What do you call a person who moves within the same country?

What do you call a person who moves within the same country?

According to IOM, people who move voluntarily within a country are called internal migrants and move for several reasons, both formally and informally. If their movement is forced, they are referred to as internally displaced persons (IDP).

Internal movements from rural areas to urban areas is called urbanization or urban transition.

Migrants who move within the borders of their country are called internal migrants, that is, people seeking a new temporary or permanent residence, regardless of the reasons for doing so. A conservative estimate from UNDP in 2009 estimated that the global figure of internal migrants was 740 million. However, this estimate is uncertain, in part because according to the series of research on migration “International migration, internal migration, mobility and urbanization”, the greater the population of a country, the greater its percentage of internal migrants. This is also partly because of the complexity of defining the limits of this category: how far should a person be mobilized to be considered an internal migrant? How much time should they spend in this new residence? These and other questions make it difficult to measure the population that migrates within the borders of a State, and few countries keep records in this regard. Population censuses are often the most frequently used instruments to measure internal migration.

Within the category of internal migrants are internally displaced persons, who, although they do not cross an internationally recognized state border, are forced to move, “in particular as a result of or to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of widespread violence , violations of human rights or natural or human-caused disasters ”, as defined by the Guiding Principles of Internal Displacement.

According to the Global Internal Displacement Report 2019, in 2018, the Americas region represented 3.7% of global internal displacements due to conflict, and 9.8% of displacements due to natural disasters. This reinforces, as the report says, that internal displacement is a global challenge, but it is concentrated mainly in some countries and regions, such as Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria.

According to the UN Population and Development Commission, urbanization or urban transition is related to “a change in a population that is dispersed in small rural settlements, in which agriculture is the dominant economic activity, towards one that is it concentrates on larger and denser urban settlements characterized by a domain of industrial activities and services”. Urbanization differs from urban growth in that the former means a movement of people, and the latter refers to an increase in the urban population. The definition of what is urban and rural changes from country to country. It is relevant to note that Central America is the second highest region in the world in terms of urbanization rates and is only surpassed by Africa.

The Migration Data Portal indicates that urbanization generally occurs through processes such as natural population growth; when more people move from rural to urban areas; when the limits of what is considered urban are extended; and as a result of the creation of new urban centers. Although there are other types of internal migration flows, such as rural-to-rural, urban-to-urban, and urban-to-rural, it is the transition to the urban that has gained increased the most significantly.

Internal migrants, internally displaced persons and those who move to urban areas can be in more than one category at the same time and from there they can sometimes get confused. In addition, we must bear in mind that people come and go, adjust their residence for short or long periods of time, and therefore migration is not necessarily a linear process. Instead, it is complex and fluid and occurs in different times and spaces. The factors that promote internal migration are multiple and combine with each other. These include social, political, economic, demographic, environmental and climate issues. Internal migration can also give rise to international movements, both within the framework of forced displacement and more voluntary processes.

How will COVID-19 affect the achievement of the goals of the 2030 Agenda?

How will COVID-19 affect the achievement of the goals of the 2030 Agenda?
Categoria: Migration Governance
Autor: Laura Thompson


There is no doubt that the current pandemic has a broad humanitarian, social and economic impact in the short, medium and long term, which in turn may affect or delay the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at different levels and in various ways.

The most evident impact, obviously, is on Goal 3, which seeks to guarantee a healthy life and promote well-being. The pandemic has put enormous pressures on health systems not only in relation to the treatment and management of the virus, but also affecting the ability to care for patients who have other diseases and increasing the risk of complications in populations with compromised health states. The pandemic has given greater visibility to the importance of universal access to health systems regardless of people's migratory status. However, the pandemic will also have implications for other aspects of the 2030 Agenda.


Impacts beyond health

COVID-19 is also having a negative impact on the employment, economic and social situation of many households around the world, and on their ability to meet their needs, even the most basic ones. The economic crisis that the countries of the region are facing and the growing unemployment will be decisive in this regard, since apart from the pandemic, Latin America and the Caribbean reached an unemployment rate of 8.1% at the end of 2019, according to the International Labor Organization. And according to ECLAC projections, labor unemployment will rise to 11.5% in the same region, as a result of the contraction of economic activity by COVID-19.

Unemployment and the loss of purchasing power affect more severely migrant populations, since they are very often employed in the informal sector of the economy and have more precarious contractual working conditions, particularly women migrant workers. In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, informal work engages around 50% of the total number of people employed. The increase in unemployment will impact the scope of Goal 8 (on full and productive employment and decent work for all), but also Goal 1 (the fight against poverty), Goal 2 (the eradication of hunger, food security and better nutrition), Goal 5 (gender equality and empowerment of women and girls), and targets 5.2, 8.7 and 16.2, on trafficking and exploitation of people. ECLAC also emphasizes that Latin America and the Caribbean is already suffering a fall of -5.3% in GDP, the worst in its history.

Likewise, this pandemic could accentuate existing inequalities in societies, as well as the vulnerabilities of certain population groups, and consequently delay the achievement of Goal 10, which seeks to reduce inequalities between and within countries. In this context, migrants are one of those vulnerable groups that have been particularly affected by the pandemic and that are often left behind or forgotten in social protection and economic relaunch plans, or have limited access to them, either because of language barriers or because of their immigration status. All of this despite the enormous contribution that migrant workers make to the operation of essential basic services in many countries, as has become evident during this crisis.

Additionally, a decrease in the amount of international remittances is projected, which, according to the World Bank, would be reduced between 10% and 19.3% by 2020. Remittances are a fundamental component in the economy of some countries in the region, where they can amount to between 5% and 20% of the national Gross Domestic Product. A significant reduction in remittances would jeopardize the ability of many households in those countries to meet their most basic needs and their ability to invest in improving nutrition, education, and reducing child labor, among others, further emphasizing existing inequalities.

Finally, at the state level, due to the economic slowdown we are experiencing and urgent health needs, it is very likely that there will be a decrease in social spending or a reorientation of available resources, potentially at the expense of the more comprehensive vision contained in the Sustainable Development Goals, again affecting the scope of the transversal objectives of the 2030 Agenda.


Recovery and SDGs: the same path

But this should not lead us to pessimism and to think that we have lost the fight to achieve the SDGs. On the contrary, it is essential at this time to work together and forcefully to identify the additional difficulties that the current pandemic presents in achieving the 2030 Agenda. We must redouble our commitment and our efforts to ensure that the impact of the pandemic is incorporated into national plans and international assistance, as well as that the different realities and vulnerabilities of some specific groups are incorporated.

For this we must work from now on to ensure the universal attention of the health and education systems; in reducing remittance transfer costs (a topic included in Goal 10), as El Salvador is already doing, creating more resilient and inclusive cities in line with Goal 11 or strengthening forms of regular migration for migrant workers and decent working conditions (Goal 8).

The time is now: all organizations, governments and individuals have an important role in ensuring that the efforts for our Latin American region and the world to recover from the serious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are aligned with the 2030 Agenda and that we make sure we do not leave anyone behind.