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China, India record highest disaster displacement: IOM
December 18, 2014, 6:23 am

Women account for 48 per cent of the global migrant stock [Image: IOM]

Women account for 48 per cent of the global migrant stock [Image: IOM]

A new international migration report says countries with the highest absolute levels of displacement due to disaster in the period between 2008 and 2013 were China (over 54 million people) and India (over 26 million).

87.2 per cent of disaster-induced displacement in 2013 occurred in Asia (19.1 million people), says the Global Migration Trends report released on Thursday by the International Organization for Migration.

December 18 is marked by the UN as International Migrants Day.

Currently, 232 million people are international migrants, or 3.2 per cent of the world population, and 740 million are internal migrants, says IOM data. Women account for 48 per cent of the global migrant stock.

With 11 million, Russia was, in 2013, the second biggest destination country of international migrants. The US leads with 45.8 million.

India and China continue to be important countries of origin, particularly for immigration in the rich OECD countries.

“China is also increasingly a country of destination: the country’s international migrant stock increased by more than 50% between 2000 and 2013,” says the report.

The IOM report says “between January and early December 2014 over 4,900 migrants died or went missing attempting to reach destinations around the world”.

“Of the total recorded fatalities, over 3,200 occurred in the Mediterranean, making this the deadliest route worldwide (66% of the total). An estimated 11% of deaths globally this year occurred in the Bay of Bengal,” says the report.

One quarter of the world’s population lives in the nations surrounding the Bay of Bengal, the largest bay in the world. It stretches from Sri Lanka up the coast of eastern India; it curves under Bangladesh and Myanmar and then heads south along Thailand and Malaysia until it reaches the northern coast of Sumatra, in Indonesia.

The IOM says 540 migrants died in the Bay of Bengal in the period from 1 January-8 December 2014.

The UN has warned that these figures may greatly underestimate the real number of dead migrants, “given the number of people who go missing and are never found. Experts estimate that for every dead body found there are at least two others that are never recorded” says the report.

Meanwhile, the number of forcibly displaced people or refugees is estimated at 16.7 million by the end of 2013.

South Africa is among the top three recipients of new individual asylum applications preceded by Germany and the United States of America.

Over 86 per cent of world’s refugees were being hosted by developing countries at the end of 2013. Pakistan and Iran are the main host countries in absolute terms (1.6 million and over 850,000 refugees respectively).

“On International Migrants Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to shape diverse and open societies that provide opportunities and lives of dignity for all migrants,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Thursday.

Even as immigrants from developing economies contributed an estimated 40 per cent of labour force growth in advanced economies between 1980 and 2010, these developing countries could face an acute labour and skill shortage.

“The total shortage for medium-skilled workers for the next 20 years is estimated at 45 million workers – 10 million in India, and 31 million in Young Developing economies,” says the report.

Brazil will have a shortage of up to 8.5 million workers by 2020. China is expected to have a surplus of 55.2 to 75.3 million workers by the same year, but by 2030 the surplus could turn into a shortage of up to 24.5 million people.

There will be estimated surpluses of low-skill workers, 58 million in India and Young Developing economies, says the report.

“This means that millions of people will be trapped in subsistence agriculture or urban poverty in developing countries (namely India) if job opportunities at home or abroad are not created for them,” says the report.

At 64 per cent, India is third in the list of top 10 countries that have difficulties in filling jobs with a skill shortage, says the Talent Shortage Survey 2014 carried out by the Manpower Group.

 

 

TBP

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