I absolutely agree, “Exploitation” is too strong a word, which I suggest to start, but as you will finish reading the article, it might happen that you will give this thought a rethink.
What always has been a part of the history of humankind and accompanied the evolution of societies is now a subject of great concern and attention. Conflict, extreme weather events and political instability are among the root causes of migration. Both types of internal and international migrations are susceptible to these major factors. And lately governments in-house and internationally has spoken a lot about this subject, majorly with a bitter tongue.
Despite many misconceptions, more international migrants (38 %) have moved between developing countries than from a developing to a developed country (35 %). FAO estimates that over 1.3 billion people living in developing countries have migrated within their own country. The internal migration is conspicuous and the ratio hovers at 7:1, where internal migration takes credit of 7.
Migration brings both opportunities and challenges to rural areas in the countries of origin, transit and destination. Around 40% of international remittances are sent to rural areas, reflecting the rural origins of a large share of migrants. Policies and programmes play an important role in shaping the outcome of migration in terms of agriculture and rural development and, ultimately, helps in poverty reduction and food security in rural areas.
In North America and Europe for instance, foreign labour constitutes the backbone of agricultural production. However, protection of labour rights and the working conditions of migrants are often poor. In many rural areas agricultural labourers often work informally, earn less than legal salaries and are subject to exploitation. Providing decent working conditions for migrant agricultural workers can ensure that the migration experience is positive both for migrants and their host countries.
We need to understand people as resources and they can be trained to master a skill set. I came across one of the examples of this theory while visiting a farm in Uttarakhand, where Bangladeshi migrants are now in demand for their exceptional management skills of poplar plants. Ever since the poplar was adopted here, the Bangladeshi migrants are taking care of the tree and now the scenario is such that they are being called by other state farm owners for their services. This is a beautiful model where migrants are turned into skilled labour, at the time when availability and skills are being challenged in India.
Another brilliant picture is being drawn by the South African nation of Uganda, which accepts migrants legally. Uganda has been accepting refugees for a long time and holds about 1.4 million refugees, wherein migrants from South Sudan only comprises 1 million. This openness and the sharing of same right and privileges has helped to give boost to development of Uganda.
*Please tell me more about such examples in the comments. I will be obliged to learn more about this.
Political parties, who are waiving the flag of “son of the soil” also need to understand, migration is very much a way of living, and the people’s movement should not be a necessity but an option, which should not be questioned. Lately in one of the reports by FAO, it was stated, “ Migration is part of the process of development and Migrants can be agents of development.” The statement proves every worth of it amidst the un-glorifying picture that has been drawn for these migrants.
80% of migration happens from rural to urban areas. 1.3 billion people in developing nations migrate on a regular basis. Rather than treating them with acerbic tones in their speeches, it could be better to treat the migrants with equal respect and discovering how these resources could be better used in development of the society and economy.
Exploitation in Oxford dictionary has several meanings, along with these two : 1) Make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource) 2) Benefit unfairly from the work of (someone), typically by overworking or underpaying them. The second kind of exploitation is already taking place in several nations but in the process of showing excessive loyalty to the land, we are somehow losing to keep the meaning of first exploitation intact.