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Although human migration has existed since the beginning of time, some academics have called this the ‘era of migration’ due to the recent changes in migration trends, caused by events such as prolonged conflicts in the Middle East, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa; violence in the Americas; environmental factors; the growth of middle-income economies and travel opportunities; and the facility of movement in a liberal era of globalisation and connectivity.
These changes have made migration a more visible issue and have attracted the interest of the media and of political elites.
Commitments to international law have also meant that countries need to put the protection needs of certain migrants and refugees at the forefront of policy decisions in relation to state sovereignty and freedom of movement.
Nevertheless, much is misunderstood about the relationship between migration and development.
This module focuses on unpacking the issues around voluntary and involuntary migration and its relationship to development.
The course will provide participants with an overview of the theories, policies and practices, which have sought to address the phenomenon of international migration.
It looks at the differences between voluntary and involuntary migration, and explores range of issues from international refugee law, seasonal migration of workers, people trafficking, undocumented workers, high-earning migrants as well as issues such as brain drain, brain gain and the benefits of migration to receiving and sending economies.
It will also provide a historical overview of migration trends, present current theoretical frameworks to explain why it occurs, and look at particular aspects of migration in terms of the environment, gender and international law.