By: Emily Akullu, one of Women Deliver's 100 Young Leaders and Deputy Resident District Commissioner from Uganda; originally posted at Conversations for a Better World
Ongoing migration is a reality. The goal is not to end migration, but to value, respect and integrate the people who leave their homes in search of resources and safety.
Hello everyone. My name is Emily Akullu, and I work for Office of the President Uganda as Deputy Resident District Commissioner. I’m here to coordinate this discussion with young readers and those who love them. I will, in conjunction with other experts, be waiting to answer any questions that have been haunting you concerning migration. It will be my pleasure to see your side of the coin.
Human migration is the physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Migration could be internal or external, national or international, later termed as immigration and emigration depending on the direction of trek.
Living with it
Migration has existed, with all its pros and cons, through centuries and centuries. It will likely continue to exist, as it is sometimes totally unavoidable. But how can we make it a fair deal, more bearable in instances where one cannot avoid it or otherwise control it? We can agree to the fact that these migrants can contribute to development!
So many conferences focusing on migration have been held at national, continental and global levels. But unfortunately, none of them has ever looked specifically at how to live with the fact that migration will always be there. They usually look at ways of reducing migration instead of how they can make migration and a migrant’s life more bearable. Look at the Libyan conference on migration (2009); all the 30 ways forward focused on the former. It is important to find ways to reduce migration where possible, but in addition, we also need to make real commitments and take significant steps to help the struggles inherent to migration. It’s also important to note that the most affected here are the youth, women and children.
Should it continue this way?
A family is thrown out (through corrupt court bailiffs) on grounds that they don’t belong where they are simply because they are suspected to have come from elsewhere. For about a week, the family had taken refuge in an unfinished school building until the local authority came in. On the extreme right is the District Police Commander, Busia district.
Can the fate of migrants ever change?
But why not? This dream could come true if we share our opinions, take advantage of platforms like this, and hold forums like the forthcoming World Youth Conference scheduled for the 23rd to 28th, August 2010.
I work at the border district of Busia, Uganda, a district that stands in between Uganda and Kenya (East Africa). From what I have experienced, I know that we can control both internal and external migration, but the question is, should we achieve this at the extreme expense of the helpless migrants? We need to prepare ourselves to accept and live with the realities of migration.
Share your ideas and participate
Your view is important to us. You may not have gotten an opportunity to be at the World Youth Conference physically, but you can engage in this blog discussion and your opinion will be heard.
Questions on migration:
- Are our current attitudes towards and actions involving migrants “evil”?
- What are some of the push and pull factors that see young people on their heels to other destinations distant from their places of origin?
- Studies have shown that young migrants have often turned into drug traffickers/abusers, commercial sex workers and drunkards. Many get infected with HIV/AIDS, some are deported, while others end up in prisons or become potential recruits of terrorists’ camps. What, in your view, could explain all these?
- Is there a little chance that young migrants are contributing positively to the development of the whole world? Answer this by thinking about the benefit they provide to their home countries and the host countries accruing wealth from their sweat. If so, how can they be helped to contribute even more?
It’s my pleasure to host you, and I will be here to answer all your questions. Your comment is important to the usefulness of the whole blog post. I’m looking forward to your response! Join the conversation here.