Indian diaspora numbers highest in world


United Nations: According to the latest report by UN survey on international migrant trends, Indian diaspora is the largest in the world with 16 million Indians living outside India in 2015.

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) conducted a survey which stated that the number of international migrants living in a country has reached 244 million in 2015 and also was increased by 41 percent in comparison to 2000.

The Trends in International Migrant Stock mentioned that two-third of international migrants live in Asia (75 million) or Europe (76 million).

“The rise in the number of international migrants reflects the increasing importance of international migration, which has become an integral part of our economies and societies,” said Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

He further added, “Well-managed migration brings important benefits to countries of origin and destination, as well as to migrants and their families.”

After Indian diaspora population, Russia and Mexico have the largest diaspora in the world. The survey stated that 16 million people were living outside India as there was an increase from 6.7 million in 1990.

Mexico’s diaspora population is 12 million. Russia, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Pakistan and China were other countries with large diaspora population.

Of the 20 countries with the largest number of international migrants living abroad, 11 were in Asia, 6 in Europe, and one each in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Northern America, the survey said.

Furthermore, the survey stated that, two-third of all international migrants were living in only 20 countries in 2015, beginning with the US, which had 19 per cent of all migrants at 46.6 million, followed by Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.

Out of these 20 countries, India is ranked 12th having 5.2 million migrants in 2015, a drop from 7.5 million in 1990.

International migrants had increased faster than the world’s population, the UN data shows. As a result, the number of migrants in the global population raced up to 3.3 per cent in 2015 from 2.8 per cent in 2000.

Most of the international migrants in 2015 lived in Asia or Europe, the survey said, adding that Asia has half of the international migrants worldwide.

Northern America has the third largest international migrants, followed by Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Oceania. Asia had more international migrants compared to any other region between 2000 and 2015.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which was adopted in September 2015 at the UN by world leaders, stresses the reality of migration. Countries are told to implement well-managed and planned migration policies, respect migrant workers  labour rights, eradicate human trafficking, and reduce the transaction costs of migrant remittances.

The Agenda also focused on  the vulnerability of migrants, refugees and IDPs and weighs that forced displacement and related humanitarian crises threaten to reverse much of the development progress achieved in last few decades.

Migrants should be protected, said Jan Eliasson UN Deputy Secretary-General.

“We need to take greater responsibility for protecting the lives of many thousands of migrants – men, women and children – who are compelled to undertake dangerous and sometimes fatal journeys. Those forced to flee should never be denied safe haven or rescue. Migrants, as all people, deserve protection and empathy,” Eliasson added.(Inputs from agencies) (