Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 - 4 comments

Integration of migration – embracing the newcomers

Ongoing migration is a reality. The goal is not to end migration, but to value, respect and integrate the people who leave their homes in search of resources and safety.

Hello everyone. My name is Emily Akullu, and I work for Office of the President Uganda as Deputy Resident District Commissioner. I’m here to coordinate this discussion with young readers and those who love them. I will, in conjunction with other experts, be waiting to answer any questions that have been haunting you concerning migration. It will be my pleasure to see your side of the coin.

Migration defined

Human migration is the physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Migration could be internal or external, national or international, later termed as immigration and emigration depending on the direction of trek.

Living with it

Migration has existed, with all its pros and cons, through centuries and centuries. It will likely continue to exist, as it is sometimes totally unavoidable. But how can we make it a fair deal, more bearable in instances where one cannot avoid it or otherwise control it? We can agree to the fact that these migrants can contribute to development!

So many conferences focusing on migration have been held at national, continental and global levels. But unfortunately, none of them has ever looked specifically at how to live with the fact that migration will always be there. They usually look at ways of reducing migration instead of how they can make migration and a migrant’s life more bearable. Look at the Libyan conference on migration (2009); all the 30 ways forward focused on the former. It is important to find ways to reduce migration where possible, but in addition, we also need to make real commitments and take significant steps to help the struggles inherent to migration. It’s also important to note that the most affected here are the youth, women and children.

Should it continue this way?

A family is thrown out (through corrupt court bailiffs) on grounds that they don’t belong where they are simply because they are suspected to have come from elsewhere. For about a week, the family had taken refuge in an unfinished school building until the local authority came in. On the extreme right is the District Police Commander, Busia district.

Can the fate of migrants ever change?

But why not? This dream could come true if we share our opinions, take advantage of platforms like this, and hold forums like the forthcoming World Youth Conference scheduled for the 23rd to 28th, August 2010.

I work at the border district of Busia, Uganda, a district that stands in between Uganda and Kenya (East Africa). From what I have experienced, I know that we can control both internal and external migration, but the question is, should we achieve this at the extreme expense of the helpless migrants? We need to prepare ourselves to accept and live with the realities of migration.

Share your ideas and participate

Your view is important to us. You may not have gotten an opportunity to be at the World Youth Conference physically, but you can engage in this blog discussion and your opinion will be heard.

Questions on migration

  • Are our current attitudes towards and actions involving migrants “evil”?
  • What are some of the push and pull factors that see young people on their heels to other destinations distant from their places of origin?
  • Studies have shown that young migrants have often turned into drug traffickers/abusers, commercial sex workers and drunkards. Many get infected with HIV/AIDS, some are deported, while others end up in prisons or become potential recruits of terrorists’ camps. What, in your view, could explain all these?
  • Is there a little chance that young migrants are contributing positively to the development of the whole world? Answer this by thinking about the benefit they provide to their home countries and the host countries accruing wealth from their sweat. If so, how can they be helped to contribute even more?

It’s my pleasure to host you, and I will be here to answer all your questions. Your comment is important to the usefulness of the whole blog post. I’m looking forward to your response!

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Guest Editor

Emily Akullu

Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Busia,


In October 2007, at the age of 25, the President of the Republic of Uganda appointed me Deputy Resident District Commissioner at the border district of Busia, between Kenya and Uganda. I am currently acting as District Commissioner. I was chosen to represent the youth at the Young People's Self Co-coordinating Entity of the Uganda AIDS Commission. I was also elected the Executive Secretary to the Youth Network on Population and Development under UNFPA, Uganda, and I sit on the Youth Advisory Board of the Children's AIDS Fund. I develop behavioral change peer educators training manuals for organisations in HIV/AIDS related work. I am finalising a Masters Degree in Economics. Lastly, I help give self confidence and integrity talks to prospective models to improve and lengthen their lives.

Comments (4)

Tulsi Pokhrel
Saturday 28th August, 2010, 8:50am

In my country there aer two types of migrations. first is the labour force migration of rural youth and the next is the aborad study migration of urban youth. both have made serous impact in origon. their status in destination is also not so good.Recently iam studying the rural to uraban migration of rural poor and its role in slum formation. but still now migaration has not get pollicy level attantion in my country.

Emily Akullu
Wednesday 1st September, 2010, 12:26am

You are absolutely right, Tulsi. We policy makers have been treating migration only as a disease, but not been able to find the source of infection almost globally. However, we have a chance as the young generation to turn things round. As you mentioned, Rural-urban migration is the order of the day in every community, and if we agree that it's part of us, then we will make a fair deal out of it. I am glad that you are doing research on this and I am sure that through empirical data, we can be able to address this issue more accurately.
I hope that you will be able to share your findings with us later and that you will be able to translate your recommendations into action through the various stakeholders!

Thank you for that informative comment.

Ambrose Awici
Tuesday 14th June, 2011, 2:49am

Norway like many other countries has done alot to intergrate immigrants and help them be constuctive in their new adopted country.
However this applies to legal immigrants only,so my question is how can such countries faily deal with what they call ilegal immigrants?

Emily Akullu
Tuesday 14th June, 2011, 12:22pm

Dear Ambrose,

Thank you for contributing! That question that you just posed is the biggest dilemma world over today I guess. Illegal is such a terrible word in the ears of the migrant populace, but yet can't be avoided. My question is, isn't there a better way of handling this other than the commonly inhuman way in which sometimes the migrants are handled, much less the humiliation that they have to go through. I would only love that they be treated with such decency and understanding of what leads them to whichever circumstances

I Thank you once again

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