1 de agosto de 2012

Perspectives on regional governance of migrations and the case of Mozambique - By Constancio Nguja

I would like to thank to Professor Dr Ines Raimundo (Chairperson of the Center for Policy Analysis of the Eduardo Mondlane University) for her authorization to use her arguments and investigation on the issue of migration and mobility in Mozambique.

 The term "migration" can be used in several senses. When "migration" refers to the movement of people, it includes:
 • movement of refugees 
 • displaced persons and uprooted people
 • labor migrants
 • economic migrants 

 Migration: a Southern Africa concern Since migration is a major concern within the SADC states the Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) was established in 2001 with the first Forum in Ezulwini, Swaziland, when the member states resolved that MIDSA should undertake a regional, SADC-wide scope of citizenship, migration, immigration and refugee legislation. A SAMP study investigated the issue of harmonization of migration data collection systems within SADC.
 The Klaaren and Rutinwa report to MIDSA report No.1, 2004 stated that with respect for Immigration and Migration there had been a relatively recent change in SADC migration laws. At least five countries have significantly changed their migration laws within the past ten years: Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Lesotho was indicated in the midst of a fundamental revision of its statue. In relation to Migration Control and Refugee Protection the majority of SADC members have ratified the key international instruments relating to refugees, and have enacted legislation to deal with the phenomenon. That instrument is a complement of rights’ treaties; and preserves the principles of asylum and non-refoulement, which have implications for migration controls. The refugees in SADC countries are defined according to the 1951 UN convention on refugees and the 1969 OAU Convention on refugees in Africa. Several scholars have widely discussed that historically, the so-called Southern African Region was exporting unskilled labor to South African mines and plantations for more than a century. There is, however, a significant unrecorded migration to South Africa that is difficult to estimate. For many men in the region, migrating to South Africa for employment has almost become a tradition, which is, of course, reinforced by two major issues as SAMP studies have proved.
Firstly, the employment prospect for returning migrants is usually very low.
Secondly, the South African labor market tends to pay relatively higher wages. Whether those who have been migrating consider it attractive economically to permanently settle for employment in South Africa, despite all the risks associated with being and foreign immigrant still remains a moot point. Scholars and politicians have put efforts into analyzing and giving suggestions to curb the issue: if migration is a hindrance for development, or a tactic for the development. If it is a tactic it cannot be seen as government initiative, but importantly as a ‘peoples’ initiative’ in the context of survival in various ways since they have been exposed to poverty, political instability, natural hazards, etc. and have lost hope in their governments. As a matter of fact that strategy of migration is the panacea of the people’s problems. Scholars have argued that poverty is not solely an issue of government mismanagement, but is also a consequence of different global processes in which Europe and America have a significant responsibility. It has also been argued that the strategy of “controlling people” through passports, fences, etc. has been insignificant. Southern Africa region as the entire African continent, registered an uncountable number of moves which occur internally or are those observed across the region and outside the continent.

 Migration in SADC: the contextual framework
 Increased movement of people, including migrants, across national borders has become a hallmark of the modern era. World-wide, there are 175 million people who are currently not residing in their countries of origin. Of these, 90 million are migrant workers. There are essentially two reasons why people migrate: political and economic. This is true of SADC as well. Political migration has largely been the result of instability in countries such as the DRC and, earlier, Angola and Mozambique, but economic migration appears to be by far the most prevalent form of migration. Also within SADC, the majority of migrants target countries with better economies. The migration flow is towards Botswana, Namibia and South Africa because these countries have stronger economies and also experience skills shortages. These countries, therefore, offer migrants better prospects for improving their quality of life. South Africa in particular attracts by far the majority of intra-SADC migrants. From the available evidence, subject to some exception, it appears that most of the migration from SADC is actually to other SADC countries: intra-SADC movement is therefore the prevailing characteristic of migration from SADC countries. In fact, migration has been a long-standing feature of the labor market framework in Southern Africa, in particular as far as work on the mines and in agriculture is concerned. Apart from informal cross-border trade-related migration, work on the mines, in particular in South Africa, served as a magnet for both internal and external migrants. As a result, as indicated by Crush et al, it could be argued that the industrial development of some countries in the region was only made possible by the use of labor from other countries. From the historical perspective, as is supported by data on modern-day migration movements within SADC, it could be said that systems of labor migration in Southern Africa are deeply entrenched and have become part and parcel of the generations-long movements of people, primarily in search for better living and working conditions. Migration within SADC is largely voluntary in nature. To this there are two broad exceptions: human trafficking and internal and external refugee movements. There is increasingly evidence of growing numbers of local smugglers and an expanding network of transnational criminal syndicates involved in a diverse range of human trafficking activities. Furthermore, internally displaced persons (IDPs) in SADC – the result of among others political and military instability in some of the countries – make up 2,9 million of the approximately 13 million IDPs in Africa – more than half of the global total of IDPs and dwarfing the number of refugees. And yet the position is that a coordinated response to the challenge of internal and external refugee movements is lacking in SADC. For a range of reasons reliable data on the extent and volume of migration within and to SADC is hard to obtain – this also applies to the major migrant-receiving country in the region, namely South Africa. Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that SADC-related migration is characterized by several dimensions:
• (The restructuring of) labor contract migration;
• Declining levels of legal migration to and within the region and the increase in clandestine and undocumented (i.e. irregular) migration, as well as cross-border human trafficking;
 • Substantial brain drain migration;
• Mass internal and at times external refugee movements;
• Feminization of cross-border migration;
• Growth in intra-regional informal cross-border trade; and, generally
• Growth in the volume and complexity of cross-border movements.

Migration within SADC has been influenced by a range of factors. Two may be mentioned in particular – the rise in the proportion of migrant workers in contract labor, and the influence of HIV/AIDS. As regards the first issue, the proportion of foreign workers in contract labor, especially on the mines, rose from 40% in the late 1980s to close to 60% today. Secondly, it has been suggested that the HIV/AIDS crisis has increased cross-border movements in the region as well as spurred movements from rural to urban areas. On the other hand, also, the separation of families associated with migrant labor, fuels HIV/AIDS. For example, rates of HIV infection are much higher in the transport sector, the conduit of migration, and in mining communities. Cross-border migration in SADC is in particular characterized by the precarious position of those who migrate, and their dependants. There are several reasons why this is so. As is apparent from the rest of this report, the inchoate immigration, social security and labor market frameworks applicable to migrants are major contributing factors. For those who migrate, working and living conditions are often, and have often been, inadequate. Cross-border migrants are mostly unskilled or semi-skilled, and are typically found at the lower end of the labor market in receiving countries. Irregular migrants in particular suffer exploitation of their workers' and human rights. Migrants are especially affected by the restructuring of and conditions prevailing at the environments where they are usually employed, such as in mining – as a result of among others labor market flexibility the mining industry in South Africa shed a large number of regular jobs between 1989 to 2000, causing a drop in mining jobs from almost 422 000 to about 231 000, with little effort, also on the part of the state, to ameliorate the effects of retrenchments. Also, it has been noted that the mining sector in particular has a stubbornly high rate of disablement and deaths. In addition to their precarious position in SADC labor markets, migrants also suffer from negative official and community responses – this flows from severely restrictive policy and legislative approaches and the wide-spread prevalence of xenophobia. Another set of characteristics related to intra-SADC migration concerns the question whether such migration is essentially of a temporary or permanent nature. Here it is necessary to distinguish between the temporary orientation of periods of sojourn in the host country for many intra-SADC migrants, and the overall permanent or ongoing nature of migration patterns. It has been reported that a large number of cross-border migrants in Southern Africa remain circular migrants – their visits to the host country are generally seen as temporary. As remarked, across a whole range of indices, these migrants tend to prefer living in their own countries. And yet, once immigration linkages are established, they are very difficult to break, and migration flows are almost impossible to reverse. This is in particular true of the mining and agricultural industries in Southern Africa. SADC countries and regional policy frameworks pertaining to migration and the position of migrants, particularly in the host country context, need to factor in these phenomena of intra-SADC migration. Wrong and overly restrictive policy choices may have a devastating effect on household survival and poverty in the region. Irregular migration Irregular migrants refer to those categories of migrants who lack the (documentary) authority to be and/or remain in the host country. It is, therefore, possible to discern different categories of irregular migrants ranging from those who, as a result of porous borders, economic instability and weak institutions, are involved in a range of clandestine and unlawful cross-border criminal activities, to those who trade and visit informally across borders, and those who are unable to procure the necessary documentation or who have overstayed the period of their authorized sojourn in the host country. Irregular migration is nothing new in and appears to be wide-spread and on the increase in Southern Africa, although the exact numbers of irregular migrants are a subject of constant debate and conflicting opinion. The negative treatment of these migrants as a result of restrictive government policy and societal distrust, in particular in South Africa, has been widely reported on. Enforcement of strict policies tends to focus on identifying and deporting violators with the minimum of due process, while the treatment of irregular migrants within SADC is characterized by consistent violation of standards, sub-minimum wages, rampant economic and sexual exploitation, and great instability and fear among migrants. The result is that, in terms of official policy and provision, and borne out by the experience world-wide as well as in several SADC countries, irregular migrants have very limited access to labor law and social protection. This leaves irregular migrants in a precarious position when it comes to claiming rights and benefits, as they may be refused the right to do so, or may not lodge such claims, for fear of being subjected to the operation of restrictive immigration laws and policies. The picture described here applies in particular to the social security position of undocumented intra-SADC migrants, barring those migrants covered under special protective regimes applicable to asylum-seekers and refugees. Of course, it has to be understood that there are important links between, firstly, the increase in migratory activity within SADC as a result of regional integration; secondly, the general policy and regulatory environment within which intra-SADC migration occurs; thirdly, the specific treatment of irregular migrants in SADC referred to above; and, finally, the extent of irregular migration within SADC. The fundamental contradiction facing most countries is this: enhanced regional integration means greater mobility in the factors of production (including labor) but nationalist sentiments cast foreigners as a threat to the job security of citizens. As long as migration is viewed as a threat not an opportunity, for sending and receiving states, the legal drawbridge will remain up. Without legal means to sell their labor or pursue economic livelihood strategies across borders, migrants will turn to clandestine methods. Already, the predictable result has been a massive "trade" in forged documentation, police corruption as migrants buy the right to stay, and increase in trafficking and the disintegration of sound and professional management practices. These are factors which must be carefully considered in the development of an appropriate policy framework. So too is the human rights framework pertaining to irregular migrants an important consideration. This much is evident from a recently adopted SADC social security instrument and from some policy expressions. Article 17.3 of the Code on Social Security in the SADC provides that illegal residents and undocumented migrants should be provided with basic minimum protection and should enjoy coverage according to the laws of the host country.

Background on Migrations in Mozambique
Let start by saying that migration is not a new phenomenon in the history of the African countries, or in the world. People have always moved in times of need, and in different directions. According to Raimundo (2008: 93), Population movement in Mozambique increased during the period of the armed conflict (1976-1992). Approximately 1.5 million people fled to neighboring countries, namely Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa, and between four and five million were displaced internally because of natural hazards such as drought, flood, and cyclones (UNDP, 1998). Because of its close links with Mozambique from its colonial legacy, Portugal in Europe also became a main destination for individuals or groups of people from Mozambique, particularly those who were against the regime (Vines, apud Raimundo 2008). Some left the country immediately after independence and others during the worsening of the war. Several went to the former West Germany, the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), and to a lesser extent to Kenya and the Comoros Islands. The character of migration of Mozambique has shown that, quite apart from the migration of labor to South Africa and Zimbabwe, rural-urban migration has grown considerably. In terms of literature, many of it is related to labor migration to neighboring countries – to be mine workers in South Africa, or to work on plantations and in mining in Zimbabwe – and general cross-border migration to South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Swaziland. An SAMP report on Mozambique (July 2006) indicates that visa exemption agreement signed between South Africa and Mozambique in April 2005 has resulted in increased cross-border movement, in particular a growing number of informal cross-border traders. Management migrations in Mozambique and perspectives for SADC region Raimundo (2007: 96) explains that Management of Mozambican migration started after independence from Portugal in the mid-1970s with the authorization of people coming into cities, and was accelerated by state nationalization in 1976, which culminated in 1990 with the revision of the country’s constitution. The types of migration most publicized and studied have been cross-border and refugee migration. The SAMP studies (2006b) have emphasized that cross-border trade is a way of survival for many households in the region, due to increase of poverty, as well as the general worsening of the economic situation, and because of political instability in Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this context, the SAMP studies emphasize that South Africa is a core country where traders do their businesses and constitutes the final destination for most migrants. In the case of Mozambique, the geographic situation facilitates the crossing of borders. A census of population and housing taken in 1997 found that internal and regional migration in and from Mozambique was caused by civil war. Let’s assume migration management as means that enables the government to design and implement a migration policy. Hence, for successful management of migration policies, according to Raimundo (idem) three main stakeholders must be involved: the government, the civil society and researchers. These stakeholders must play different roles to define successful and effective migration procedures, as shown:
1. The government must create regulations for the movement of people;
2. Researchers must provide information and data regarding to the updated situation, factors, and consequences of migration;
3. Civil society must collaborate with both stakeholders above, by accepting to be interviewed and comply with the rules of the government, not meaning that it will be a passive agent.

After independence, migration in Mozambique was managed through draconian rules under the socialist regime (1975 - 1990). Everybody was governed according to ‘popular power’, by labor agreements (during the colonial period), and – since everything, including the population was seen as state’s property – regulated by strong connections to socialist countries such as the former Soviet Union, the former Eastern Germany, and Cuba. It was not normal to possess a passport, and the Immigration Office was controlled by the so-called Mozambique State Security (SNASP). The applicant of visa might explain with details why he/she needed a passport. The Mozambican State was able to control overseas migration through these stringent regulations. Regarding to the internal context, Mozambicans were forced to settle internally in communal and urban villages, due in part of civil war, floods and drought, as well the so-called ‘operation production’ (aiming at moving people out of the cities). In fact, during these years migration was a taboo subject since it was considered a matter of state security. Policy on immigration focused on enforcing borders and combating irregular movements, making this task the responsibility of the ministers of Security, Justice, interior and Defense. Even though this occurred during the time of tight control of movement, no member of the government can tell us how many Mozambicans lived in the so-called forbidden western countries during the time of exile. With the advent of the multiparty system in 1990 and market economy, migration became a ‘normal issue’. This was because, according to the revised Constitution, all citizens have equal rights and opportunities, including the right to hold a passport, hence the right to travel and live wherever they want to, including living abroad. In the twenty one years since the introduction of a market economy, the topic of migration seems to have been poorly managed in Mozambique since the government has ‘released’ the citizens after a period of tight control. The institutions that deal with migration have no information on who is moving, where people are, how many at each place and what they do, and how many are moving in and out, particularly overseas. What exists is a general sense that Mozambicans cross South African borders irregularly and are involved in cross-border trade, even in crime gangs. Although the government requires its people to fill in immigration forms during entry into and departure from the country, this exercise seems to be useless since that information that information has not given statistics, and after five years of storage the forms have been destroyed. Data from the census of 1997 and a study done on refugees and socio-economic conditions in Maratane refugee camps and in the city of Maputo in 2004 (CEMIRDE & CEP, 2004) have demonstrated that Mozambique is not only a sending country but a receiving country as well, with migrants entering the country from Nigeria, the African Great Lakes, China, Pakistan and Lebanon.


Migration management is complex in the sense that it involves interactions between policy makers, civil society and researchers. Maintaining a satisfactory migration policy that can respond to all stakeholders’ interests is a complicated and difficult matter. In Mozambique, this challenge has become more complex either on a temporary or a permanent basis. It is notable that people depend increasingly on crossing borders.
The paper brought perspectives on regional governance on migrations, with emphasis on Mozambique. As recommendations there is a need to:
- Advocate for better migrations policy based on the SADC protocol for free movement of people and goods;
- Harmonize of SADC countries’ migrations policies;
- Collect information on national legislation on migration management and legislation as a source for policy-making;
- Identify points of similarity and difference in national migration law between SADC-member states; - Investigate the possibilities for harmonization of national migration policies and laws.

 1. Brown, M., D. Kaplan and Jean-Baptiste Meyer, 2002, The Brain drain: an outline of skilled emigration from South Africa. In destinations unknown: perspectives on the drain brain in Southern Africa. Edited by David A. McDonald and Jonathan Crush, Africa Institute of South Africa and Southern Africa n Migration Project, Pretoria.
 2. CEMIRDE and CEP 2005, Condições de vida dos refugiados de Maratane (Nampula) e cidade de Maputo, unpublished report, Maputo.
 3. Curtain, P., 1996, the colonial economy, in African History – From earliest times to independence: Longman, London, Second edition, chapter 17.
 4. Crush, J., W. Pendleton and D. S. Tevera, 2005, Degrees of uncertainty: Students and the Brain Drain in Southern Africa, in series editor: Jonathan Crush, Published by IDAS, SAMP, Migration Policy No.35, Cape Town.
 5. Harris, P., 1994, Work, culture, and identity: Migrant laborers in Mozambique and South Africa, c. 1860 – 1910. Social History of Africa, Series editors: Allen Isaacman and Jean Hay, Witwatersrand University Press, Johannesburg.
 6. INE 1999, II Recenseamento geral da População e Habitação, Moçambique, Maputo.
 7. Klareen, J. and B. Rutinwa, 2004, Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) - Towards the harmonization of the immigration and refugee Law in SADC. Editor Jonathan Crush, SAMP, report No 1, Unwembi Communications, Cape Town.
 8. Lincoln, D. and C. Mararike, 2000, Southward migrants in the far north: Zimbabweans farmworkers in Northern Province. In Borderline farming: foreign migrants in South African commercial agriculture. Jonathan Crush editors, Published by IDASA, Cape Town, Migration Policy Series No.16.
 9. MacDonald, D.A. and J. Crush, 2002, Thinking about the Brain Drain in Southern Africa, In Destinations unknown: Perspectives on the Brain Drain in Southern Africa. Edited by David A. McDonald and Jonathan Crush, Africa Institute of South Africa and Southern Africa n Migration Project, Pretoria.
 10. Mattes, R. and W. Richmond, 2002, The Brain drain: what do skilled South Africans think? In Destinations unknown: Perspectives on the Brain Drain in Southern Africa. Edited by David A. McDonald and Jonathan Crush, Africa Institute of South Africa and Southern Africa n Migration Project, Pretoria.
 11. Raimundo, Ines. Migration Management: Mozambique’s Challenges and Strategies. Retrieved from the book on International Migration and National Development in sub-Saharan Africa: Viewpoints and Policy Initiatives in the Countries of Origin. Edited by Aderanti Adepoju et al. 2008. Leiden: Boston. Pp 91-116

Sem comentários: