Forced migration is the involuntary movement of one group chosen for it by another group which is powerful and more authoritative than the first one. In simple words, in forced migration.
The people who migrate have no part in decision of their migration or they have no other option except migration.
Forced migration can occur as a result of war, political pressure, government policies, slavery, bankruptcy, civil war etc. Atlantic Slave trade in which millions of African people were forced to leave their homes and were sold as slaves in Caribbean, North America and South America is considered the largest forced migration up till now. Some sources quote a figure of 12 million people while some quote the figure of 30 million people.
Notable Forced migrations in history during the reign of various rulers are as follows:
Britain to Australia (1788-1838):
During the period of 1788-1838-39, thousands of convicts were sent from Britain to Australia which had a long lasting impact on the coming generations in Australia.
Trail of Tears (1838):
During the presidency of Andrew Jackson in America, thousands of Native Americans were forced to leave their places and migrate to far areas in Americas. They were also forced to handover their lands to the US government. This migration is also known as “trail of tears”.
Stalin’s rule in Russia(1927-1953):
Under the Stalin’s rule in Russia during 1927-1953, thousands of non-Russians were forced to migrate to remote areas of Siberia and Central Asia under political pressure.
Nazis in Germany (1930’s):
During the 1930’s in Germany, Nazis forced a significant number of Jews from the European area which fell under their control.
Recent Forced Migrations:
An age old phenomenon, forced migration across international borders has become exceedingly widespread during the recent past. One of the different forms of forced migration is counter migration in which the governments send back the immigrants to their home country.
Uganda in 1972:
Uganda’s dictator Idi Amin sent more than 50,000 Asians and Ugandans of Asian descent from his country.
Vietnam in 1975:
Thousands of Vietnamese left Vietnam as a result of communist control in 1975.
Cuba in 1980:
Another politically driven forced migration was done by the Cuban dictatorship in 1980 when more than 125000 cubans were expelled in “Merial Boatlift”.
Nigeria in 1980’s:
In 1980, the Nigerian government expelled more than two million foreign workers as a result of downfall of Oil Company.
Yugoslavia in 1990’s:
The conflict of Yugoslavia forced around three million people to leave their homes and become permanent emigrants in Western Europe.
Conflict in Rwanda (mid 1990’s):
As a result of civil war during mid 1990’s in Rwanda between the tribes of Hutu and Tutsi, more than one million people lost their lives and forced around two million people to leave their homes.
Afghanistan problem is still waiting for its solution. The Soviet invasion in 1979 forced millions of people to migrate towards Pakistan and Iran. The international community has tried its best to solve the problem but in vain. The incident of 9/11 further worsened the problem and international community led by UNHCR is helping Pakistan and Iran to repatriate the Refugees.
Civil war in Egypt and Libya:
The recent civil war in Egypt and Libya which resulted in the end of reign of hussn-e-Mubarak in Egypt and Mommar Qaddafi in Libya also forced the emigrants to leave their homes, business and jobs and return to their home countries.
IDPs in Pakistan:
The military operations conducted in Swat and tribal areas also caused tens of thousands of people to leave their homes and live as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in various camps for several months. The floods in the years of 2010 and 2011 also compelled people to leave their home places until the completion of reconstruction and rehabilitation phase.