Taking a Look at International Migration

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Over the past number of decades, international migration has caused a significant shift in the distribution of the world’s population, leading to great concern for many countries around the globe (McKeown, 2004: 159). Migration is often seen as a way to deal with bad political institutions, conflicts or a chance to boost economic opportunities. While a person’s decision to migrate is normally recognised as an entirely individual choice and the possibility for a person to improve their quality of life, in some cases an individual does not always get a choice in migrating (Drabo and Mbaye, 2011: 2). Environmental change has always been linked to global migration flows and can result in large population movement across the world (International Organization for Migration, 2008). According to the European Commission (2013: 3), there is growing evidence to show that climate change, climate-induced events and environmental disruptions are likely to assume greater importance in influencing migration, especially in developing countries. Throughout history, climate change has created mass movements of population and the natural environment is probably the oldest determinant of migration and population displacement. It is predicted that by the half century, 200 million people could be permanent or temporary environmental migrants within their own countries or overseas (Drabo and Mbaye, 2011: 2). These large figures tend to dominate the current debate on the relationship between the
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