Free «Development Created Displacement» Essay Sample

Development Created Displacement Is Both a Product of Development Decision Making as well as a Mean to Advance Particular Models of Social and Economic Change


Growth and geographic expansion of the scope of development created displacement in the last decade of the twentieth – the beginning of 21st century. It resulted from persistent and emerging centres of political tensions, wars, ethnic conflicts, as well as environmental disasters. It can be argued that development created displacement as one of the trend characterising modern world migration flows, which has acquired a global scale. The present definition of refugee is contained in two main documents of the international law. These are the 1951 UN Convention, called ‘On the status of refugees’, and its Protocol of 1967 related to the status of refugees. There are some differences between these two acts. In particular, the UN Convention of 1951 provides a temporal and geographical limitation. It means that it applies to European countries and those refugees who have faced such events occurring before January 1, 1951. The Protocol of 1967 eliminates these limitations and applies to the counties in relation to any events, both in past and future, in which there was a problem of refugees.

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It is worth noting that it was adopted later than 30 other international agreements regarding refugees in addition to the above documents. In particular, attention is drawn to the Convention of the Organisation of African Unity that took place in 1969. According to the Convention, the term refugee has received more succinct definition, which was the statement that the term refugee applies to any person who was forced to leave his/her habitual residence due to the external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events seriously distributing public order. This expanded definition of the status of refugee, which has particularly become the norm of international law.

However, one of the most pressing issues related to refugees, as well as a number of other categories of forced migration, is the fact that there are personal acts in many countries that determine their status in addition to the international instruments, which introduce additional criteria for determining those or other categories of forced migration. Although the distinction between the forms of international migration is not always easy to hold, some of them may be called the characteristics for achieving this goal.

The given essay is aimed at discussing the process of development created displacement, including the factors that contributed to the creation of the situation and powers that affect it. Additionally, it will be an attempt to prove that development created displacement is both a product of development decision making by the authorities as well as a mean to advance particular models of social and economic change.

Development Created Displacement as a Product of Development Decision Making

The matter of international migration in the context of growing interdependence of the world is becoming more urgent. It is highly relevant and extremely complex both in its essence as well as its direct and indirect macroeconomic, social and political consequences. All movements relative to each territory composed of event streams called emigration and arrivals such as immigration. The difference between these two streams creates the volume of net migration, their sum and gross margin.

It is relevant to allocate intercontinental and inland international migration. Historically, the largest intercontinental migrations were associated with the mass migration of Europeans overseas in 19th – 20th centuries. Thus, migration reached the highest amplitude in the early 20th century when more than 19 million people migrated from Europe. Inland migration is also characterised by large movements of the masses, such as a great movement of people or modern-locked migration between industrialized countries. Thus, there are more than 3 million people in France and Germany, while more than 1 million people have moved to Switzerland recently (McDowell, 2013).

Refugee movements usually occur suddenly and in conditions that threaten their lives. Moreover, such a move is usually associated with the loss of livelihood and social status. Voluntary migrants tend to have time to envisage their relocation, or can even count on help from the state in the issues of labour migration and, more importantly, have the opportunity to improve their socio-economic status from the very beginning. Refugees leave their homes, but the area or country of their admission is mostly unknown. Voluntary migrants choose the desired item in advance of settlement, usually the one that has already settled with their friends and family. This place is usually in demand for the labour and satisfactory for refugees’ improvement of their educational or professional level as well as enhancement of their economic situation (Scott, 1998).

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From a different perspective, it is possible to state that the pushing factors are more important that the attractive factors for refugees since it is more prominent for them to preserve life  than to improve it. It is not just a theoretical question because it is specifically related to the problem of their isolation from other migrant groups.

The question of the allocation of such forced migration category as environmental refuges is more complicated, which are not recognised as refugees in legal terms because they are not victims of harassment. Nevertheless, the term itself has been gaining recognition since the early 1990s also by a number of estimates made by the UN World Conference on Environment and Development, for example. Thus, according to the information provided, the amount of environmental refugees exceeded the number of classic ones by the 1951 Convention and the Protocol of 1967 in the 90s (Dwivedi, 2002).

Such demographic factors as initial resettlement and dynamics of migrations of people as well as changes in the size of the largest ethnic groups have an increased influence on the development of ethnic and social processes. The 20th century was characterised by a sharp intensification of migration. Many of them, especially in the first decades of the century, were forced and coercive. Very often these migrations followed the wars and related changes of the state borders.

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Millions of people moved to the countries where they were the main nationality after the wars of the century like the Balkan War, the First World War, as well as the Greek-Turkish War. The Turks were leaving territories that had fallen to Greece, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria after a sharp decline of territory of European possessions of Turkey. The Germans were abandoning territories that had fallen to Poland, while the Austrians and Hungarians were leaving the territories that had been joined to Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia. After the Second World War, about 12 million Germans leaving on the lands of the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe before the war were resettled to Germany and Austria. About 6 million people returned to Japan after the loss of its colonies. Former officials, administrators, engineers and their families were returning to the former metropolis after the collapse of the colonial empires of Britain and France. The number of people changing the place of residence based on religious and ethnic grounds was counted to millions after the Indo-Pakistan War. With the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Jews, including the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, immigrated to Israel when the international environment was favourable. The process of resettlement of the so-called Soviet Germans to Germany began with the normalisation of Soviet-German relations after the Second World War. It was possible to trace a trend of outflow of the Russian-speaking population from the territory of sovereign countries with the collapse of the Soviet Union (Schuck, 2002, p. 156).

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It is relevant to highlight the political and ethnical reasons constantly provoking armed conflicts of different types, mainly in the developing regions. Moreover, almost all modern conflicts leading to the appearance of refugees tend to occur specifically within the countries, whereas such conflicts had been observed between the two countries before. The events in Somalia, Rwanda, Zaire, Yugoslavia and others is a vivid example of such a situation. In addition, the more armed clashes there are in a particular region, the more refugees appear there.

It is also important to allocate the reasons caused by environmental degradation, ecological crisis, as well as increase in natural disasters among the reasons contributing to the preservation of large numbers of refugees and displaced persons. According to the estimations given at the UN International Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, the number of so-called environmental refugees has already surpassed the classic refugees and continues to grow rapidly. This will undoubtedly require more active intervention of the international community to prevent such negative phenomena. As noted by former UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali in 1993, it is impossible to draw a clear boundary between the conflicts, wars and natural disasters in relation to the influence they have on the civilian population. Droughts, floods, earthquakes, and cyclones are also damaging to the people and welfare of the society, just like wars and civil strife (Clark & Sann, 2002, pp. 118-119).

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These disasters do not occur suddenly and are often caused by unwise industrial and agricultural activities in many countries, especially in developing ones. For example, intensive logging leads to deforestation. Consequently, it increases the risk of droughts and floods that reduces development of the fertile lands and often causes huge masses of hungry people to migrate from their homes. Thus, the famine in the Horn of Africa forced millions of Africans to migrate both within the countries of the region and across national borders in 1980s (McDowell, 2013).

Finally, development created displacement can be caused not only by natural disasters, environmental crisis, but also by operational reasons. For example, the lands are constantly taken from the population in many developing countries in order to revive the economy. Large infrastructure programs, such as the construction of dams, roads and pipelines, are considered a reliable mean to promote economic growth, which is often wrong as noted in the report of the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues (Dwivedi, 2002).

Consequently, there were about 29 projects implemented for the construction of dams in the developing countries only for period from 1953 to 1987. This forced more than 1.3 million people to leave their homes. The matter with agricultural policy is in worse position since it often does not consider the interests of traditional land users. Events that took place in the United States of America in September 2001 and the ensuring global war of terror particularly affected conducting programs for resettlement in the third countries. The United States of America, which are usually hosted the largest number of resettlement of refugees, established the quota of 70,000 people in 2002, but only 26,300 of them were able to move actually to this country. As compared to 2001, the number of refugees resettled to third countries under the auspices of UNHCR decreased slightly (United Nations, 2001 pp. 1107-1109). Thus, there is less willingness to provide refugees to forced migrants, which defines community interest in a speedy and peaceful resolution of conflicts and large-scale voluntary repatriation of refugees to their homeland.

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The process of ethnic and religious consolidation within the population of vast territories was developing as a result of these migrations. It was rare when ethnic consolidation was voluntary. It was often  the unwilling relocation of people called deportation or creation of intolerable living conditions forcing them to leave. Despite the international community’s recognition of the practice of criminal, ethnic cleansing was continuing in many parts of the world at the end of the 20th century. However, the consequences of ethnic cleansing have had a huge effect for a long time, even in the countries where political regimes have been changed as well as the government attempts to make amends for the crimes. Historical memory of the past injustices has been able to spoil relations within the nation for a long time. People’s return to their historical homeland is often a painful process associated with the need to clear lands that have been already inhabited allowing new injustice. In order to cover deeper the reasons for resettlement, it is relevant to discuss the main criterion that allows allocating migration from other movement.

Motivation is a defining criterion that allows distinguishing migration from other movement of citizens across the borders. First, there are the motives of a political nature, such as an escape from political persecution, racial, religious and ethnic discrimination, repatriation due to the changes in political conditions, and others. Second, there are military motives related to the conduct of hostilities such as like evacuation, re-evacuation, etc. Third, there are ethnic motives associated with the presence of a large contingent of the non-indigenous persons. Fourth, the economic and social motives are related to job search with higher income. The resettlement for searching the job caused by economic instability and unemployment are the main reason of the movement. Fifth, there are environmental disasters associated with massive pollution in one or another form of environment.

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Among the incentive motives for migration that are being increasingly dominated nowadays are not only external ones, in relation to migrants factors, such as global shortage of jobs or political situation, but also the internal ones, such as psychological commitment to implementation of the needs of personal development by means of migration (Dwivedi, 2002).

International migration is inextricably linked to the international flows of goods and capital. The activation of international trade, restructuring of the national economies under the influence of scientific and technological revolution, as well as the associated movement of capital, collapse of traditional local industries fundamentally change the structure of employment, wage dynamics and the entire well-being stimulating the international movement of labour force.

The fact that most countries have either already joined the global markets of goods and capital, or are moving towards such integration has doubtless impact on the development of migration processes. Labour and capital are inseparable parts, and the movement of capital often involves movement of population. However, international migration continues to be more politically sensitive than trade and capital flows.

Socio-Economic Aspects of Development Created Displacement

External migration is often invoked with political reasons along with the economic ones. Examples of this type of migration are emigration of almost half a million people, mostly called intellectuals, such as Albert Einstein, Lion Feuchtwanger, Enrico Fermi and others, from Nazi Germany and Italy as well as Franco’s Spain. More than one million people left Chile after General Pinochet came to power in the mid-70s. Political emigration on a large scale took place in pre-revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia and many other countries (McDowell, 2013).

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Nearly 10 million Germans were resettled from Eastern Europe to Germany, East Germany and West Berlin after the defeat of Nazi Germany. The collapse of the colonial system in the 50-70-ies led to the exodus of the white population from the former colonies to the metropolis. Most of the British returned from India, Pakistan and some other locations, while the French returned from Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, as well as the Italians came back from Libya, Ethiopia, and the Portuguese – from Angola and Mozambique. The creation of independent India and Pakistan on the territory of the former British India followed by transformation of East Pakistan into the state of Bangladesh led to the displacement of 18 million people. It was implemented mainly by religion. Thus, Hindus returned to India while Muslims returned to Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Some potential economic migrants began to resort to treatment for asylum as a mean of enabling to enter the territory of other developed countries. Such large scale of migration, which peaked in 1992, forced the West to take significant steps for its prevention, which  led to the introduction of a regime of temporary protection. This resulted in the creation of a new category of forced migrants called asylum seekers. This institute has become widespread in recent years. There are more than one million of migrants of this category nowadays. The adoption of the resolutions in London in 1992 contributed to a significant restriction of channels of legal migrants’ entry into the territory of the European Union. Consequently, many migrants were forced to seek the services of smugglers by using false documents, etc. Therefore, it only increased public scepticism about the true motives of asylum seekers. Many European governments often suspected unfairly that migrants were seeking asylum for economic reasons. The measures of Western Europe countries to adjust their policies in the field of asylum and immigration coincided with the efforts to achieve greater economic and political integration through creation of a single European market in the 1990s. This involved the removal of all internal trade barriers and obstacles to free movement of people within the European Community. This has become a part of the European Union established in 1993 after the Maastricht Treaty on European Union entered into force.

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According to the territorial coverage, it is relevant to outline intercontinental and intra-continental migration. The second of these species has become predominant recently. There are permanent, temporary, and seasonal migrations that can be recognised by the duration of migration. Most modern labour migrations fall into the category of time like one or several years (Dwivedi, 2002).

The events of the late 80s – early 90s all over the world, but especially in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, gave rise to a new wave of external migration. Thus, Germany became a country of mass migration, which took more than one million migrants only in 1989, including 720 thousand ethnic Germans from East Germany, Eastern Europe and the USSR. Moreover, around 600 thousand migrants arrived in the country in 1990. The Soviet Union, by contrast, became a country of mass emigration so that about one million people moved abroad in the 1987-1990 period. If 34 thousand people had left the country in 1980, then about 316 thousand people, not including children, would have migrated in 1990.

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