28.10.2011 - UNESCO Office in New Delhi

Internal Migration in the Spotlight

While the socio-economic factors associated with international migration dynamics are well documented, the extent, nature and magnitude of internal migration, especially relevant for developing countries, are far from being adequately documented.

According to Human Development Report 2009, those who moved across the major zonal demarcations within their countries were nearly four times larger (740 million) than those who moved internationally (214 million). Alone in India, the internal migrants were as large as 309 million based on place of last residence in 2001 out of which 101 million was enumerated in urban areas. The projected figure of migrants in the country is likely to be about 360 million in 2011 and migrants in urban areas about 130 million. This could be confirmed when 2011 Census data on migration will be available. 

However, due to empirical and conceptual difficulties in measurement, migration flows are often grossly underestimated. There is indeed a crucial need for an evidence base informed by research and existing best practices for the improved inclusion of migrants in rural and urban settings. To this end, UNESCO and UNICEF are partnering to organize a national workshop on ‘Internal Migration and Human Development in India’ to be held on 6 and 7 December 2011, hosted by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), in New Delhi. 

While increasing visibility and recognition of internal migration in India, which has thus far remained a neglected government priority, in both policy and practice, the Workshop aims to: disseminate evidence-based research, experience and practices, as well as initiatives in law and urban planning that can strengthen migrants’ rights and responsibilities; promote understanding of the vulnerabilities faced by children in the context of family migration and independent migration and identify policy gaps and strategies that can address these vulnerabilities; draw the attention of policy makers towards the urgency to protect and promote migrants’ rights and ensure their social inclusion in the cities; and develop a roadmap for the coordination of strategic interventions for a protective policy framework for internal migrants in India. 

The Workshop will cover under-explored issues relating to migrants such as: Social Protection; Gender; the Right to the City; Creative Practices and Policies for Better Inclusion of Migrants; Education of Migrant’s Children; Access to Health Services; and Identity and Citizenship. 

The UNESCO-UNICEF National Workshop will conclude with a Roadmap for the Future, summarizing the main policy recommendations emerging from the Workshop. It will then be released at the occasion of International Migrants Day on 18 December. 

For more information, please contact: 

Ms. Marina Faetanini 
Programme Specialist, Social and Human Sciences 
UNESCO New Delhi Office

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