moderate rain
humidity: 100%
wind: 2km/h NNW
H 24 • L 24

Positive Economic Impact of Immigrants

By: Aisha Braima

KHARTOUM (SUDANOW) – People should not overlook the benefits of migrants despite the rise of anti-immigration sentiment in Europe and elsewhere.
This is the core of a forum organized for the Sudanese journalists by the British Council, in collaboration with Ministry of Information and Thompson Foundation and under the auspices of the British Embassy in Sudan.
Participants of the forum "the positive economic impact of immigrants in Sudan" included a number of experts and specialists in immigration and representatives of the concerned agencies besides a good number of journalists, jurists and representatives of the organizations of immigrants and refugees.
Dr. Hamad al-Jizouli Murouah, the Commissioner for Refugees in Sudan, said the Sudan which is surrounded by seven countries, has been and still is a destination of great number of refugees, particularly from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Central Africa in addition to a recent influx from Syria, Yemen and South Sudan.
He pointed out that the state is committed to observance of the international, regional and national conventions on the refugees in Sudan and to implementation of the numerous plans and programmes for their protection. There are three types of refuges, one type living inside the camps enjoying all of the basic services, numbering 144,000, a second one are the urban refugees, numbering 18,000 who are not provided with any sort of services and the third type, 162,578 in number, are those who are applying for refuge, Murouah said adding that no specific count of the Syrian refugees has been made.
With regard to the Sudanese refugees, the Commissioner said there are 300,000 of them in Chad and 34,500 in Ethiopia whom the government is planning to repatriate.
The Head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sudan, Mr. Mario Lito Malanca, said there are several aspects of migration which is made for many motives, including seeking new opportunities, helps in decision-making and contributes to the development of the country of destination, particularly the migration of the intellectuals and highly qualified persons.
He added that the IOM places three considerations for migration, first, it cannot be avoided, secondly it offers opportunities of benefiting from the qualifications and skills and transfer of knowledge and thirdly, it is desirable if made properly.
Mr. Malanca added that his organization upholds the motto of "proper management of the migration for the interest of the migrants and the countries of migration". For instance, he went on, the expatriates positively contribute by transferring money back home, in addition to the transfer of expertise, by Sudanese physicians, to the countries of migration. Moreover, some migrants can carry out jobs which the individuals of the countries of migration cannot do in urban and rural regions, IOM chief said.
He said there are 47 million migrants from developing countries to developed ones who transferred 450 billion dollars to their home countries.


Mr. Malanca noted that the population movement is rising steadily nowadays and all of the countries seek to make use of it, as migration is not always negative, this stereotype image should be rubbed out. The migrants and refugees, in instance, participate in provision of the basic services and for this reason; the host country should enact proper administrative laws and rules that regulate the relationship between the two sides, Malanca added.
He said the recent incidents in France had an adverse impact on the migration issue, involving the political stance which is supported by the public opinion and which has negative effects on the humanitarian aspects, causing frictions between the migrants and the host countries. This situation was aggravated by the grave international financial crisis which has engulfed the countries of the world, Malanca added.
Malanca said statistics revealed that there are 232 million refugees, 740 million internally displaced persons and 60 million persons who have been forced into migration, that is, there is one refugee or migrant out of each seven persons worldwide.
He called for finding international policies for migration that strike a balance between the host countries and the migrants, appealing to the Sudan to lay down a strategic policy for implementation of new policies aimed at establishment of partnerships between the state and the migrants for contribution to the economic development in Sudan. He acknowledged contribution by countries of the South to the economic development of countries of the North given the rising birth rates decreasing employment opportunities in the South compared with the growing numbers of old people in the North. The migrants contribute to the economies of their home countries with financial transfers which he said had recently reached 450 billion dollars.
For his part, Murouah said his Commission outlines the policies, strategies and plans for addressing the issues of refugees in Sudan. It also considers the legal status of applicants for asylum in accordance with the relevant law of 1974 and international and regional agreements and protocols on refugees besides ensuring the continued flow of the international support by the UNHCR, other specialized UN agencies, NGOs and donor nations, he added.


The Commissioner pointed to activation and encouragement of voluntary repatriation as an ideal solution for the refugee problem in addition to following up the conditions of the Sudanese refugees abroad.
The forum also discussed a negative aspect for asylum which is reflected in the phenomenon of human smuggling and trafficking. Rif'at Osman Makkawi, Director of the Legal Assistance Center, said in his paper the freedom of movement must be regarded as a right guaranteed to every person. Migration, he went on, is governed by the expulsion and attraction factors and the terms of refugee and migrant must be differentiated from each other as, while the former enjoys several privileges and basic services, the latter is sometimes faced with difficult circumstances and often becomes a scapegoat to negative economic and social developments that occur in the host country.

Makkawi said there is a difference between the human smuggling in which a person is willingly transformed into a commodity smuggled in return for money, while the human trafficking makes a person a means for earning money in exchange for manipulation in dubious activities such as prostitution and drug trafficking; this is made coercively and the person is transformed into a state of exploitation.
The Refugees Commissioner has confirmed the existence of human trafficking in east Sudan committed by criminal networks operating among the refugees, pointing out, however, that the practice decreased from 338 cases in 2012 to 100 cases in 2013 and limited cases last year.
He said major challenges confronting the country in protecting the refugees are elimination of human trafficking and improvement of the environmental conditions of the areas affected by the refugees as well as improvement of the services in the camps. The Commissioner acknowledged contribution by the refugees to boosting the country's economy by working on the harvest operations in Gedaref State. He said the refugees are registered and given permits for work anywhere in the Sudan.
Also speaking at the forum United Kingdom Ambassador to Sudan Michael Aeron said many countries are suffering from the issues of migration and refugees.
Underlining the role by journalists in handling issues of concern to the society, the Ambassador said the forum was aimed at upgrading the journalists competence for tackling such questions as migration and their impact on the state.

Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


Recent tweets

FOLLOW Us On Facebook

Contact Us

Address: Sudan News Agency (SUNA) Building, Jamhoria Street, Khartoum - Sudan

Mobile:+249 909220011 / +249 912307547