Migration – Threat or opportunity-ROMANIA

“Elie Radu”
 Crina
 Victor
 Simona
 Alexandru
Human migration:
basic notions and facts
 human migration - a movement of humans from one place to another, with
the intention of settling in the new location.
some modern migration - a byproduct of wars, political conflicts, and natural
contemporary migration is predominantly economically motivated.
number of international migrants - 220 million in 2013; it could reach 405
million by 2050.
1 of every 35 persons in the world is a migrant.
Pre-modern migrations
Historical migration of human populations:
 begins with the movement of Homo erectus out of Africa across Eurasia about
a million years ago;
Homo sapiens appear to have occupied all of Africa about 150,000 years ago;
 Homo sapiens moved out of Africa 70,000 years ago, and had spread across
Australia, Asia and Europe by 40,000 years BC;
migration to the Americas took place 20,000 to 15,000 years ago;
 by 2,000 years ago, most of the Pacific Islands were colonized.
Modern migrations:
why do people migrate?
Reasons for migrating:
Economic Migrants – few opportunities to
earn money in their own country. Leave to seek
higher paid and more regular wages in more
developed countries.
Political Migrants – refugees from civil wars,
or a persecuted minority within their own country;
seeking safety.
Social Migrants – seeking a better opportunity
for their future lifestyle. Often affects families
seeking a future with more opportunities for their
Factors causing migrations
Push Factors: not enough jobs ■ few opportunities ■ primitive conditions■
■ desertification ■ famine or drought ■ political fear or persecution ■ slavery or
forced labour ■ poor medical care ■ loss of wealth ■ natural disasters ■ death threats
■ pollution ■ bullying ■ war ■ discrimination.
Pull factors: job opportunities ■ better living conditions ■ political and/or
religious freedom ■ enjoyment ■ education ■ better medical care ■ attractive climates
■ security ■ family links ■ industry ■ better chances of marrying.
Impacts of migration
human migration affects:
 population patterns and characteristics,
 social and cultural patterns,
 processes, economies, and physical environments;
 as people move, their cultural traits and ideas diffuse along with them,
creating and modifying cultural landscapes;
 there are many arguments about the advantages and disadvantages of
migration and how it has affected us locally.
Positive impacts on host countries (1)
 job vacancies and skills gaps can be filled;
 economic growth can be sustained;
 services to an ageing population can be maintained when there are
insufficient young people locally;
 the pension gap can be filled by the contributions of new young
workers and they also pay taxes;
 immigrants bring energy and innovation;
 host countries are enriched by cultural diversity;
Positive impacts on host countries (2)
 facilitated growth in the economy;
 brought benefits to the tourism industry through the development
of new air routes;
 had a positive influence on the productivity or efficiency of local
 contributed new ideas and a fresh approach to firms;
 and greater cultural links with developing nations that will prove
useful in growing international trade.
In addition to these economic benefits:
 incomers have helped the health and care
services to continue functioning;
 contributed to cultural diversity;
 increased the vitality, especially of some rural
Negative impacts on host countries
 depression of wages may occur but this
seems to be temporary;
 having workers willing to work for
relatively low pay may allow employers to
ignore productivity, training and innovation;
 migrants may be exploited;
 increases in population can put pressure on
public services;
 unemployment may rise if there are
unrestricted numbers of incomers;
 there may be integration difficulties and
friction with local people;
 large movements of people lead to more
security monitoring;
 ease of movement may facilitate organised
crime and people trafficking.
Impacts on countries of origin
 developing countries benefit from
remittances (payments sent home by migrants);
 unemployment is reduced and young
migrants enhance their life prospects;
 returning migrants bring savings, skills and
international contacts.
 economic disadvantage through the loss of
young workers;
 loss of highly trained people, especially
health workers;
 social problems for children left behind or
growing up without a wider family circle.
Is migration a threat or an opportunity?
 rapid increase in the number of
immigrants worldwide → perception of
immigration as a threat to security
 In the most general sense of the term,
security refers to the absence of threats.
The following slides → investigate the
claim that immigration is a threat to security
by focusing on:
 social,
 economic
 public security,
arguing that immigration is a constructed and
perceived threat rather than a real,
objective danger.
Immigration and social security
 social security - ways in which members of
a state perceive their cultural, linguistic,
religious or national identity to be threatened
by immigrants.
 inability of immigrants to integrate or
assimilate → argument for having a negative
effect on the society and government’s stability.
On the other hand:
 an immigrant-receiving state may hold a
different notion of national identity → may be
more tolerant and accepting different
languages, cultures, and religions, supporting
its policy of multiculturalism.
Immigration and economic
labour migration → can be argued to
pose a threat to the economic security of both
the sending and the receiving state;
the emigration of highly skilled and
qualified workers from developing countries:
 “brain drain” in the sending country,
 undesirable economic consequences in
the receiving country.
On the other hand:
immigration often has a positive impact
on the employment levels of the host state.
effect of temporary unemployment →
dissipates over time, as the state’s economy
begins to adjust to the increase in labour
Immigration and public security
immigration has been related to increased criminality → perception that
immigration is a threat to public security.
there has been a connection between increased immigration flows and
increased crime rates;
there is a trend showing that cities and countries that have high crime rates
tend to have a higher immigrant population;
On the other hand:
an abundance of evidence demonstrates that the correlation between
immigration and criminality is very weak or non-existent;
some studies report:
 neither wave of immigrants impacted rates of violent crime;
 immigrant arrest rates were no higher than native arrest rates.
Summary and conclusion (1)
immigration poses a number of challenges to receiving states;
 it is inevitable that immigration would be viewed as a threat to society and
the economy, as well as to internal security and public order;
however, immigration is a perceived threat rather than an objective one.
 ideas of national identity and notions of which cultural and ethnic groups
can be accepted into a community inevitably change over time;
 the act of labeling immigration as a security threat does more to harm
society than it does to protect it;
 it often results in xenophobic and racist attitudes, the exclusion of
immigrant groups, and the perception of the immigrant as the enemy.
Summary and conclusion (2)
 immigration can be beneficial for migrants, but only if their rights are
protected properly;
 immigration can be economically beneficial for both countries of origin
and host countries;
 however, with present economic and trading structures it is the rich and
powerful countries that benefit most;
 migration brings social and cultural pressures that need to be taken into
account in planning for future services;
 migration has the potential for bringing peoples together culturally but
friction occurs if efforts are not made to dispel the myths held by local
 it is also essential to provide good information about the local way of
life to newcomers and ensure opportunities for people to mix and integrate;
 where the economic preconditions exist, migration is inevitable. When
people try to prevent immigration it just goes underground.
International Organization for Migration:
The Economic, Labour Market and Skills Impacts of Migrant
Workers www.delni.gov.uk/skillsimpactsmigrantworkers
United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Available at url:
International Labour Organization: www.ilo.org

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