LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
UN looks at migration
Human Development Report 2009 extols importance of migration.
Global inequality is the main driver for migration, said the United Nations Development Program´s Human Development Report 2009, which seeks to tackle myths and motives behind modern migration. “For many people in developing countries, moving away from their home town or village can be the best—sometimes the only—option open to improve their life chances,” said the report. “Human mobility can be hugely effective in raising a person´s income, health and education prospects. But its value is more than that: being able to decide where to live is a key element of human freedom.”
The report, based on figures from 2007, states that migration can help human development of those who move, the destination countries and home communities.
While she said migration could have great positive potential, UNDP´s administrator, Helen Clark, called on governments to spur this trend, not block it.
“The barriers which face many migrants can thwart that potential,” Clark said in Bangkok, Thailand, when she presented the report Oct. 5. “And the report argues that governments should take steps which would help migration advance, not thwart human development.”
The study also notes that most immigration is internal, not simply migration from developing countries to developed ones.
“The overwhelming majority of people who move do so inside their own country,” said the report. “Using a conservative definition, we estimate that approximately 740 million people are internal migrants — almost four times as many as those who have moved internationally.”
Common motives for internal migration include internal conflicts, natural disasters and economic difficulties. The UNDP estimates Latin American and Caribbean migrants will comprise 4 percent of the world´s total migration and 1.3 percent of the region´s population by 2010. —Latinamerica Press.
Human Development Index 2009*
2007 - 2008
Trinidad & Tobago
* Average measuring income, education, health care and life expectancy with 1 being the highest. Figures are from 2007.