The study in the dynamics of internal migration in India as a fact has drawn attention among policy makers, academicians and researchers in recent years. The term migration is used for movement involving a permanent or semi-permanent change of usual residence. The 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognizes for the first time the contribution of migration to sustainable development.
Migration is a cross-cutting issue, relevant to migration or mobility. The SDGs target 10 out of 17 goals contain targets and indicators that are relevant to migration or mobility. The SDGs central reference to migration is made in target 10.7 to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. As per 2011
census, out of 1,210.2 million people in India, 455.8 million (about 37%) were reported as migrants of place of last residence.
Amid COVID-19, the country is beholding the second largest mass migration in its history after the Partition of India in 1947, where more than 14 million people were displaced and migrated to India and Pakistan respectively, depending on their religious faith. The imposition of the lockdown as a measure to contain the exponential progression of the COVID-19 Pandemic has hit the unskilled and semi-skilled migrant laborers the most.
ILO (2020) estimates reports that in India, with a share of almost 90 per cent of people working in the informal economy, about 400 million workers in the informal economy are at risk of falling deeper into poverty during the crisis. The extent of this sudden reverse migration in the country was such that, even the best of the efforts of the Government of India, could not match the crisis. The authorities have developed shelters and quarantine homes for the deprived migrants and are looking after 600,000 migrants and providing food to more than 2.0 million individuals under Free Ration Scheme by Delhi Government and One Nation Ration Card Scheme by the Central Government (BBC News Delhi, April 22,2020).
Creating short-term job opportunities for migrants based on their skills will be one of the key focuses of Central government’s Atma nirbhar Abhiyan. As part of the programmed, the Centre has selected 116 districts with over 25,000 migrant workers, called the ‘Atma Nirbhar districts’ across six states. Tackling the different faces of poverty is the main aim of the 2030 agenda. poverty is multidimensional, encompassing both monetary measures and other dimensions such as living standards, health, and education access and
quality. Labour migration can reduce poverty for migrants themselves, their families, their host and their origin countries. Migrants and their families benefit from increased income and knowledge, which allows them to spend more on basic needs, access services and make investments.
In host countries immigration can have positive economic effects through increased production and labour market specialization. In origin countries migration can lead to higher economic growth through increased incomes and spendings, investments from migrants households and knowledge transfers. However migration not always achieve this potential, nor are the outcomes always beneficial, due to a number of barriers. These
include the financial costs of migrants itself, conditions in the host countries, and barriers to mobility.
Migration can result in positive economic and social benefits for migrants themselves Their families, Host and origin countries. Rapid urbanization in developing countries is a defining feature of the 21st century, driven by internal migration and population growth. How urbanization processes are managed and the types of jobs that internal migrants can access will have a great bearing on achieving the Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs). Urbanization is defined as the increasing share of population living in urban areas, and it is primarily the result of internal migration Currently, Asia and Africa have 48% and 40% of their population, respectively, living in urban areas. They remain among the least urbanized regions and are expected to
experience the fastest urban growth in coming decades.
Asian countries, such as China, Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh and Indonesia, have experienced a large increase in the share of their population living in urban areas over the last 15 years, and are expected to continue doing so between now and 2030. In Africa, countries including Namibia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Rwanda, Mali and Ghana have also experienced a similar increase. Broadly speaking, evidence suggests that rural to
urban migrants benefit economically from moving to cities. A study of internal migrants in Cambodia found that almost all were able to save money, and many also developed skills in areas such as tailoring or construction, allowing them to earn an income in both cities and rural areas. This study, like many
others, suggests that, in general, urban migrants are ‘winning’ through migration. Wages and the ability to earn an income are also generally higher in urban areas than in rural ones. Further still, using a wider measure of well-being, UNDP has found that internal migrants have a higher quality of life than non migrants.
Migrants from poor rural areas may find prospects in the city more financially rewarding than in the rural areas they migrated from. However, most gain employment in precarious conditions within the informal sector, often as self-employed workers, 2 home-based workers, street vendors or domestic and construction workers. Incomes in the informal sector can be unstable. On top of vulnerabilities in the workplace, many
urban migrants also live in fear of eviction, as the majority live in informal settlements. Many governments still perceive evictions as the main way to address inappropriate living conditions in slum areas, instead of seeing a result of the failure of planning and service provision. Many of the benefits of internal migration remain unrealized due to policy barriers affecting population movement, inadequate legislation enforcement to protect the rights of the poor, and social exclusion on the basis of ethnicity, caste, tribe and gender as
well as an incomplete understanding of migration patterns.
Men and women migrate for similar reasons – to get an education, to find work, to get married, or to flee persecution or harm. However, migration is very much a gendered phenomenon; gender norms and expectations, power relations, and unequal rights shape the migration choices and experiences of women and girls as they do men and boys. Gender norms affect when and why people migrate. Women usually have less control over the decision to migrate than men – a decision more likely to be taken by their family. Not all
decisions for girls or women to migrate are taken by families.
Indeed, some adolescent girls and women migrate in order to escape family control that can lead to harmful practices such as forced or early marriage or female genital mutilation. Gender norms and social norms in migrants’ country of origin and destination also influence the outcomes of migration for women and girls. Such norms determine whether migration empowers women and girls or exposes them to harm. Migration can be a vehicle for responding timely and effectively to labour supply and demand needs. Migrants, at all
skills levels, broaden the pool of available skills.
International cooperation must consolidate national efforts in order for countries to formulate skill-needs oriented migration policies, increase migrant’s access to education and training, and strengthen bilateral or multilateral recognition of skills. On the global level, sharing and continuously updating lessons learned, success stories and policy advice through tripartite dialogue can contribute to the generation of knowledge, the replication of good practices, the harmonization of international efforts, and the more effective allocation of resources, including through a Global Skills Partnership on Migration.
On a regional level, skills partnerships can help to expand mutual recognition and increase opportunities for regular, skills-led and mutually beneficial migration. Therefore, such partnerships can assist countries in meeting critical skills shortages and fostering broader regional integration and intercultural exchange. Finally,
at the country level, skills partnerships provide an important avenue for capacity-building initiatives in the areas of labour market information, there are many interventions that combine an educational component with job placement. These interventions assume that migrants need both learning-based and job brokering support in order to access and participate in the labour market. Overall, the reported outcomes under this
type of intervention are mixed: some report high employment rates, increased earnings and programme satisfaction among participants, while others paint a bleaker picture, emphasizing that the intervention has done little to change the economic situation of the migrant or refugee.
There are various international laws devised to strengthen the position of labour migrants and to guard them
from being harassed and exploited by international sources. These laws empower humanity and help international labour migrants to achieve their goals. Migrants are forced to emigrate abroad for the attractive high salaries paid to them. They often reside away from their families and in such scenario international labour laws play a vital role in providing them a congenial environment. These labour laws which include
UNIVERSAL DECLARATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ABOLITION OF CHILD LABOUR, INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS, ELIMINATION OF FORCED LABOUR, FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATIONS AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING,EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY AND TREATMENT etc. take a step ahead on the path of well being of international
Each and every verdict in these rights are designed so as to protect and preserve the rights of labour. The age of covid -19 had played havoc on migrants who devoid of their jobs, pushed their way back to the origin
countries or hometown. In India, when the lock down was imposed, migrants from various villages and small cities who moved to big towns were forced to make their way back home. This has created a wider wave of unemployment especially for international labour migrants and those belonging to private and industrial sectors. If not sorted out it will render millions of people jobless. This unexpected unemployment has increased the proportion of people below poverty lines. Government should make policies and devised schemes to give employment to large sector of migrant labour. There has been a loss to both sides, the big cities have shortage of labour for industrial sectors to work efficiently, on the other hand, the villages and
small towns are having social and economic problems. Migration is a poverty reduction tool.
To make this tool more efficient some migrant policies should be imposed.
1) Safeguard the rights of migrant workers, including those working informally, particularly when they are not
protected by national labour laws.
2) Policy measures should focus on regulating and improving working conditions for all female migrant workers
3) Establish supportive institutions that can help families who stay behind adapt to the loss of an economically active member or caregiver through migration.
4) Foster and encourage remittances and other forms of diaspora finance. Remittances can be a key resource for poverty reduction.
5) Policy-makers in donor countries should view development aid and migration as complementary. It is
possible to achieve aid objectives (such as poverty reduction) through mobility.
6) Reduce the pre-departure, recruitment and travel cost of migration, improve access to loans, and lower the transaction costs of migrant remittances.
7) Governments should better regulate and monitor recruitment agencies, encouraging professionalization
and transparency in the industry.
8) Increase and diversify safe, regular and orderly migration pathways to achieve greater poverty reduction benefits for migrants themselves, their families, and their host and origin countries
9) Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries.
10) Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
In recent years, the debate over migration has dominated the policy-making agenda around the world. Jobs are considered to be the motivation for people to move voluntarily, as well as a catalyst for restrictive migration policy. At the same time, facilitating access to the labour market has been at the heart of debates on achieving sustainable livelihoods for refugees and asylum seekers. Migration helps the individual to explore his knowledge and is essential for the development of country’s resources.
Therefore the conclusion is that migration is a way to job but one should attempt it only when there is no second option..