DRAFT - NOT FOR QUOTATION - 17 March 2009
Sources: aUNDP (2007); bPopulation Reference Bureau (2008)
Sources: aUNDP (2007); bPopulation Reference Bureau (2008); cADB (2007)
India is the fourth largest economy and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. India has undertaken comprehensive market-oriented reforms and attained high rates of growth (with an average growth of around 6 percent in the 1990s). India has also emerged as a global leader in ICT and business process outsourcing services. Its service sector accounts for almost half of India’s GDP. Economic growth slowed in FY2001 and FY2002, but the country has again seen a sharp increase in GDP growth since FY2003. However, the pluralistic (multi-lingual, multi-ethnic) country still suffers from high level of poverty. India borders Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Burma.
Labor migration flowed toward the Middle East in the early 1970s, earlier than other Asian countries. The movement peaked in the early 1980s and declined in the mid- to late1980s. The number of Indian migrant workers increased again in the 1990s. Table 1 shows the increase in the outflow of Indian workers to the Gulf from 2000 to 2005.Today, close to 3 million Indian migrants are believed to be living in Gulf countries (Srivastava and Sasikumar, 2003). Indian men and women migrate to the Gulf region as low-skilled laborers and domestic workers, respectively. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been the major destinations. It is estimated that Kuwait hosts some 500,000 Indians, mostly working as contract laborers (AMN, 15 April 2007). This type of low-skilled labor migration originates mostly from a few states, particularly from Kerala (with over 55 percent of the migrants), Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. Some 90 percent of 18.4 lakh (1.85 million) migrants who left Kerala in 2004 went to the Gulf region (AMN, 28 February 2006).
India has taken steps to eradicate the mistreatment of its nationals working in the Gulf and to combat the illegal recruitment of Indian workers. India signed separate labor pacts with the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan and now in talks with Malaysia, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen (AMN, 30 June 2007). In 2007, India imposed a ban on the deployment of all low-skilled women below 30 years in a bid to stop increasing cases of exploitationand to curb sex trafficking of Indian women.
Indians comprised the second largest permanent resident immigrants to the US in 2004 (AMN, 31 July 2006). Many Indian IT professionals who immigrated to the US in the 1990s have already obtained green cards. More than 1.7 million Indian immigrants are in the US, making India as among the top three source countries of immigrants to the US (AMN, 30 November 2007). A total of 99,000 Indians also accounted for the largest number of migrants in the UK in 2004-2005, accounting for two-thirds of net immigration (AMN, 30 April 2007). Indians also make up the largest group of migrants who benefited from the Highly Skilled Migrants Program (HSMP) (AMN, 15 November 2006). As of 2005, Indians accounted for 40 percent of a total of 6,716 approvals under the HSMP (AMN, 30 June 2007).
India is the largest recipient of remittances from overseas workers. It receives more than 10 percent of the US$230 billion remittance return (AMN, 31 August 2007).Indian migrants sent home more than US$25.7 billion in 2006 (AMN, 31 October 2007). Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) remitted US$26 billion to India in 2003-2004 and US$93 billion during 1999-2004 (AMN, 31 July 2006). In Kerala, remittances accounted for 21 percent of its state income in the 1990s (Srivastava and Sasikumar, 2003).
As of 2003, the number of Bangladeshis in India was estimated to be at around 16 million, with the largest concentration in Assam, West Bengal and Bihar (Rajeswar, 2003). The government estimates that 90 percent of India’s sex trafficking is internal, but India is also a destination for women and girls from neighboring (Nepal and Bangladesh) and other countries (Egypt, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Russia and other Eastern European countries), who are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation (AMN, 30 June 2006).
There were 290,000 (excluding the 40,000 Afghans living in refugee-like situations) refugees and asylum seekers in India as of the end of 2000 (Table 2). Recent estimates from the UNHCR indicate that there are more than 200,000 refugees seeking citizenship in India, including some 100,000 Tibetans, 60,000 Chin refugees from Burma, 51,000 Sri Lankan Tamils and 13,235 other UNHCR recognized refugees (AMN, 15 April 2006).
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
2007 “South Asia: India.” In Asian Development Outlook 2007. Available at http://www.adb.org/documents/books/ADO/2007/IND.asp, accessed on 8 December 2008.
Asian Migration News (AMN) Various Years
2006 “India: Skilled Migration to Developed Countries , Labour Migration to the Gulf.” Available at http://meme.phpwebhosting.com/~migracion/modules/ve7/2.pdf, accessed on 17 December 2008.
India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF)
2004 “Indian Economy: An Overview.” Available at http://www.ibef.org/artdispview.aspx?art_id=3254&cat_id=140, accessed on 16 January 2008.
Population Reference Bureau
2008 “2008 World Population Data Sheet.” Available at http://www.prb.org/pdf08/08WPDS_Eng.pdf, accessed on 21 November 2008.
2003 “Problem of Bangladeshi Migrants: Politico-economic Study in Historical Context.” Available at http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030217/edit.htm#3, accessed on 23 January 2007.
Srivastava, Ravi and S.K. Sasikumar
2003 “An Overview of Migration in India, Its Impacts and Key Issues.” A Paper prepared for and presented at the Regional Conference on Migration, Development and Pro-Poor Policy Choices in Asia, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 22-24 June 2003. Available at http://www.livelihoods.org/hot_topics/docs/Dhaka_CP_2.pdf, accessed on 10 December 2008.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
2007 “Human Development Report 2007/2008.” Available at http://hdrstats.undp.org/countries/data_sheets/cty_ds_IND.html, accessed on 9 December 2008.
http://www.gcir.org/about_immigration/world_map/alphabetical_list_of_countries.htm, 23 November 2007 (No longer available)