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Migration
1
Unit 2 in GCSE Government and Politics is
concerned with International Politics in Action.
One of the biggest issues in international politics
today is that of migration. The world is currently
witnessing the highest level of migration since
the Second World War. What are the causes and
possible consequences of this?
Migration means the movement of people from
one place to another. There are a range of possible
causes of migration and these can be categorized
in two ways. Firstly the reasons for migration
break down into economic, social, political and
environmental. These reasons often overlap. For
example, in a war situation both economic and
political reasons will play a part since economic
life and stability is often badly affected by war.
Similarly, groups who may face persecution in their
own countries may find that they are motivated
primarily by social factors but they could also face
economic constraints or indirect discrimination in
finding work which would add another reason to
leave their own country.
The picture below shows Syrian refugees in a
refugee camp. These people are fleeing from war
and therefore their reasons for leaving are political
and economic. We can also apply another category
of factors when considering migration in order to
help us further understand why people choose to
leave their birth countries and move to another
country. These factors are called push and pull
factors. The picture below shows us a clear example
of the operation of push factors.
Push factors as the name suggests are factors
which serve to push people away from their home
or country of birth and force them to seek a new
home elsewhere. These are negative and may
even be dangerous experiences such as fleeing
from war or trying to escape human rights abuses.
Many people who move from their original home
country to start a new life will do so because of
push factors. Push factors include: unemployment,
lack of opportunities, poor living conditions, famine
or drought, fear of political persecution, lack of
medical care, social persecution, war and natural
disasters.
FACTFILE:
GCSE
GOVERNMENT
AND POLITICS
Unit 2
FACTFILE: GCE HISTORY OF ART / ARCHITECTURE
FACTFILE:GCSE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS / UNIT 2 / MIGRATION
2
Pull factors are exactly the opposite of push
factors. They are factors that attract people to a
certain location. Examples of these pull factors are
job opportunities, better living conditions, political
and/or religious freedom, better services such as
education and medical care, political stability,
better human rights record, stable climate and
lack of negative environmental factors and more
security.
In reality people migrate as a result of a
combination of push and pull factors, for example
war might work to push people to migrate and
correspondingly peace or political stability in
another region will pull them to that country.
The differences between different groups:
•	 Refugees;
•	 Asylum Seekers;
•	 Internally Displaced People;
•	 Economic Migrants.
There is a lot of confusion about the differences
between the various types of migrant. It is
important that we are clear about the difference
between these groups as this helps us to
understand their reasons for migrating and to
assess how effectively their needs are dealt with.
Refugee. “A person who, owing to a well-founded
fear of being persecuted for reasons of race,
religion, nationality, membership of a particular
social group or political opinion, is outside the
country of his nationality and is unable or, owing
to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the
protection of that country; or who, not having a
nationality and being outside the country of his
former habitual residence as a result of such events,
is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to
return to it.”
The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to
the Status of Refugees
Asylum seeker – An asylum seeker is someone
who has lodged an application for protection on the
basis of the Refugee Convention or Article 3 of the
ECHR.
Internally Displaced People – Internally displaced
people (IDPs) have not crossed a border to find
safety. Unlike refugees, they are on the run within
their own country. While they may have fled for
similar reasons, IDPs stay within their own country
and remain under the protection of its government,
even if that government is the reason for their
displacement. As a result, these people are among
the most vulnerable in the world.
Economic Migrant – The Cambridge English
Dictionary describes an economic migrant as
‘a person who leaves their home country to live
in another country with better working or living
conditions’. Most of the EU citizens who have
moved to live and work in the UK would fall into this
category.
Today in Europe there is a migrant crisis,
described in a leading newspaper as the ‘biggest
humanitarian crisis facing Europe since 1945’. This
crisis is caused by refugees seeking a new home
mainly due to war in the Middle East. However, in
the UK and other EU countries the refugees are
often confused with those from the EU who have
moved to the UK for economic reasons under the
free movement of people principle. This causes
confusion in the public about who or what migrants
are. European states have been asked to take more
responsibility for those fleeing war torn areas such
as Syria. The following table gives an idea of how
many refugees each country has been asked to
take.
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Hungary
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000
0
Migrants from Italy (Quota Total 15,600)
Migrants from Greece (Quota Total 50,400)
Number of Migrants EU member states are being asked to take
FACTFILE: GCE HISTORY OF ART / ARCHITECTURE
FACTFILE:GCSE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS / UNIT 2 / MIGRATION
3
The legal protections offered to
migrants in the UK
As there are different types of migrants there
are different types of protections. However, all
migrants in the UK will benefit from the protections
provided by the European Convention on Human
Rights (ECHR) and the 1998 Human Rights Act
(HRA). Both guarantee the right to life. There are
stipulations towards the end of both of these legal
rights documents which allow governments to bring
in measures which could contravene these rights
under special circumstances, for example in order
to prevent terrorist attacks or to safeguard national
security. Therefore, although the ECHR and HRA do
offer some protection to both refugees and asylum
seekers these are not as exhaustive as they might
seem. In addition, there are obvious difficulties in
protecting people who have been illegally smuggled
into the UK or trafficked. There is greater awareness
of the extent of this problem and the UK authorities
are taking measures to address slavery in Britain
and to end forced labour and sexual exploitation
of migrants. Economic migrants from within the
EU have until now benefitted from the fact that the
right to free movement of labour is a right conferred
by EU membership and before Brexit this meant
that EU migrants to the UK could live and work in
the UK under the same conditions as UK nationals.
This may change once Brexit is enacted.
The work of the UN Refugee
Agency in attempting to help
refugees
One of the most significant international bodies
which works to help refugees, asylum seekers
and internally displaced people is the UN Refugee
Agency. The main aim of the agency is to offer
refugees protection and to try to find lasting
solutions to the problems causing people to leave
their birth countries. It is also committed to finding
solutions to the material problems such as the lack
of food or shelter for people who have left their
home and are either seeking refuge somewhere
new or living in a camp awaiting further movement.
In 2014 the majority of refugees in the world were
coming from Afghanistan. In 2016 the majority
were from Syria. Contrary to claims made in the
west, the majority of these refugees are either
rehomed in neighbouring countries or in refugee
camps in the region, up to 95%.
In 2017 the agency worked in a range of places
including the Yemen, Columbia and Syria. The
agency reckons there are about 60 million people
across the world who have been forced from their
homes. Alongside governments they also work
with corporate partners such as IKEA in order to try
to alleviate the suffering of all affected by these
issues.
The economic and social benefits
of migration
Clearly there are economic and social benefits of
migration from the point of view of the migrants.
In some cases, such as those fleeing persecution or
human rights abuses, this may be being able to live
in safety and provide for yourself and your family
for the first time. However, there are also many
social and economic benefits to the host country
and this is sometimes left out of mainstream
media reports on the impact of migration on host
countries. Reports tend to focus on the difficulties
posed by accommodating a diverse range of
cultural expectations, the stress put on the social
services in the host country (medicine, education
and welfare), or on the perceived threat of people
associated with a war torn and complex region. Yet
there are undoubtedly benefits too. For a long time
the UK has had difficulty recruiting enough doctors
and nurses from within the UK and being able to fill
these posts through economic migration has been
helpful. Other key worker jobs, which local people
either don’t want or tend to see as low paid, are
often filled by migrant workers.
The response of the UK
government to increased
migration
The UK government has come under increasing
FACTFILE: GCE HISTORY OF ART / ARCHITECTURE
FACTFILE:GCSE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS / UNIT 2 / MIGRATION
© CCEA 2017
©
Images:
ThinkstockPhotos.com
pressure from the public to restrict immigration.
Although the government has attempted to find
positive ways of dealing with the increasing
numbers of people seeking refuge in the UK, there
have also been some restrictive policies introduced.
The Immigration Act and the failure to comply
with promises to rehome Syrian child refugees
are two examples of this. Both of these measures
highlight the complexity of these issues for the UK
government and the difficulty in striking a balance
between providing a humanitarian response and
taking into account the views of some sections of
the British public.
The work of charities in supporting
and protecting the rights of
migrants
There are many agencies and charities which
support the rights of migrants and seek to protect
them from harm. Some of the most prominent are
Refugee Watch, Human Rights Watch, Refugee
Action and, locally, NICEM and the Belfast
Friendship Club. Other larger charities such as
Oxfam, Save the Children and Médecins Sans
Frontières have sections which are dedicated
to helping refugees as part of their overall
operation. In addition to these more well-known
western based refugee charities and agencies,
there are many based in the Middle East such as
Tauheedul and Syria Relief. All of these charities
and agencies aim to help meet and represent the
needs of migrants and are an important source
of information for anyone interested in gaining
a better insight into the situations faced by
migrants all over the world. Charities provide a
range of services such as food and clothing to help
migrants, support for those fleeing persecution,
missions to help provide medical aid to war torn or
famine ravished areas and legal and other advice to
migrants who have relocated to the UK.
Syrian refugees in the US explained in graphics
By Paul Blake BBC News, Washington 20 November
2015
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-
canada-34872382
Watch https://www.channel4.com/news/slaves-
slavery-uk-britain-home-office (NOT FOUND)
Further debate and information on this can be
found at
www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/10/why-
has-the-uk-ended-dubs-scheme (NOT FOUND)

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Migration

  • 1. Migration 1 Unit 2 in GCSE Government and Politics is concerned with International Politics in Action. One of the biggest issues in international politics today is that of migration. The world is currently witnessing the highest level of migration since the Second World War. What are the causes and possible consequences of this? Migration means the movement of people from one place to another. There are a range of possible causes of migration and these can be categorized in two ways. Firstly the reasons for migration break down into economic, social, political and environmental. These reasons often overlap. For example, in a war situation both economic and political reasons will play a part since economic life and stability is often badly affected by war. Similarly, groups who may face persecution in their own countries may find that they are motivated primarily by social factors but they could also face economic constraints or indirect discrimination in finding work which would add another reason to leave their own country. The picture below shows Syrian refugees in a refugee camp. These people are fleeing from war and therefore their reasons for leaving are political and economic. We can also apply another category of factors when considering migration in order to help us further understand why people choose to leave their birth countries and move to another country. These factors are called push and pull factors. The picture below shows us a clear example of the operation of push factors. Push factors as the name suggests are factors which serve to push people away from their home or country of birth and force them to seek a new home elsewhere. These are negative and may even be dangerous experiences such as fleeing from war or trying to escape human rights abuses. Many people who move from their original home country to start a new life will do so because of push factors. Push factors include: unemployment, lack of opportunities, poor living conditions, famine or drought, fear of political persecution, lack of medical care, social persecution, war and natural disasters. FACTFILE: GCSE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS Unit 2
  • 2. FACTFILE: GCE HISTORY OF ART / ARCHITECTURE FACTFILE:GCSE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS / UNIT 2 / MIGRATION 2 Pull factors are exactly the opposite of push factors. They are factors that attract people to a certain location. Examples of these pull factors are job opportunities, better living conditions, political and/or religious freedom, better services such as education and medical care, political stability, better human rights record, stable climate and lack of negative environmental factors and more security. In reality people migrate as a result of a combination of push and pull factors, for example war might work to push people to migrate and correspondingly peace or political stability in another region will pull them to that country. The differences between different groups: • Refugees; • Asylum Seekers; • Internally Displaced People; • Economic Migrants. There is a lot of confusion about the differences between the various types of migrant. It is important that we are clear about the difference between these groups as this helps us to understand their reasons for migrating and to assess how effectively their needs are dealt with. Refugee. “A person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.” The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees Asylum seeker – An asylum seeker is someone who has lodged an application for protection on the basis of the Refugee Convention or Article 3 of the ECHR. Internally Displaced People – Internally displaced people (IDPs) have not crossed a border to find safety. Unlike refugees, they are on the run within their own country. While they may have fled for similar reasons, IDPs stay within their own country and remain under the protection of its government, even if that government is the reason for their displacement. As a result, these people are among the most vulnerable in the world. Economic Migrant – The Cambridge English Dictionary describes an economic migrant as ‘a person who leaves their home country to live in another country with better working or living conditions’. Most of the EU citizens who have moved to live and work in the UK would fall into this category. Today in Europe there is a migrant crisis, described in a leading newspaper as the ‘biggest humanitarian crisis facing Europe since 1945’. This crisis is caused by refugees seeking a new home mainly due to war in the Middle East. However, in the UK and other EU countries the refugees are often confused with those from the EU who have moved to the UK for economic reasons under the free movement of people principle. This causes confusion in the public about who or what migrants are. European states have been asked to take more responsibility for those fleeing war torn areas such as Syria. The following table gives an idea of how many refugees each country has been asked to take. Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Finland France Germany Hungary Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 0 Migrants from Italy (Quota Total 15,600) Migrants from Greece (Quota Total 50,400) Number of Migrants EU member states are being asked to take
  • 3. FACTFILE: GCE HISTORY OF ART / ARCHITECTURE FACTFILE:GCSE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS / UNIT 2 / MIGRATION 3 The legal protections offered to migrants in the UK As there are different types of migrants there are different types of protections. However, all migrants in the UK will benefit from the protections provided by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the 1998 Human Rights Act (HRA). Both guarantee the right to life. There are stipulations towards the end of both of these legal rights documents which allow governments to bring in measures which could contravene these rights under special circumstances, for example in order to prevent terrorist attacks or to safeguard national security. Therefore, although the ECHR and HRA do offer some protection to both refugees and asylum seekers these are not as exhaustive as they might seem. In addition, there are obvious difficulties in protecting people who have been illegally smuggled into the UK or trafficked. There is greater awareness of the extent of this problem and the UK authorities are taking measures to address slavery in Britain and to end forced labour and sexual exploitation of migrants. Economic migrants from within the EU have until now benefitted from the fact that the right to free movement of labour is a right conferred by EU membership and before Brexit this meant that EU migrants to the UK could live and work in the UK under the same conditions as UK nationals. This may change once Brexit is enacted. The work of the UN Refugee Agency in attempting to help refugees One of the most significant international bodies which works to help refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people is the UN Refugee Agency. The main aim of the agency is to offer refugees protection and to try to find lasting solutions to the problems causing people to leave their birth countries. It is also committed to finding solutions to the material problems such as the lack of food or shelter for people who have left their home and are either seeking refuge somewhere new or living in a camp awaiting further movement. In 2014 the majority of refugees in the world were coming from Afghanistan. In 2016 the majority were from Syria. Contrary to claims made in the west, the majority of these refugees are either rehomed in neighbouring countries or in refugee camps in the region, up to 95%. In 2017 the agency worked in a range of places including the Yemen, Columbia and Syria. The agency reckons there are about 60 million people across the world who have been forced from their homes. Alongside governments they also work with corporate partners such as IKEA in order to try to alleviate the suffering of all affected by these issues. The economic and social benefits of migration Clearly there are economic and social benefits of migration from the point of view of the migrants. In some cases, such as those fleeing persecution or human rights abuses, this may be being able to live in safety and provide for yourself and your family for the first time. However, there are also many social and economic benefits to the host country and this is sometimes left out of mainstream media reports on the impact of migration on host countries. Reports tend to focus on the difficulties posed by accommodating a diverse range of cultural expectations, the stress put on the social services in the host country (medicine, education and welfare), or on the perceived threat of people associated with a war torn and complex region. Yet there are undoubtedly benefits too. For a long time the UK has had difficulty recruiting enough doctors and nurses from within the UK and being able to fill these posts through economic migration has been helpful. Other key worker jobs, which local people either don’t want or tend to see as low paid, are often filled by migrant workers. The response of the UK government to increased migration The UK government has come under increasing
  • 4. FACTFILE: GCE HISTORY OF ART / ARCHITECTURE FACTFILE:GCSE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS / UNIT 2 / MIGRATION © CCEA 2017 © Images: ThinkstockPhotos.com pressure from the public to restrict immigration. Although the government has attempted to find positive ways of dealing with the increasing numbers of people seeking refuge in the UK, there have also been some restrictive policies introduced. The Immigration Act and the failure to comply with promises to rehome Syrian child refugees are two examples of this. Both of these measures highlight the complexity of these issues for the UK government and the difficulty in striking a balance between providing a humanitarian response and taking into account the views of some sections of the British public. The work of charities in supporting and protecting the rights of migrants There are many agencies and charities which support the rights of migrants and seek to protect them from harm. Some of the most prominent are Refugee Watch, Human Rights Watch, Refugee Action and, locally, NICEM and the Belfast Friendship Club. Other larger charities such as Oxfam, Save the Children and Médecins Sans Frontières have sections which are dedicated to helping refugees as part of their overall operation. In addition to these more well-known western based refugee charities and agencies, there are many based in the Middle East such as Tauheedul and Syria Relief. All of these charities and agencies aim to help meet and represent the needs of migrants and are an important source of information for anyone interested in gaining a better insight into the situations faced by migrants all over the world. Charities provide a range of services such as food and clothing to help migrants, support for those fleeing persecution, missions to help provide medical aid to war torn or famine ravished areas and legal and other advice to migrants who have relocated to the UK. Syrian refugees in the US explained in graphics By Paul Blake BBC News, Washington 20 November 2015 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us- canada-34872382 Watch https://www.channel4.com/news/slaves- slavery-uk-britain-home-office (NOT FOUND) Further debate and information on this can be found at www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/10/why- has-the-uk-ended-dubs-scheme (NOT FOUND)