The draft Emigration Bill is more about managing the export of human resources than being a humanitarian framework. Comment.

India has witnessed the largest and the longest phases of emigration in the world dating back to ancient times to the current scenario when many people are voluntarily offering to move to other places. This emigrant population is highly diverse from the aspect of their geography, their skills and also the purposes for which they migrate. This large chunk of the population has many benefits for India as they form an important chunk of the international remittances along with a positive impact on the FDIs and foreign relations. The Indian Diaspora thus also contributes to the philanthropic activities in healthcare and education to achieve sustainable development goals.
However, there is no doubt about the fact that the political environment is highly hostile for migrants and many of the latter are faced with little economic freedoms at their destinations. Another notable category is of the undocumented migrants who are even more vulnerable. The Draft Bill has included many already founded regulations which are involved for the recruitment of agents and subagents. Both these have a huge role in minimisation of information asymmetries and other migration costs. Any regulation has to balance strong disincentives for migrant welfare-destroying practices. Also, these intermediary services should be made affordable for the students and welfare.
The Draft Bill has reinforced the limited understanding of the issue of emigration by the government which has assumed that the Indians who emigrate to developed nations have enough protection and welfare. It should take guidelines from the numerous multilateral migration-based treaties and conventions.

Published: June 19, 2019 | Modified:December 1, 2019

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