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Cover Poverty and Development

21. Migration, Security, and Development  

Helen Hintjens, Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits, and Ali Bilgic

This chapter situates human mobility at the intersection of security and development. Capitalism prompted much of the population of Europe to move out of rural areas into cities, and from there imperialism led to huge forced and voluntary migration towards settler colonies. By tying development funding and humanitarian aid to cooperation of developing states in migration control, 'the West' uses development aid to criminalize whole categories of migrants, well beyond its borders. Myths around migration perpetuate containment and control that keeps around 90 per cent of forced migrants and refugees in or near their home regions. More humane migration and asylum policies could benefit host and home countries alike, in the long run. Migrants can be viewed as economic assets, a demographic boon, and a source of cultural enrichment.