1.2 with a new environment, a new
1.2 MigrationMigration refers to the movement of people from one geographical location to another, either on a temporary or permanent basis (Ekong 2003).Migration is a both old and new human practice. There is no place or time, in which migration does not occur. However, the scale, type and implications of migration vary greatly between individuals and societies. Migration can be of any nature, i.e., either rural-to-rural, rural-to-urban, urban-to-rural and urban-to urban migration, it is a common observation all over the world that rural-urban migration is a dominant pattern of internal migration. Migration is a selective process affecting individuals or families with certain economic, social, educational and demographic characteristics. People migrate in response to prevailing conditions and the reasons for it differ from one individual to another. There are two main types of migration: first, internal migration, i.e. migration within one country, and secondly international migration, which means the movement from one country to another. Agriculture labour migration is also one type of labour migration from one place to another place for their livelihood. Agricultural labourers, especially in smaller villages away from towns and cities, are generally unskilled workers carrying on agricultural operation in the centuries old traditional ways. It has been a continuous phenomenon in countries like India where over population exists and people find it difficult to find a permanent job for their living. It, for a long time, has been understood as temporary or permanent exchange or transfer of labour between regions or countries in the recent times. Growth of population, development of civilization, emergence of towns and cities, industrial growth and development of communication have widened the gap between rural and urban areas. Moreover, lack of job opportunities, reduction of cultivable area, lack of development of the agricultural sector, lack of transport, government intervention, high debt and education facilities push/pull rural people to urban areas. In this way, movement and settlement have been the inherent nature of human beings since the dawn of civilization and it has taken place in a large scale in the modern society. Migration is one of the true components of population change in size as well as quality. Movement of individuals implies an element of disassociation from the usual and familiar world. Moreover, it leads to an involvement with a new environment, a new context of physical space and social relationships. Thus, migrants may be known to the new environment or totally unfamiliar with the place.In India, migration of agricultural labourers from villages to towns is not a new phenomenon, but its magnitude in the past one decade due to liberalization has attracted the attention of policymakers and they are trying to find ways to arrest this migration. Hence, studying the impact of liberalization at the micro level on agricultural labourers, on their employment opportunities, working and living conditions and trends, is of vital importance. However, the magnitude of rural labour circulation is of recent origin and is a direct consequence of structural changes, which have taken place both in the origin and destination areas of migration. However, Rural to urban migration is an inevitable component of the development process, and does not necessarily have to result in adverse impacts. With the right mix of policies, this process can occur at a socially acceptable level. As an economy matures, there is a natural movement of excess workers from low productivity agriculture to higher productivity manufacturing and services, where both productivity and therefore wages are relatively higher. This rural urban shift and away from agriculture steadily gathers pace as the economy develops. Elaborating this phenomenon in greater details is crucial, as it is also supplemented by a wide variety of factors. There are two critical factors that affect the movement of labour away from the agriculture sector. The first is the “Pull” factor. With accelerated economic growth, job opportunities in non-agricultural sector are created much faster and this leads to a pull on labour away from agriculture to higher productive and higher paying manufacturing or services sector. On the other hand, the supply of labour from agriculture to other sectors is also affected by wages in the rural areas. Social welfare programs such as MGNREGA (the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), has in effect been boosting rural incomes and incentives, thereby reducing the ‘Push” factor of movement away from agriculture. As rural wages rise, the urban labour market gets distorted and the ‘Push’ factor gets weakened.1.3 ChildrenThe United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines child as “a human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier” A comprehensive approach to child well-being will take into account four different non-monetary components, namely: health, education, economic activity (child work), and psycho-social effects. These components reflect the principles defining the obligations towards each and every child without discrimination of any kind (including migrant status), as outlined in the Convention of the Rights of the Child, a nearly universally ratified international convention. These principles include, among others, the right to the highest attainable standards of health and education, and the right to be free from discrimination, exploitation, and abuse.Migration uproots a family’s stability and, as a result of separation, reduced care and resources may negatively impact the social and psychological development of left-behind children. Two different broad groups of children affected by migration can be identified as migrant children and children left behind at the home town. The first group includes migrant children who directly experience mobility patterns, together with their parents. Migrating labourers accompany their children especially when no one is there to look after them. The second group includes children who do not move but are left behind by one or both parents who have migrated. These children are taken care either by their own mother’s or by relatives in case both the parents migrate. However, migrant children move away from their original households and thus experience mobility directly, whereas children left behind continue to stay at their home town until the parent returns. Children who migrate engage in less paid and unpaid work, Compared to children who did not migrate, child migrants have worse educational outcomes. Children may drop out of school and there is very little possibility that the schools may admit them when they get back. The negative relationship between child migration and education is robust to a variety of specifications and controls. If parents do not know about this disadvantage, or at least do not consider it when deciding whether or not to take their children when they migrate, then it constitutes a negative externality of migration. Such migration may lead students to forget what they have learned in school, or prevent them from developing relationships with teachers and classmates that help them progress through school. It may simply break the habit of going to school. There is a clear divergence in the educational trends of non-migrating and migrating children, with the children who migrate getting less education for each year of age than the group that does not migrate. Children brought to worksites face the risk of injury, illness, and exploitation, while missing out on educational opportunities that might have helped them escape the cycle of poverty. On one hand migration shows the positive effect of increased access to health centers at the destination place, on the other hand, however, the negative side of migration is the transmission of diseases. The working conditions at the destination place can cause harm to both the migrants and their children. Their habits may have to change when moving to a new place and their regular activities may have to be altered according to the requirements and thus to greater risk of poor health outcomes of children, it also causes serious effect on the mental health of the children regarding the process of migration, which causes stress due to the loss of family, friends, and habitual surroundings. Questions about their identity and sense of belonging, the fear of deportation, and discrimination cause problems that are taken into adulthood.