[Stop-traffic] News/SWITZERLAND: MIGRATION ON RISE, ESPECIALLY AMONG WOMEN, IOM SAYS.

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/SWITZERLAND: MIGRATION ON RISE, ESPECIALLY AMONG WOMEN, IOM SAYS.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sat Nov 11 2000 - 18:35:40 EST


02-11-2000 SWITZERLAND: MIGRATION ON RISE, ESPECIALLY AMONG WOMEN, IOM
SAYS.
GENEVA, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Large-scale movements of voluntary and forced
migrants have uprooted more than 150 million people worldwide and are
likely to continue, an international aid agency said on Thursday.
Women now make up 47.5 percent of all international migrants, and many
females relocate abroad as principal wage earners rather than as
accompanying family members, according to a report by the International
Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Mass human trafficking has emerged as a trend in China, while smuggling
networks have been uncovered in Europe, including Germany, Hungary, Italy,
Spain and the Czech Republic, the Geneva-based agency said in its World
Migration Report 2000.
"Many trafficked migrants find themselves forced into prostitution and/or
effective slavery to pay off their debt to the traffickers or otherwise
dependent on jobs where they suffer severe exploitation and abominable
working conditions," it said.
Economic globalisation and the end of the Cold War have led to the steady
rise in cross-border flows since 1990, when there were an estimated 120
million international migrants, it said.
The age-old phenomenon is complex and diverse, ranging from people seeking
better economic opportunities to those fleeing persecution or violence, the
IOM report said.
"As of the year 2000, there are an estimated 150 million international
migrants," the report said. "The 21st century is likely to continue to see
large-scale movements of people - both voluntary and forced."
The United States is by far the largest recipient of international
migrants, with about 25 million foreign-born residents at the end of the
1990s, it said.
The top 10 receiving countries - the United States, India, Pakistan,
France, Germany, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia, the United Kingdom and
Iran - accounted for 55 percent of all international migrants in 1990 and
continue to host large immigrant populations, according to the report.
A significant new trend is the increasing number of female migrants, but
these women are especially vulnerable to hardship, discrimination and
abuse, it said.
"They have limited access to employment and generally earn less than men
and than native-born women. Legally, many migrant women are vulnerable if
their residence is dependent upon a relationship with a citizen or 'primary
migrant'," it added.
In East Asia, China is the largest source of unskilled labour, according to
the report. Between 300,000 and 400,000 Chinese migrate annually, either as
contract workers, settlers, students or other unauthorised labour, it said.
Up to 200,000 Chinese migrants are smuggled illegally by organised rings
into countries including the United States, Canada and Australia each year,
according to the report.
Unauthorised migrants in Europe - including ethnic Albanians from Kosovo,
Kurds from Iraq and Roma (gypsies) from eastern Europe - were estimated at
three million in 1998, up from about two million in 1991, the IOM said.
(C) Reuters Limited 2000.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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