Future of Migration 2020

Generated on 12th March 2010

In terms of impacts on other issues, migration is perhaps the archetypal cross-cutting issue, and as such, it arguably impacts on all of the other topics for this initiative. Thus: in the energy world, the extraction of raw materials for energy often provides a stimulus for inward migration, but equally can lead to the displacement of populations in affected areas (e.g. through the building of dams, or conversion of agricultural land for the production of biofuels); food insecurity is a classic cause of distress migration; both too much water (floods) and too little (droughts) can be associated with quite large migrations and displacements; the influence of climate change makes these particularly difficult to predict into the future; growing urbanisation contributes to one of the major challenges facing the world in the 21st century – how to deal with rising urban waste; migration throws into question established identities, and contributes to the creation of new, sometimes ‘hybrid’ identities; the use of new technology by migrants, and to control migrants, raises significant issues to do with privacy; without connectivity and transport, migration doesn’t happen; with migration, connectivity and transport links can be stimulated and developed; migration is blamed (not entirely fairly) for decimating the health workforces of many smaller or poorer nations; in turn, without migrants, Britain’s NHS and other advanced country health systems would likely grind to a halt; cities are growing in the developing world, at least in part due to migration; migrant remittances outweigh either international aid, and/or foreign direct investment, in a significant number of countries and lastly; is migration a choice? That is a key question.