Human beings move from one place to another over long or short distances, searching for places to settle either temporarily or permanently. People that migrate do so individually, as families or in large groups. Human migration can be traced back 1.75 million years ago, when the Homo erectus began moving out of their settlements in Africa and spreading to Australia, Asia and finally to the Americas.
In the present day, people engage in different forms of movement. Internal migration is the travel within a country, external migration is when individuals move to different countries or continents, while emigration is leaving one country for another. Additionally, immigration is the type of movement whereby a person moves to a new country while return migration is moving back to one’s place of origin. Seasonal migration is the movement precipitated by various seasons such as climatic conditions or in search for employment.
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Classification of migrant individuals is into three. Firstly, an emigrant is a person who leaves their country and settles in another country. Secondly, an immigrant is a person who moves to a new country and makes it their new home while a refugee is a person that escapes problems in their country and seeks refuge in another.
People move from their homes to other nations or areas due to push and pull factors. Pull factors are motivations that attract people to move to other countries. Firstly, migrants move to industrialized countries in search of employment opportunities, which translate to a source of income. Secondly, the movement to other countries is to have higher standards of living, proper medical care and intensified security Also, to further their education. Social factors also pull people to a country. For instance, the United States and Argentina have instituted laws that have facilitated the accepting and legalization of lifestyles of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community among others. People that subscribe to this community in countries that are intolerant often migrate to them.
The push factors make individuals leave one country to another. First, poverty elicits movement of people as they search for avenues to escape the economic hardships such as employment, better life, and prosperity from their way of life. Social factors such as racism, sexism and religious persecution push migrants to move. Countries that treat people unjustly because they are of different ethnic groups or due to their religious beliefs tend to make people leave the country. Additionally, lack of tolerance for individuals deemed different from others due to their sexual orientation drives such citizens to other countries.
Political issues arising from defiance of government rules, war and oppression cause political instability. Consequently, if a government fails in controlling a country and war breaks out people try their best to escape these conditions and migrate to other nations. Government oppression of people’s rights through election rigging, dictatorial leadership and corruption also elicit migration.
Human migration poses benefits and disadvantages to the country of origin and the host country. The country of origin benefits from revenue remitted by migrants, enjoy decreased pressure toward their resources, the need to support more citizens or to create jobs. Moreover, they benefit from acquired skills from migrants who learn or work in other countries upon their return. However, they suffer a reduction in the workforce, loss of taxpayers, brain drain and gender imbalance, as more men tend to depart leaving women and children. On the other hand, the host country benefits from a diversity of culture and people that bring forth enrichment of their societies and increased cheap labor. The host country though suffers overcrowding, increased burden to provide the basic needs and lingering religious and cultural differences.
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