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Definition of Migration

Migration is as old as humanity itself. It has occurred throughout human history, beginning with the movements of the first human groups from their origins in East Africa to their current location in the world. Migration means the movement of people from one place in the world to another for the purpose of taking up permanent or semi permanent residence, usually across a political boundary.The United Nations Population Division defines migrants as person outside their country of birth or citizenship for at least 12 months[1]. Migrants move within their own country and between countries; some people move for short periods, others permanently; some are forced to move, others do so willingly; some people move with high levels of financial and human capital; others are not so well endowed; and so on. People migrate, especially where there is war and persecution, where economic opportunities are distributed unevenly across borders, or where there are large inequalities in standards of living. A careful examination of historical era reveals a consistent propensity towards geographic mobility among men and women, who are driven to wander by diverse motives, but nearly always with some idea of material improvement.
[1] Cited in Philip L. Martin, ’Migration and Development: Toward Sustainable Solution,’ International Institute for Labour Studies Discussion Paper, No. 153,2004, p.1