Rose Jaji (Phd)
Senior researcher at the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)
The idea of migration trajectories that crisscross the globe as one of the hallmarks of globalization creates the impression that everyone from the disparate parts of the world can move. This apparent possibility for everyone to participate in global migration masks unequal mobility opportunities that are embedded in dichotomous categorizations of mobility at regional, national, and individual levels. Global migration is disaggregated into North-South, South-North, North-North and South-South. This is replicated at national level by classification that designates countries in binary terms as either sending or receiving countries notwithstanding the fact that countries can straddle this boundary and act as points of transit. Construed as mere references to geography and physical borders, these categories seem benign. However, in reality they generate a correspondingly regionalized and nationalized migration nomenclature that influences how the individual is situated and classified in global migration trajectories. The distinctions at global and national levels show a pattern that coalesces into a migration lexicon that privileges mobility by the affluent and problematizes that by the poor.
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