‘Migration a natural phenomenon, cannot be stopped’

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Migration is a ‘natural phenomenon’ and the restrictions that came in place at the beginning of the 20th century will not last in the 21st century, political expert Sanjaya Baru said on Monday.

Baru, who is currently the director for geo-economics and strategy at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, was speaking at the launch of a book “Politics of Migration: Indian Emigration in a Globalized World” written by A. Didar Singh, Secretary General of Ficci and S. Irudaya Rajan.

The book was launched on Monday by Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K. Singh (retd).

“Migration is a natural phenomenon since the beginning of humans. The curtailing started only in the inter-war period. Till the beginning of World War I, majority of countries did not have control on the movement of people,” Baru said.

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“It cannot last in the 21st century, because of demographic transition,” he said.

Baru explained that the ageing population in developed countries will face the problem of a work force while the young population in the developing countries need work. This, he said, will lead to inevitable migration.

“We need to reduce the fear of migration, it is an unnatural human reaction,” he said.

The book, meanwhile, dispelled several “myths” about migration, the first being that migrations take place due to economic compulsions.

“People generally do not leave their countries of origin because of lack of economic development. Rather, they often emigrate owing to the onset of development itself,” it said.

The book also argued against the misnomer that migration hurts the economy of the country of origin, or that migrants take away jobs from locals.

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“Migrants generally travel to where there are jobs available, often filling vacancies where there are skill shortages,” it said.

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