In India, as per Census 2001 , internal migration accounts for a large population of 309 million, or nearly 30 percent of the total population. Internal migrants, of which 70.7 percent are women, are excluded from the economic, cultural, social and political lives of society and are often treated as second-class citizens.
The constraints faced by migrants are many - lack of formal residency rights; lack of identity proof; lack of political representation; inadequate housing; low-paid, insecure or hazardous work; limited access to state-provided services such as health and education and discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, class or gender.
Migration of persons within national borders is far greater in magnitude than migration across international borders and has enormous potential to contribute to economic prosperity, social cohesion and urban diversity.
Internal migration is an essential and inevitable component of the economic and social life of the country, given regional imbalances and labour shortages, and safe migration should be promoted to maximize its benefits.
Although migration can potentially benefit migrants and their families, there are also heavy costs and risks that compromise the potentially positive outcomes of migration
Read More Internal Migration and Social Protection - The Missing Link
Planning for migrant families who are not settled, but are on the move, warrants a fundamental rethinking of development approaches and models in order to protect and promote migrants’ access to social services and enable migrants to become socially and politically active citizens.
Read More Internal Migration and the Right to the City
The right to the city, which encompasses rights and access to food, housing, education, health, work, and local democracy, should also apply to migrants.
Child migrants forgo critical inputs necessaryfor their physical, psychological and intellectual development during their formative years. This has an irreversible impact on their emotional and cognitive development.
The right to education (under the Right to Education Act, [RTE] 2009) of migrant children remains compromised, since seasonal and temporary migration results in disruption of regular and continued schooling of children, adversely affecting their human capital formation and contributing to the inter-generational transmission of poverty.
In 2011, as a result of a two-day’s workshop on Internal Migration and Human Development in India (6-7 December 2011), UNESCO and UNICEF launched the Internal Migration in India Initiative (IMII), in order to better respond to the many challenges raised by the internal migration phenomenon in India. The IMII is now an informal network of 200 researchers, NGO`s, policy makers, and other UN agencies, such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN-HABITAT and UN Women, determined to raise the profile of internal migration in India and to propose policy changes and creative practices.
Initiative National Workshop on Internal Migration and Human Development in India
This summary report contains the major findings and deliberations of the National Workshop on Internal Migration and Human Development in India, jointly organized by UNESCO and UNICEF on 6–7 December 2011 at New Delhi, with the support of Indian Council of Social Science Research and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust.