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26 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM

Need for world migrant policy

N. S. Venkataraman
Need for world migrant policy

Migrants from one country to another can be classified into two categories. One category is those who want to migrate to another country to seek greener pastures and better living conditions. They are largely those who do not have much love left for their motherland and are more self- centred.  Rarely, they would return back to their motherland and prefer to become citizens of the country to which they migrate.

The other category consists of those who want to leave their country of origin due to oppression and suppression, as they may belong to religious minority in their motherland and due to difference in caste and creed with the majority population.

There are number of countries which are under populated and need skilled people to ensure that industrial and economic growth of the country would be sustained and minimum population level would be maintained.  Such countries include Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and a few others. It is seen that inevitably these under populated countries are economically stronger and industrially and technologically advanced and are in a position to welcome and absorb migrant population. Since under populated countries also have dearth of hands to carry out unskilled and manual jobs such as cleaning or construction work and house maids, they also selectively accept unskilled  migrants to carry out such jobs.

However, the serious problem in migration happens when the migrant population arrives due to oppression and suppression in the native land. In such cases, the migration take place en masse and forcibly and the recipient countries really do not know how to manage such situations.  The immediate examples are Rohingya migrants from Myanmar into Bangladesh and migration of those belonging to Islamic religion to some countries in Western Europe such as Germany, Belgium and others.

In India, the recently introduced Citizenship Amendment Act to confer citizenship to oppressed minority in three neighbouring countries have caused protests,  though the Government of India has clearly said that it would accept migrants belonging to minority religion from three neighbouring Islamic countries, who could have been oppressed and suppressed on religious grounds. However, since muslims have been eliminated in the eligibility list of migrants from three Islamic neighbouring countries, critics in India protest against making difference based on religions to which the migrants belong as an issue of discrimination.

The migrant population take their beliefs and culture and traditional practices along with them to the counties to which they migrate and cause problems, inevitably creating conflict of interests with the natives.  Such migrants often cause havoc in the countries to which they migrate by way of creating social tensions and with the population of migrants steadily increasing due to high birth rate amongst migrants in some cases. The massive scale of migration results in disturbing demographic balance, which will impact adversely the peace in several countries in the coming days.

Since the migrants, particularly the muslims migrate to other countries and do not observe any principle or discipline in expanding the size of their families with number of muslim men having several wives, now there is distinct possibility of gradual increase in muslim population in countries, where, until sometime back, one religion dominated and peaceful conditions prevailed. In such conditions, conflicts will certainly happen between the migrants and native people sooner or later, which cannot be prevented.

In any case, the tendency towards global migration have become stronger due to better communication facilities across the world and access to different countries.  

It is very clear now that greater level of migration of people from one region to another will cause social unrest and disturb the peace in various regions.

This is one reason why many Americans seem to think that US President Trump’s policy of restricting the migrants is appropriate.  In Canada too, which was until recently a very peaceful country, violence and murders and crimes are reported to be becoming frequent, as migrants from different countries with various cultural and religious backgrounds enter Canada.

The UN’s approach to migrant issue seem to be fallacious. For example, Bangladesh, a  newly developed

country has been forced to receive  thousands of migrants from neighbouring country Myanmar  who have no resources or particular skill. The UN has sympathized with these Rohingya migrants and has not viewed the problems faced by Bangladesh in rehabilitating them. This is a typical case study of the UN taking one sided view.

The writer is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived,"



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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