Press Release

Hazards, Opportunities Drive Increase in Internal Migration in Viet Nam

20 January 2015

  • HANOI, 20 January 2015 - A combination of high risks in rural areas and opportunities in the cities has provoked a big increase in internal migration in Viet Nam, according to an IOM report scheduled for release this week.

"Our work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shows the importance of internal migration in Viet Nam," said David Knight, IOM's Chief of Mission in Viet Nam. "There is great potential to use the income this creates for rural development and innovative policy initiatives could further increase the positive impact on rural communities from this flow of labour," he added.

The research focuses on two migration movements of significance to the government's National Target Programme on New Rural Development: rural-urban migration and environment-induced resettlement schemes.

Viet Nam is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the Asia-Pacific region, with more than 70 per cent of its population exposed to risks from multiple natural hazards. The country has already developed many resettlement adaptation policies and programmes in response to climate change.

For the rural-urban migration component, the research has measured the impact of migration on labour resources, as well as rural livelihoods and economy. It defined the needs of migrants and their families and assessed the support required to maximize benefits to rural development. For the resettlement component, it has analyzed the economic, social, environmental factors that maximize the benefits of resettlement models.

One male respondent to the survey was enthusiastic about being resettled form a flood-prone area: "Here it's good because it's quite dry; secondly there are roads so we can go here and there easily. After the roads were upgraded, transportation became really convenient ... it has also made it easier for our livelihood activities; my wife can go to work as a labourer. We faced a lot of hardships when we were living there (at the previous place, before resettlement), now that we have moved here, life is more comfortable."

A workshop to discuss the findings of the report will be held in Hanoi on Wednesday. It will bring together government officials, technical and policy experts and related stakeholders to explore the dynamic and complex nexus between rural-urban migration and environment-induced resettlement. Policy gaps and recommendations will also be discussed. This research is part of the UN Joint Program to Support the Implementation of the National Target Programme on New Rural Development

IOM's flagship World Migration Report will this year focus on urban migration. The number of people living in cities will almost double in the coming decades to some 6.4 billion in 2050, turning much of the world into a global city.

Human mobility and migration play an important part in this, but are largely missing from the global debate on urbanization. Many city and local governments also still do not include migration or migrants in their urban development planning and implementation. The report will address this gap by considering migration as a defining factor alongside climate change, population growth, demographic change and economic crisis in shaping sustainable cities of the future. Internal and international migrants are both part of the challenge of rapid urbanization and part of the solution.

The report will examine the complex dynamics between migrants and cities and new partnerships being forged at local level among migrants, local government, civil society and the private sector to manage highly mobile, diverse cities for mutual benefit. It will showcase various local initiatives to create inclusive regulatory environments for migrants and their resources, which can improve migrants' well-being and leverage the broader developmental benefits of migration for origin and host societies. It will offer practical policy options to create an 'opportunity structure' to maximize the benefits of urban migration. The World Migration Report 2015 will be launched at the Ministerial Conference on Migrants and Cities in mid-2015.

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International Organization for Migration

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