Migration is a global phenomenon today. It is at the centre of political crises across countries in the developed and the less developed world. In a regional context, in most South Asian countries, the presence of the migrant is ubiquitous. Nearly one in every three persons in India is a migrant, going by the Census definition for migration in India. In Pakistan around one in six urban dwellers is a migrant. Similar statistics for migration are found in other South Asian countries. The issue represents a developmental challenge in these countries. It also represents a potential threat to internal peace within countries, and between countries in South Asia. In the context of political enmity in the region, the issue of ‘illegal’ migrants often becomes a flashpoint to internal peace and an area of conflict between countries.
The attempt in this Poverty, Vulnerability and Migration Report is to understand the underlying causes of the migration of the poor, from both within a country as well as from a regional perspective. While all issues concerning migration might not be covered comprehensively, the authors feel that the most important drivers of poverty and migration have been substantially highlighted and discussed. The focus being on poverty, the report does not seek to discuss migration of the relatively better off.