte, 2014). Many countries around the world accept millions of migrants every year, but some states have a leading position in the number of immigrants. As such, Flahaux and De Haas (2016) note that the African population has started migrating to North America more intensively rather than to the European countries that they tended to choose before.

On the other hand, Europe has faced active migration flows from such countries like Syria. The migration patterns have likewise changed. Thus, Lori and Boyle (2015) note that undocumented migration has become a new trend in Europe. Otherwise stated, the immigrant flows are so large that the local governments are physically incapable of performing a consistent registering policy.

Second, forced migration leads to actual, intractable social conflicts (Tran, 2012). Many of those who are forced to move away from their homes are not eager to part with their regular lifestyle, worldview, and customs and cannot systematically integrate into society. McAdam (2012) mentions in the research that many communities are indeed committed to their original homeland, and the dedication does not allow them to settle harmoniously in the new territory. In this regard, countries facing such problems need to develop and implement programs to support not only the immigrants solely but the local population as well. Tran (2012) emphasizes that such measures are essential to promote a faster integration of these groups into society.

Third, forced migration hurts the mental and psychological health of immigrants (Lori & Boyle, 2015). As such, people have to adjust to the involuntary changes that are, as a rule, accompanied by temporary or permanent loss of many rights (McAdam, 2012).

Also, such changes hurt immigrants’ spirituality, professional activity, and other essential aspects of life. According to Westwood (2014), migrant children should be paid particular attention as they often meet stigmatization and discrimination. These issues strongly affect their wellbeing; initially, children do not get sufficient nutrition and care when moving from one country to another, and after they have settled in the new state, they face hostility from their peers due to stereotypes and negative perceptions existing in the society.

Also, the study of Angola children conducted by Avogo and Agadjanian (2010) has evidenced that the kids from migrant families experience a drastic decrease in health status similar to those children facing military conflicts. All of these aspects influence the physical welfare and mental stability of the immigrants.

Forth, forced migration implies a series of difficulties related to the inclusion in the new environment. Thus, one of the negative ethical consequences related to forced migration is the impossibility of harmonious interaction with the native population of the country. Quite often, the indigenous population perceives immigrants as those damaging the development of the state. Additionally, immigrants are treated as rivals in such paradigms as the labor market and housing, in which the native population experiences difficulties (Tran, 2012).

In other words, the problem resides in the fact that immigrants actively enter into the competition for ownership of the land, as well as in trade, business, and banking. As such, forced immigrants exacerbate the competition for jobs between the locals and newcomers. The uneven distribution of income in society also causes the possibility of ethnic strife or hostility (Tran, 2012).

Fifth, forced migration leads to an increase in crime rates. This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that immigrants cannot be legally employed and they resort to illegal measures to earn money and provide for their families. This situation leads to increased crime rates and tumult among the residents (Tran, 2012). The country’s authority promotes policies aimed at mitigating such consequences through the corresponding measures.

For instance, Doherty and Wahlquist (2016) revealed that Australia was among those countries where the government decided to aggravate the illegal activities of the population. Thus, such activities allow securing the residents and setting limits to the performance of the immigrant population. In the meantime, the problem of intensive crime remains acute for many countries flooded by forced immigrants.

Finally, in the frame of politics, forced migration leads to the worsening of social, religious, and political relations in society. The mutual claims fuel the growth of legal conflicts. A significant role is played by ethnocultural differences in social relations. Stereotypes related to the inappropriate behavior of the immigrants, religious differences, lack of respect in immigrants to the customs and traditions of indigenous people, and on the contrary, the rejection of the customs and traditions of internally displaced persons and refugees by the indigenous population, are a strong irritant (Lori & Boyle, 2015). Also, inter-ethnic tension greatly boosts cross-border terrorism, which is evidenced by the current situation in Europe.

However, the latest research by Echevarria and Gardeazabal (2016) revealed the fact that such important aspects of integration as speaking the same language no longer has a strong link to the success of assimilation. That is to say that the more diverse the population becomes, the less it is important for all the people to speak the same language. Nonetheless, it might cause another problem, which is social fragmentation and weak communication between different population groups.


As a result, it might be concluded that forced immigration implies a series of negative outcomes. From the standpoint of the immigrants, it hurts their psychological health and wealth. As such, they have to begin their lives from scratch without relevant legal protection. From the perspective of the native population, forced immigration is associated with an increase in the crime rates and a more intensive competition in the labor market. As such, the main outcome of forced migration is the social conflict between the natives and the newcomers.


Avogo, W. A., & Agadjanian, V. (2010). Forced migration and child health and mortality in Angola. Social science & medicine, 70(1), 53-60. Web.

Bartram, D., Poros, M., & Monforte, P. (2014). Key concepts in migration. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Doherty, B., & Wahlquist, C. (2016). . Web.

Echevarria, J., & Gardeazabal, J. (2016). Refugee gravitation. Public Choice, 169(3), 269-292. Web.

Flahaux, M., & De Haas, H. (2016). African migration: Trends, patterns, drivers. Comparative Migration Studies, 4(1), 1-25. Web.

Lori, J. R., & Boyle, J. S. (2015). Forced migration: Health and human rights issues among refugee populations. Nursing outlook, 63(1), 68-76. Web.

McAdam, J. (2012). Climate change, forced migration, and international law. Oxford, UK: OUP Oxford.

Tran, M. (2012). . Web.

Westwood, J. (2014). Children in need of support. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Original Quotes

Avogo & Agadjanian

“These results indirectly align with the earlier findings pointing to a considerable disadvantage in child health outcomes in the parts of Angola that were heavily affected by civil war relative to those that were largely spared hostilities (Agadjanian and Prata, 2003), as war migration was more likely to originate in the former while non-war migration in the latter.”

Bartram, Poros, & Monforte

“Migration that results from some sort of compulsion or threat to wellbeing or survival, emerging in conditions ranging from violent conflict to severe economic hardship.”

Doherty & Wahlquist

“Moore said the Western Australian government’s decision to expand mandatory sentencing for burglary offences would disproportionately put more Aboriginal people, particularly Aboriginal young people, in jail.”

Echevarria & Gardeazabal

“However, some covariates previously found to be significant, such as sharing a common language or having a colonial relationship, lose significance.”

Flahaux &De Haas

“While the intensity of intra-African migration has decreased, there has been a recent acceleration and geographical diversification (beyond colonial patterns) of extra-continental migration from Africa to Europe, but increasingly also to North America, the Gulf and Asia.”

Lori & Boyle

“Undocumented migration is a global phenomenon that is manifest in diverse contexts.”


“A dominant feeling among those who have been relocated is ‘discontent,’ often over generations, deriving from the very strong relationship or bond that exists between most Pacific Island Communities and their land – in most cases they are inseparable.”


“A concern for humanitarian groups is how to deal with long-term refugees or displaced people who are unlikely to return home – more than 20 million refugees are trapped in protracted exile. The report calls on governments to relax restrictions on the economic activities of refugees and help migrant and host populations to integrate quickly.”


Discrimination and social stigmatization continues to be experienced by certain groups of children: Roma and Irish travellerschildren; migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children.”

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