Global Migration Statistics Highlight the Plight and Contributions of Migrants

On December 18, 1990, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution focusing on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. This resolution aimed to address the challenges faced by migrants worldwide.

Iran (IMNA) - Every year, on December 18, the United Nations observes International Migrants Day, shedding light on the significant contributions made by approximately 272 million migrants, which includes over 41 million internally displaced individuals. This day also serves as a reminder of the difficulties migrants may encounter.

According to recent statistics, the global refugee population reached an estimated 281 million people in 2020, accounting for around 3.6 percent of the world's total population. These figures reflect the immense challenges faced by displaced individuals due to conflicts, political tensions, and other factors.

In the midst of this global migration scenario, Iranian immigrants constitute a significant portion of the global migrant population. With approximately 1.8 million Iranians residing abroad, they make up 2.23 percent of Iran's population. However, it is worth noting that internal sources suggest a larger population of Iranian immigrants, reaching 4.04 million people. Yet, due to the lack of verification from international sources, this higher estimate remains unconfirmed.

The statistics surrounding global migration emphasize the magnitude of the issue and underscore the need for continued attention, support, and protection for all migrants and their families.

Iranian Immigrant Population Increases by 2.2 Times in 30 Years, Yet Remains Below 1% of Global Total

The population of Iranian immigrants worldwide saw a significant rise over the past three decades, according to recent data. In 1990, there were an estimated 820,000 Iranian immigrants globally, a number that surged to 1.8 million by 2020. This represents a 2.2-fold increase in the Iranian immigrant population.

While Iran accounts for approximately 1.07 percent of the world's total population, the proportion of Iranian immigrants remains below this figure. In 1990, Iranian immigrants made up 0.54 percent of the global immigrant population, which slightly increased to 0.70 percent by 2020. However, it has never reached the 1 percent mark throughout the past thirty years.

Based on the latest UNHCR statistics for 2021, there are currently 21.5 million asylum seekers worldwide. Among them, Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan have the highest numbers of individuals in refugee status globally. Additionally, Venezuela, Afghanistan, and Iraq have the largest share of asylum seekers among all nations.

Regarding hosting countries, Iran ranks ninth among the top ten refugee-hosting nations with 798,343 individuals seeking asylum. However, recent forecasts indicate that the number of Afghan immigrants to Iran may reach between 4.5 to 5 million due to the Taliban's control in Afghanistan. Many of these immigrants enter Iran unlawfully, making them unauthorized citizens. The United States, Peru, and Turkey also host a significant number of asylum seekers.

Meanwhile, Germany, France, and Spain serve as the primary destinations for new asylum seekers, attracting a considerable number of applicants in 2020. Specifically, nationals from Venezuela, Afghanistan, and Syria accounted for the majority of asylum applications. While the majority of Venezuelan applicants sought refuge in the Americas, most Afghan and Syrian applicants filed their asylum applications in various European countries.

According to recent reports, a total of 33,800 refugees from 126 different countries were granted citizenship in 28 countries last year. Surprisingly, the number of countries granting citizenship to refugees remained relatively stable compared to the previous year, with 25 countries offering this opportunity in 2019.

Leading the pack in terms of granting citizenship to refugees was the Netherlands, which accounted for a staggering 25,700 cases. This represents approximately three-quarters of all citizenship grants worldwide. Notably, European countries played a significant role in this process, as they were responsible for issuing 85 percent of the total cases in 2020.

Following the Netherlands, Canada and France emerged as the next two countries with the highest number of refugee citizenship permissions granted. These nations demonstrated their commitment to supporting and integrating refugees into their societies by providing them with new opportunities for a better future.

Afghan Immigrants Dominate Iran's Immigration Landscape Following Recent Events

In a significant shift, the recent wave of immigration to Iran has seen a dramatic increase in the number of Afghan immigrants. Previously, Afghans constituted 95 percent of all immigrants, with Iraqis making up 2.5 percent, and the remaining percentage comprised of Pakistanis, Lebanese, Yemenis, Syrians, and Nigerians. However, since the events unfolded in Afghanistan, approximately 99 percent of immigrants currently residing in Iran are of Afghan origin.

Prior to the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, Iran was already hosting around 3.5 million immigrants, with 1.5 million being legal immigrants and the rest residing illegally. However, in the aftermath, an estimated 1 to 1.5 million additional immigrants entered Iran. Consequently, the total number of illegal immigrants living in Iran has surpassed 2.6 million.

Unlike the United States, where illegal immigrants are often denied access to education, Iran offers free education to foreign nationals. This unparalleled provision ensures that the children of immigrants, except for those who recently arrived, have access to educational opportunities. Iran's commendable decision to open its borders to Afghans fleeing the Taliban's rule has garnered praise in international forums.

In a bid to address the issue of statelessness, Iran amended its nationality law in 2019. This amendment allows nearly 105,000 at-risk children to be eligible for Iranian citizenship. Under this law, children under the age of 18 can apply for identity documents. Currently, 105,000 children have submitted applications, and 14,000 of them have already received birth certificates and ID cards.

The revised law enables children born to Iranian women and non-Iranian men, both before and after the amendment, to acquire Iranian citizenship. To qualify, the Iranian mother must request citizenship for her children before they reach the age of 18, provided there are no security concerns. Once these children reach 18, they have the option to apply for Iranian citizenship themselves if their mother did not make the initial request. In such cases, citizenship will be granted unless there are security issues involved.

The Impact of Manpower Migration on Developing Countries: Balancing Loss and Opportunity

In the context of manpower migration, developing and less developed countries face a distinct challenge compared to their developed counterparts - the permanent loss of human capital. The crucial factor that transforms immigration into a negative phenomenon lies in the needs of the country of origin. However, if the necessary platforms are established to harness the potential of immigrants abroad, it can not only yield economic benefits but also facilitate the transfer of skills, knowledge, ideas, and wealth across national borders.

To elaborate further, the migration of human resources, particularly specialized ones, presents both a threat and an opportunity; It can be viewed as an opportunity to leverage the capital, knowledge, networks, and more that immigrants bring with them. The distinguishing factor among countries lies in how they approach, politicize, and manage this issue, determining whether immigration becomes an opportunity or a threat.

News ID 542731


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