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CPPR TOWNHALL on The COVID 19 Pandemic: The Growing Debate of Inequality and Migration

Event Start Date:
December 16, 2021
Event End Date:
December 16, 2021
Event Venue:

Theme/Title: CPPR Townhall on The COVID 19 Pandemic: The Growing Debate of Inequality and Migration

Mobility of people is not a new phenomenon, but the intensity and patterns of labour migration has been expanding over the years. The tremendous economic growth and huge improvements in standard of living over the last several decades have not been able to narrow down the divide between the haves and the have not’s within and across nations. International attention to the growing problem of inequality is evident as the 10th goal of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is reducing inequality within and among countries.

If we observe mobility, we see that South Asian region has had a vast share of international Migrants. We can broadly categorise South Asian migrants into two sets- the highly skilled migrants mostly migrating to the Western countries and the semi skilled and less skilled workers migrating to the Middle East countries. India has the largest number of international migrants in the World (World Migration Report, 2020). In terms of origin of remittances to South Asia, the Middle East countries are the largest recipients of South Asian migrant workers, the amount of remittances originated from the three countries, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are estimated to account over 60% of the total remittance inflow to South Asia.

Highly unequal societies are less effective at reducing poverty than those with low levels of inequality. They also grow more slowly and are less successful at sustaining economic growth. Disparities in health and education make it challenging for people to break out of the cycle of poverty, leading to the transmission of disadvantage from one generation to the next (World Social Report, 2020). Economists often point out that inequality depends on the distribution of financial and human capital. The present crisis due to the pandemic will not lower the income gap sufficiently to reduce migration pressures. Predictions are that the income inequality between the low-skilled and high- skilled is likely to widen in the near future. Migrant workers tend to be extremely vulnerable, more than native-born workers, to losses of employment and wages during an economic crisis in their host country.

Patterns of inequality can be identified through the kind of workers (skilled and the less skilled), through different streams of work (domestic work, care work) and through different identities (male and female workers). It also depends on the nature of migration- temporary or permanent.

Date: Thursday, 16 December 2021

Time: 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM IST

Speaker: Dr Sumeeta M, Economist and Research Fellow, CPPR

Host: Nissy Solomon, Senior Associate, CPPR

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