Number of those displaced in countries keeps going up due to conflict, politics – report

Thursday, May 9th, 2024 07:49 | By
There are about 281 million international migrants in the world or 3.6 per cent of the global population, the 2024 World Migration Report has revealed. PHOTO/Print

There are about 281 million international migrants in the world or 3.6 per cent of the global population, the 2024 World Migration Report has revealed.

The document released on Tuesday that also maps the migratory routes showed that the Mexico to United States corridor is the largest in the world at nearly 11 million people.

The second largest is from the Syrian Arab Republic to Türkiye, comprising mainly refugees displaced by the Syrian Arab Republic’s civil war.

The corridor between the Russian Federation and Ukraine takes up spots three and five among the largest corridors in the world, which is due to a range of underpinning reasons over time (including, for example, displacement from Ukraine following Russian Federation invasions in 2014 and 2022).

International Organisation for Migration Director General Amy Pope said in the report that an increasing number of people are being displaced, within and out of their country of origin, because of conflict, violence, political or economic instability as well as climate change and other disasters adding that in 2022, there were 117 million displaced people in the world, and 71.2 million internally displaced people.

Regular pathways

“The number of asylum-seekers has risen from 4.1 million in 2020 to 5.4 million in 2022, an increase of more than 30 per cent. Many people are locked out of regular pathways, and they sometimes resort to irregular channels that are extremely hazardous. These channels get significant media attention, and their use often undermines confidence in governance and fuels a twisted narrative that is being weaponised around the world for short-term political gain,” Pope stated.

Currently, the report said that there is a larger number of male than female international migrants worldwide and the growing gender gap has increased over the past 20 years.

“In 2000, the male-to-female split was 50.6 to 49.4 per cent (or 88 million male migrants and 86 million female migrants). In 2020 the split was 51.9 to 48.1 per cent, with 146 million male migrants and 135 million female migrants. The share of female migrants has been decreasing since 2000, while the share of male migrants has increased by 1.3 percentage points,” the report said.

Ironically, the report revealed that there are more female than male international migrants in destination countries in Europe and Northern America, such as the United States of America, Canada, France, Spain and Italy, but also in India.

However, in most Asian countries, particularly the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, the number of male international migrants is much higher than female, partly linked to the structure of economies which include construction and security sector prevalence as well as social and human security factors.

Migrant workers

The report documents that 102.4 million, an equivalent of 61 per cent of all international migrant workers resided in three sub-regions: Northern America; the Arab States; and Northern, Southern and Western Europe.

“Notably, there is a striking gender imbalance of migrant workers in two regions: Southern Asia (5.7 million males compared with 1.4 million females) and the Arab States (19.9 million males compared with 4.2 million females). The Arab States region is one of the top destinations for international migrant workers, where they comprise 41.4 per cent of the entire working population, often dominating in key sectors,” it explained.

IOM said in the report that in some parts of the world, international migration has become a major component of population change.

For high-income countries between 2000 and 2020, the contribution of international migration to population growth (net inflow of 80.5 million) exceeded the balance of births over deaths (66.2 million).

The UN agency predicts that over the next few decades, migration will be the sole driver of population growth in high-income countries while in the foreseeable future, population increase in low-income and lower-middle-income countries will continue to be driven by an excess of births over deaths.

Between 2010 and 2021, the report showed that 40 countries experienced a net inflow of more than 200,000 migrants each; in 17 of them, the net inflow over this period exceeded 1 million people. The receiving countries, including Jordan, Lebanon and Türkiye, had high levels of immigration in this period were driven mostly by refugee movements.

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