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Human Migration

Historical background

The phenomenon of migration or human mobility has been going on since ancient times. This process began about a million years ago when Homo Erectus reached Eurasia from Africa. Then a second wave left the shores of dark continent (Africa)about 70,000 years and migrated Asia, Europe and Australia. It is believed that Americas were inhabited around 15000 years ago but the island located in Pacific Ocean were visited and captured about two thousand years ago. It was the time when Indus Valley civilization was flouring in North-West India shortly afterwards the Aryans started moving towards India in waves and occupied parts by pushing Dravidians to the South.

Similarly, before the advents of Christianity, the Romans moved westwards by destroying Carthage (149-146 B.C) and annexed Egypt (31 B.C) and Gaul (France) in 50 B.C. Greeks city states emerged in 750 B.C. and heralded movement of Greeks towards the East. Thousands of Greeks accompanied Alexander the Greats in 325 B.C and settled in Persia and India. Sixth century A.D witnessed the dawn of Islam in Saudi Arabia and subsequently the Arabs conquered Egypt, North Africa, Central Asia, Sindh and Spain. Consequently, large Arab population migrated to these regions and settled there to find strong Muslim dynasties. In 13th century, the Mongols came down from Central Asia and rapidly conquered Baghdad, Damascus, and most of Middle East. Later on, Timur ravaged Delhi, Ankara and Moscow. In 1206 Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak founded Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526) which was followed by Mughal Empire (1526-1857).  During the period extending from 13th to 18th centuries thousands of Turks, Arabs, and Persians left their homes in Central Asia and Iran to settle in India on permanent basis.

The regions of far East and South Asia also witnessed human migration at large scale between 11th and 18th centuries. Millions of people belonging to China, Japan and Vietnam moved about through forced or motivated migration. After the dawn of renaissance in 16th century the European nations particularly the English the Dutch, the France, the Portuguese, Latin America and South Asia. During this period millions of Europeans settled in America, Africa, and island located in America during the 19th century alone. Similarly, thousands of settlers chose countries of Latin America as their permanent abodes.

Migrations in 20th Century:

Twentieth century also witnessed unprecedented human migration in Europe, Asia Africa and Americas. These migrations includes the following:

(1). After the fallof Ottoman Empire, thousands of Turkish migrated from Balkans to Turkey and the Christians had to leave their homes in Turkey.

(2). About 400,000 Jews moved from Europe and America to settle in Palestine.

(3). About 3 million Russians, Germans and Poles left Russia due to the civial war.

(4). First World War (1914-18) displaced milliions of people in Europe nations.

(5). Millions of Asians, Europens and Africans settled in USA, Canada, Australia and UK in search jobs and opportunities.

(6). Seconds World War (1939-45) displayed millions of people in Europe and Asia.

(7). According to Yearbook of Immigration Statistics 2007, about 53.9 millions immigrants were admitted to United States between 1901 and 2007.

(8). According to U.S Census Bureau statistics of 2000 and 2007  census, the US population of 301 million has  the following compostion.

(9). According to UNHCR, there were 11.4 millions refugees in years 1999, 8.3 million refugees in 2006 and 11.3 million refugees in 2008 in the world.

(10). On 1st January, 2008, the origin of major refugee population were as given below:

Afghanistan      =       30,57,661

Palestine            =        4.3 million

Iraq                 =      23,09,247

Colombia           =       5,51,744

Sudan               =       5,23,032

Somalia             =       4,57,357

Burundi             =       3,75,727

Congo (DR)        =       3,70,374

Vietnam            =       3,27,476

Turkey             =       2,21,939

Eritrea             =       2,08,743

(11). On 1st January, 2008, the countries of asylum included Pakistan (2 million), Syria (1.5 million), Iran (0.9 million), Germany (0.57 million), Jordan (0.5 million), Tanzania (0.4 million) China (0.3 million), USA (0.28 million), and Chad (0.29 million).

(12). The Arab-Israil War in 1948, 1967 and 1973 had displayed 4.3 million Palestinians out of which there are 3,41,237 in Iraq and libya and 17,39,000 in West Bank and Gaza Strip.

(13). On 14th August, 1947, the Sub-continent of Indo-Pakistan was partitioned into Pakistan and India. As a result, about 8 million persons crossed the border. Out of these, 65 million people entered Pakistan and 35 million crossed over to India.

(14). Korean War(1950-53) killed and displayed millions of people accros the 38th parallel.

(15). Vietnam War(1963-73) between USA and North Vietnam killed and displayed million of people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

(16). Afghan War(1979-88) due to Soviet invasion of Kabul resulted in displayed of 5 million Afghans who took refuge in neighbouring Pakistan and Iran.

(17). Millions of people belonging to Europe nations migrated to North America and South Ameica from 1881 to 1910. These included 7 million persons from Great Britain, 6 million from Italy and 2 million from Germany.

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