Factors Influencing People’s International Migration in Conflict-Affected Regions: A Case Analysis of Rakhine State, Myanmar

Main Article Content

Htet Paing Oo

Abstract

This study aimed to fill a methodological gap between different research projects focusing on migration patterns and give a theoretical account of how economic and non-economic factors have influenced diverse communities’ international migration from various regions of Rakhine State. The data analysis was made based on 840 survey respondents and 500 key informants across Rakhine State. The findings suggest that economic migration is the most salient type of migration. Poverty, usually directly stemming from a vicious circle of underproductivity in the farms, higher labour wages on the side of employers and lower labour wages on the side of employees in the agricultural sector, an absence of alternative income sources, and higher unemployment rate, has compelled different community members to decide to pursue international migration. Socio-political migration is the second most salient type of migration; with a fairly large number of respondents reporting a common experience of intercommunal discrimination. A number of respondents also reported their common experience of discrimination by the government’s ministerial departments during the private key informant interviews, although they were reluctant to give the same responses through surveys. Conflict-induced migration is the third most salient type of migration. A prolonged presence of communities’ security concerns stemming from the communal violence and lingering tensions since 2012, and escalating regional armed conflicts between state and non-state security forces since 2016, also has an impact on migration patterns in Rakhine State. The environmental fallout has imposed an indirect impact on migration through some economic factors such as temporary or long-term unemployment, business suspension, or indebtedness. Social networks also make a significant contribution to the continuation of people’s international migration from Rakhine State. However, legal migration institutions are rather weak, while illegal ones are desperately powerful in the State.

Keywords:
International migration, conflict-affected regions, multiethnic community

Article Details

How to Cite
Oo, H. P. (2020). Factors Influencing People’s International Migration in Conflict-Affected Regions: A Case Analysis of Rakhine State, Myanmar. Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences, 12(3), 25-43. https://doi.org/10.9734/arjass/2020/v12i330191
Section
Original Research Article

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