Concepts You Need To Know About The African Migration Crisis

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 1830 Views 0 Comments

Migration has been at the heart of all human interaction from time immemorial with many of post-modern societies marking their start to cultural interactions of a certain age and era thus is also the case of the evolution of the English language as well as other language.

Of the recent months International Migration has taken center stage in the global arena; certainly the most dramatic havoc being experienced with the migration to the European Union by many Africans. Migration at all dimensions is known to have an effect on at least three dimensions of national security; these include, state capacity and autonomy, the balance of power, and the nature of violent conflict (Adamson, 2006). By far migration poses greater threat to weak and falling states than many post-industrial societies.

Migration is fueled by various push and pull factors as those of political and economic nature with many seeking greener pastures within the employment sector as well as of refugees who due to various political upheavals are forced to find better living conditions for themselves and their families.
In seeking an analysis of migration and trying to understand the intricate impact it plays in international politics it is key to come up with a solid definition; however this are some of the existent challenges facing system as there many variant definitions of the term migrant and many scholars and legal documents fail to come up with a clear path as to whom or to what degree one can be placed under the illegal migrant scope and when does it eventually prove to be okay.

Legal Frameworks around Migration

Generally a Migrant is “an individual who lives temporarily or permanently in a country where he or she was not born, and has acquired some significant social ties to this country.” However, this may be a too narrow definition when considering that, according to some states’ policies, a person can be considered as a migrant even when s/he is born in the country such is the case of Kurdish in Turkey (Roy, 2011).
Often however the main difference between an illegal migrant and irregular migrant lies along the lines of the possession of documentation and valid papers used in transit on the other illegal migrants tends to be restricted to cases of human trafficking and smuggling (Migration, n.d.)
The UN convention on the rights of the migrant worker define Irregular migrants (or undocumented / illegal migrants): people who enter a country, usually in search of employment, without the necessary documents and permits. This definition therefore eliminates refugees and displaced persons and persons compelled to leave their homes for various reasons.

The Migration Framework for Africa:

The Migration Policy Framework for Africa is a wide-ranging document covering nine key issues:

  • labor migration;
  • border management;
  • irregular migration;
  • forced displacement;
  • the human rights of migrants;
  • internal migration;
  • migration data;
  • migration and development;

Inter-state cooperation and partnerships.

The document recommends strategies for certain issues and sub-themes. The Executive Council mandated the African Union Commission to develop a follow-up mechanism (African Union, 2006a).It is quite evident that with making of this framework many of the participating nations sought to develop a balanced and comprehensive approach which could be used to increase migration flows rather than discourage it.

Africa-EU policy frameworks for migration:

Several agreements have been between the AU –EU with the aim of tackling the issues around Migration;
Cairo Action Plan 2000 in which both parties agreed to the following:

  • support African countries in ensuring free intra-African mobility of labor and migration in the spirit of
    the Abuja Treaty;
  • collaborate in addressing the root causes of migration and asylum-seeking in source, transit and
    recipient countries;
  • collaborate further on the issue of the reciprocal integration of migrants, migrant rights and readmission
    agreements between the European and African countries;
  • recognize the need for measures to combat racism and xenophobia and to secure the respect of the dignity and protection of the migrants’ rights (EU, OAU, 2000)

Joint Africa-EU Declaration on Migration and Development, adopted at the joint ministerial meeting in November 2006 in Tripoli, at which the Joint Action Plan on Trafficking was also adopted. The Joint Declaration forms the basis for the Migration, Mobility and Employment Partnership of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, adopted in 2007
Some of the impacts that migrants pose include:


  1. Job vacancies and skills gaps can be filled.
  2. Economic growth can be sustained.
  3. Services to an ageing population can be maintained when there are insufficient young people locally.
  4. The pension gap can be filled by the contributions of new young workers and they also pay taxes.
  5. Immigrants bring energy and innovation.
  6. Host countries are enriched by cultural diversity.
  7. Failing schools (and those with falling numbers) can be transformed.


  1. Depression of wages may occur but this seems to be temporary.
  2. Having workers willing to work for relatively low pay may allow employers to ignore productivity, training and innovation.
  3. Migrants may be exploited.
  4. Increases in population can put pressure on public services.
  5. Unemployment may rise if there are unrestricted numbers of incomers.
  6. There may be integration difficulties and friction with local people.
  7. Large movements of people lead to more security monitoring.
  8. Ease of movement may facilitate organized crime and people trafficking.

The real questions however is are migrants the threat to national security or are the ones who participate in illegal activities already existing members of a society?


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