Tough Australia, baffled Scandinavia and edgy Russia: the international immigration picture
Understandably, the developed world happens to be also he places where international immigrants are representing a bigger proportion of the entire population: 10.8 per cent compared to only 1.6% in the less developed regions. For instance, migrants are now making up 9.8 per cent of Europe’s the total population, 14.9% of the North America population, and in excess of 20 per cent in Oceania.
However, it would appear that the patterns of migration are now shifting. Although more are still settling in the advanced nations than in the less developed, the rate of growth is now much higher in the latter category: 1.8% compared to 1.5 per cent. What’s more, on the whole migration is now slowing down. Between 2000 and 2010, some 4.6 million persons left their country of origin every year; that figure now stands at 3.6 million. Nevertheless the matter of migration and its resultant effects, perceived or real, has remained to be among the most defining social and political topics of the day. In the US and the UK, the topic – anti-immigration; President Obama’s resolution to grant almost 5 million work permits to immigrants and the onward mark of are dominating national debate.
So, what is the situation elsewhere? Is everybody as preoccupied with immigration?
United Nation’s statistics indicate that Russia has got more immigrants in the world than any other nation, save for the US, with approximately 11 million foreign persons at any given time living Russia. Most of these immigrants are coming from what was once the Soviet Union. The Russian government has made little effort at improving their lot as it tries to carefully tread a delicate line between reigning and exploiting nationalist sentiment.
Denmark, Sweden and Norway
This area has got more pressing and important challenges facing it. Increasing inequality and stagnation in production (Denmark), oil prices that area slumping (Norway) and a population that is ageing (Sweden). Yet political parties advocating anti-immigration across the entire region have been skillfully exploiting the anxieties of mainly lower-income class in order to reap big political dividends at the polls. Consequently the issue of immigration has remained the most important political issue for the Scandinavians for in excess of a decade.
The Boat People! Perhaps nothing has in Australia played a bigger role in molding the character of the nation and in steering its development. This country has a remarkably contradictory approach towards the issue of migrants: simultaneously hostile and welcoming dependent nearly exclusively on the arrival mode. Basically, this nation takes prides on being very multicultural. 1 in 4 Australians was in fact overseas. In almost 20 per cent of Australian households, another language besides English is the principal tongue.
Australia is 1 in only 5 global jurisdictions known to by force push back asylum-seekers’ to sea. Those who manage to arrive by sea get taken outside and detained is prison-like detention camps in Nauru and Papua New Guinea and Nauru under terrible conditions.
Terror threats and security concerns have mainly driven the immigration policy of India. Her border with Pakistan stretching 2,300km is fenced besides being floodlit such that it can be seen from space. However increasingly, the issue of illegal migration and the pressure of population still continue to play a part.
Pakistan houses one of the biggest world refugee populations. The majority are coming from Afghan who started arriving following the 1979 Soviet invasion and have ever since continued to arrive in waves following many decades of war.
In China, it is thought that immigration is really not a major concern. In fact, the pressing issue that faces China is an excess of departures.
Just like in China, the debate here has been about the figures of Spanish people leaving and not that of migrants arriving.
Surprisingly, despite South Africa being among the largest recipients of refugees globally, the issue has remained marginal in her political discourse. Refugees are arriving into the country from war torn countries to the north and because of better economic opportunities, yet the government has not systematically addressed the issue.