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Forced migration: When people have to migrate, normally because their life is in danger e.g. war or natural disaster.

Voluntary migration: When people choose to migrate.

Causes of Forced Migration

  • Natural disasters like flooding, earthquakes or volcanoes
  • Outbreaks of disease
  • War
  • Political persecution
  • Drought and famine

Causes of Voluntary Migration

  • Retirement
  • Education (to attend a school or university)
  • Work
  • Medical care (medical care is often cheaper in LEDCs)
  • More relaxed lifestyle in foreign country (many people move from UK to Australia for this reason)

Forced Migration:

Refugees: Someone who has been forced to leave their home and their country. People can be forced to become refugees for many reasons including:

  • War
  • Natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, volcanoes)
  • Famine and drought
  • Political unrest e.g. Syria, Egypt and Libya
  • Persecution (ethnic, religious)
  • Crime and extortion

IDPs: This stands for internally displaced person and it is someone who has been forced to leave their home and move somewhere else within their country.

Asylum Seeker: A person who, from fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, social group, or political opinion, has crossed an international frontier into a country in which he or she hopes to be granted refugee status

Persecution: The attack of people for what they believe in or who they are. Many people are persecuted because of their political and religious beliefs.

Iraqi Refugees and IDPs

Iraq has seen a flow of refugees from its borders over the last 100 years. However, since the American led invasion of 2003, the number of refugees leaving Iraq and also the number of IDPs within Iraq has increased rapidly. It is estimated that since 2003, about 2.2 million Iraqi's have left the country and a further 2.5million have fled internally.

Most refugees have escaped the ongoing fighting between coalition troops and remnants of Saddam Hussein's government, but others are escaping terrorist attacks (Al Qaeda has infiltrated Iraq) and political, ethnic and religious persecution.

The majority of refugees have moved to neighbouring countries (Syria and Jordan), where there are similarities in language and religion and they are easily accessible by land.

Refugees can encounter many problems including; no job, no housing, no money, shortage of food and water, no clothes and a lack of safety. Children are also taken out of school and many people can suffer from psychological and physical problems living in temporary conditions.

Many charitable organisations aim to help refugees and IDPs, but the organisation that coordinates most responses are the UNHCR.

external image _42430839_iraq_migr_map416.gif (http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42430000/gif/_42430839_iraq_migr_map416.gif)

UNHCR:The United Nations High Commission for Refugees is the organisation that tries to coordinate help and response for people who have become refugees. The UNHCR tries to deal with the problems of refugees in the following ways:

  1. Return refugees to their original home and country
  2. Return refugees to a neighbouring country or region that has a similar language, culture. etc.
  3. Relocate refugees to a country further away that may have different language, religion, tradition, etc. The last choice is a last resort because it will be hardest for the…


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