International, Transnational and Global Issues | Migration
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The article “Policy Coherence for Development 2007: Migration and Developing Countries” from the OECD in 2007 discusses the effects of migration on sender countries. Mainly pages 39-43 in Chapter 2, Chapter 3, pages 66-75 in Chapter 5, and pages 79-85 in Chapter 6.


“International Migration and Development” by Jose Antonio Ocampo from the United Nations includes migration statistics and trends and discusses the effects this has on development.


“Migration and Development Brief” from the World Bank in 2014 discusses remittances and their flows to developing countries as well as the development impacts of forced migration.


“Migration and Development: A Human Rights Approach” by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Read Section IV: The contribution of migration to development and Section V: Violations of migrants’ rights- Negative impacts on development.


The article “Migration and Development” by Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah in 2005 discusses the amount of migration that occurs and the many effects that migration has on development.


The article “Which Migration, What Development: Unsettling the Edifice of Migration and Development” by Parvati Raghuram in 2007 explains the link between migration and development and the difficulty of calculating the effects migration has on development.


The article “Migration and Development: Reconciling Opposite Views”by Alejandro Portes in 2008 discusses the positive and negative views of migration on development.


“The Migration-Development Nexus” by Nicholas Van Hear and Ninna Nyberg Sorenson. Read the following sections: “Remittances and other financial flows to developing countries” on page 101 and “Migration, return, and development: an institutional perspective” on page 133.


The article “Migration and Development: Myths and Reality” by Reginald T. Appleyard from 1989 analyzes the positive and negative effects migration has on development.


The article “Migration and Development: A Theoretical Perspective” by Hen de Haas from 2007 questions the actual impacts migration has on development and the positive research found on how migration leads to more development.


The video “The Nation of the Displaced: Global Refugee Trends 2013” from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees provides statistics on refugees and internally displaced people in countries like Syria, South Sudan, and others.

Length: 5:03

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) defines a refugee as “someone who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”


Factors that have led to an increase in refugees and the obstacles refugees must face can be found here.


The UNHCR defines an asylum seeker as “someone who says he or she is a refugee, but whose claim has not yet been definitively evaluated.”


Internally displaced people are defined by the UNHCR as people who “have not crossed an international border to find sanctuary but have remained inside their home countries.”


Returnees are defined by the UNHCR as those refugees who are able to return to their home countries.


The UNHCR defines stateless people as people without a nationality.


The Amnesty International website provides an overview of refugees including their reasons for leaving their country of origin and the struggles they will face as refugees. It also provides definitions for important key terms such as migrant, refugee, and asylum seeker. Amnesty International works to protect refugee rights.


This paper by Luisa Malkki from Annual Review of Anthropologyexplores refugees and displacement through an anthropological approach. It provides a historical overview of what are today recognized as refugees and how they emerged.


Refugee Crises and other Crises


“Things to Know About Europe’s Migrant Crisis at Land and Sea” by Michael Martinez, CNN, 2015, provides statistics of the crisis, discusses some of the reasons why people are migrating, and discusses the dangers they face when doing so.


“Migrant Crisis: EU ‘Must Accept 200,000 Refugees’, UN Says” BBC News, 2015, discusses the dilemma faced by the European Union from the refugee surge and the problems faced by refugees when migrating to Europe.


“This Refugee Crisis is Too Big for Europe to Handle- Its Institutions Are Broken” by Paul Mason, 2015, further discusses the struggles being faced by refugees entering European countries and the inability of these countries to deal with these refugees.


“6 Charts and a Map That Show Where Europe’s Refugees are Coming From- and the Perilous Journeys They Are Taking” by Lizzie Dearden, 2015, provides statistics on the refugees entering European countries, how they are getting there, where they are mostly arriving to, where they are mostly applying for asylum, and more.


“Quick Facts: What You Need to Know About the Syrian Crisis” from Mercy Corps, 2015, explains how the crisis began, where these refugees are fleeing to, and statistics on how many refugees there are.


The Syrian Refugees Website by the Migration Policy Centre provides statistics on the Syrian refugee crisis, and discusses the repercussions of the crisis on European countries and the role played by the European Union in alleviating the crisis.


The Syrian Refugees website by the Migration Policy Centre provides a timeline of the Syrian refugee crisis.


World Vision in 2015 provides an overview of the Syrian Refugee Crisis.


Amnesty International provides some important facts and statistics related to the Syrian Refugee Crisis.


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides an interactive map on the amount of Syrian refugees present in certain countries and statistics on the Syrian refugees registered with the UNHCR.


“Europe’s Refugee Crisis, Explained” by Amanda Taub, 2015, the global refugee crisis, how the Arab-Spring began the crisis, why refugees head towards Europe, efforts from wealthy countries to deter refugees from reaching their terroritories, and more.


“The Global Refugee Crisis, Region by Region” by Patrick Boehler and Sergio Pecanha, The New York Times, 2015, discusses the refugee crises by region: the Balkans, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean Sea, and Eastern Europe.



“No Leadership, No Money- The EU Has Left the Balkans With a Refugee Crisis” by Marcus Tanner, 2015, discusses the problems the Balkan region faces with thousands of refugees crossing their borders.


The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), 2015, on the crisis in Greece and the Western Balkans.


“This is What Greece’s Refugee Crisis Really Looks Like” by Jessie Rosenfeld, 2015, discusses the Refugee Crisis in Greece, which is exacerbated by the austerity measures imposed on Greece by the European Union.


“Greek Island Refugee Crisis: Local People and Tourists Rally Round Migrants” by Patrick Kingsley, 2015, further discusses the refugee crisis in Greece and Greece’s inability to deal with the increasing amount of refugees entering its borders.


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees established by the United Nations serves to protect the rights of refugees and “strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.”


Learn more about the history and purpose of the UNHCR.


The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants welcomes and aids refugees who enter the United States with the help of other community organizations.


The UNHCR implemented the 10-Point Plan of Action that provides States with a framework to ensure that when refugees enter their borders they are given appropriate responses.

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program page from the U.S. Department of State includes the procedures that are taken for a person to enter the United States as a refugee.

This article from the UNHCR analyzes the implications of refugee protection within the Millennium Development Goals and the importance of a more explicit reference.

Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights mentions refugee rights as it states that “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”

The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees; the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees and Resolution 2198 (XXI)adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Read: the introductory note by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on pages 2-5, and the definition of the term “refugee” on pages 14-16.

The video “Refugee Warehousing” from VOA Burmese News, 2010, criticizes the practice of refugee warehousing in refugee host countries.

Length: 4:16


The video “Home Away From Home” by ABC Australia, 2013, discusses the assimilation of Syrian refugees into refugee camps and their efforts to create homes for themselves within these camps.

Length: 27:30

UNHCR annual statistical publications on refugee trends can be foundhere.


UNHCR’s 2014 mid-year trends report includes information on the largest refugee host countries in 2014.


The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants includes archivedworld refugee surveys with statistical data on refugees.

The Refugee Project provides an interactive map of refugee trends from 1975-2012.

The Guardian includes an interactive refugee map of the world from 2011.


National Geographic’s interactive map includes information on refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people.


The story maps by Esri provide statistics on the refugees found in fifty of the most populous refugee camps administered by the UNHCR.


The UNHCR Historical Refugee Data Map includes refugee information from 1961-2012.


According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), brain drain can be defined as the “international migration of the highly skilled from poor to rich countries.”


Körner, Heiko.”The ‘Brain Drain from Developing Countries: An Enduring Problem.” Intereconomics; January-February, 1998. Read pages 26-29.


Wright et. al. “The ‘Brain Drain’ of Physicians: Historical Antecedents to an Ethical Debate” c. 1960–79.”

This article from The Atlantic by Shaun Raviv written in 2014 discusses how brain drain can benefit African countries.


This article from The Economist written in 2011 argues that brain drain is not that harmful to developing countries because of remittances and returning migrants.


This article from The Economist written in 2011 argues that brain drain actually helps poor countries and benefits the migrants themselves.


This paper from the Journal of Development Economics written by Andrew Mountford in 1997 explores the effects of brain gain on a country’s economy. Mountford argues that brain drain could increase a developing country’s productivity.


This paper from the Journal of Development Economics written by Michel Beine et al. in 2001 argues that brain drain may be beneficial for a developing country if the country is open to migrations and there is a high level of human capital.


This paper from Economic Letters by Oded Stark et al. written in 1997 analyzes the effects on human capital when a country has an economy that is open to migration of people out of the country or an economy that is closed to migration.


This paper from The Economic Journal by Michel Beine et al. written in 2008 explores the effects of brain drain on the formation of human capital in developing countries.


This article from Finance and Development of the International Monetary Fund by William J. Carrington and Enrica Detragiache written in 1999 explores the extensiveness of the brain drain and mentions which countries are affected the most by it.


This article from the National Bureau of Economic Research written by Simon Commander et al. in 2004 provides a deeper understanding of what the brain drain is and an analysis on the flows of skilled labor to specific parts of the world.


This paper from World Development by Oded Stark written in 2004 examines the necessity of an open migration policy in developing countries for the formation of human capital even with the negative effects caused by the brain drain.


This paper from the Journal of Economic Literature by Frederic Docquier and Hillel Rapoport written in 2012 takes an economic approach and analyzes the role of globalization in the ever increasing brain drain problem and the effects brain drain has on development.


This article from the Bulletin of the World Health Organization by Nancy Gore Saravia and Juan Francisco Miranda in 2004 discusses the brain drain and policies that could be used to alleviate the increasing levels of migration.


In Relation to the Health Sector

This paper from the British Medical Journal by Tikki Pang, Mary Ann Lansang, and Andy Haines written in 2002 provides a short overview of the negative impact brain drain has had on health professionals in developing countries such as Africa.


This paper from the Regional Network for Equity in Health in Southern Africa (EQUINET) written by Ashnie Padarath et al. discusses the distribution of health personnel in South Africa, the factors involved in the movement of health personnel, and the impact that the flow of health personnel has.


This article from the New England Journal of Medicine written by Allyn L. Taylor et al. in 2011 discusses the shortages present in the global health care workforce and its effect in weakening health systems. It also discusses the WHO Global Code of Practice on International Recruitment of Health Personnel adopted in 2010 meant to relieve this issue.


This paper from the Health Policy Journal written by Tim Martineau, Karola Decker, and Peter Bundred in 2004 discusses professional migration and the impact this has on health systems in underdeveloped countries.


This paper from the World Bank written by Delanyo Dovlo in 2003 discusses the brain drain of professionals and its correlation to the current health crisis in Africa. Dovlo argues that the combination of these two negatively affects Africa’s attempts for development.


This paper by Frank Nyonator and Deanyo Dovlo discuuses the effects the brain drain of health professionals has had on Ghana’s health service.


This paper from the International Migration journal by Binod Khadria discusses the extensive brain drain of people skilled in information technology (IT) from India.


This paper from the Social Science and Medicine Journal by Avraham Astor et al. addresses the issues surrounding the migration of physicians from countries like India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Colombia, and the Philippines to more developed countries. It covers reasons for migration as well as the effects this brain drain has on the health systems of developing countries.


This article from the Regional Health Forum by B.V. Adkoli discusses the negative effects that the migration of health workers has had in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.


This article from Human Resources for Health by Michael Hawkes et al. from 2009 discusses the brain drain of nurses from India to more developed countries.


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines brain circulation as “a repatriation of skills and knowledge.”


This article from The Brookings Review by AnnaLee Saxenian from 2002 argues that the migration of professionals leads to benefits for both the home country and the host country thanks to brain circulation.


Saxenian AnnaLee. “From Brain Drain to Brain Circulation: Transnational Communities and Regional Upgrading in India and China.” Studies in Comparative International Development, Summer 2005, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 35-57.

This paper by Elizabeth Chacko from GeoJournal on 2007 analyzes the impact of reverse brain drain, or the return of skilled workers to their home countries for employment opportunities, on the Indian cities of Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Brain gain is defined by this article from Bohdan Jalowiecki and Grzegorz Jerzy Gorzelak in Higher Education in Europe in 2004 as a term “to describe collectively the attempts, efforts, programs, and projects aimed to draw scientific workers to a given country.”


This article from the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine by Sunita Dodani and Ronald E. LaPorte from 2005 discusses the migration of health professionals and how it can be turned from brain drain to brain gain.


This article from the Science, Technology, and Society Journal by Jean-Baptiste Meyer et al. from 1997 discusses the conversion of brain drain to brain gain in Colombia through the Diaspora.


This article by Ian R. Dobson et al. from the OECD discusses the brain drain and brain gain present in Australia.

This paper from the World Bank Economic Review written by Riccardo Faini in 2007 explores the correlation between the brain drain and remittances.


In a study conducted by Yoko Niimi, Caglar Ozden and Maurice Schiff from the World Bank, it was demonstrated that as income increases for skilled migrants, the amount sent to their home countries as remittances decreases.


This paper by Albert Bollard et al from the World Bank Economic Review analyzes the relationship between education and remittances.

This article written by Kenechukwu Agwu and Megan Llewelyn in 2009 from The Lancet reviews possible compensation methods for the brain drain present in Africa.

This paper from the World Bank written by Helene Ehrhart et al. in 2014 talks about how people migrating to other countries may be economically beneficial for their homelands.


This paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research written by J. William Ambrosini et al. in 2011 explores the effects of migration and the benefits of returnees going back to their homelands with new skills and an improved education.


This paper from the Journal of World Business by Yehuda Baruch et al. written in 2007 examines the desires of certain migrants to not want to return to their home countries.

This paper from the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) written by Jean-Christophe Dumont et al. in 2007 introduces the gender dimension of the brain drain, which shows an increase in women migrating.

This article from Business Week written by Vivek Wadhwa in 2007 describes how quotas for visas and delays in handing out visas may be preventing skilled immigrants from entering the U.S.

This article from The Economic Journal written by Rosalind S. Hunter et al. in 2009 focuses on the migration of elite scientists.

This article by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Feldman from the U.S. Army Reserve reviews the problems of the brain drain in Africa and its effects on Africa’s military.


This study by E. Fomin, I. Oswald, and V. Voronkov explores the effects of the Russian Military Industrial Complex on migration and on causing a brain drain.


This paper by Casey Wardynski, David S. Lyle, and Michael J. Colarusso from the Strategic Studies Institute discusses the brain drain of talented officers within the U.S. military.


This article from Foreign Policy by David Barno discusses the issues that the loss of talented soldiers has on the U.S. military.

This paper by Theodore P. Lianos from the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies defines brain loss as a phenomenon where “highly qualified migrants are employed in jobs with much lower educational requirements” thus their human capital becomes unused. It also discusses the brain drain and brain loss experienced by immigrants in Greece.

This article from University World News by Alya Mishra written in 2014 discusses the internal migration present in India, which is causing a brain drain in some Indian states due to the search for higher education opportunities.


This article by the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand from Global Social Policy discusses the internal brain drain present in Thailand of medical professionals.

O’Brien and Gostin. “Health Worker Shortages and Global Justice.”Milkbank Memorial Fund (October 2011). Read Chapters I and II.


Fishman, Charles. “The War for Talent” at Fast Company  from 1998.

Jo Tuckman’s “Flee or Die: Violence Drives America’s Child Migrants to US Border” in The Guardian, July 2014.


Haeyoun Park’s “Children at the Border” in The New York Times, August 2014.


P.J. Tobia’s “No Country for Lost Kids” in PBS, June 2014.

A world overview of the migration of highly educated peoples provided by the OECD can be found here.