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Thematic Introduction: Migration Challenges in the Asia Pacific Region in the Twenty-First Century

Author(s): Amarjit Kaur | Ian Metcalfe

Journal: International Journal of Multicultural Societies
ISSN 1817-4574

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 131;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Asian migration | labour migration | global migration

Trans-Asian labour migration, a defining feature of Asian globalisation prior to 1940, comprised mainly Chinese and Indian emigration to Southeast Asia and was quantitatively and qualitatively as significant as European transatlantic migration. Although migrant workers were regarded as sojourners, they established diasporic communities across the region, particularly in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. After the Second World War and problems of decolonisation, unskilled labour migration came to a halt. Since the 1980s, Asia and Australia have re-emerged as major players in global migration in terms of its scale, diversity and significance. The emergence of new regional migration patterns, the rapid growth in the demand for professionals and skilled migrants in specific occupational categories, and the creation of subregional labour markets are all manifestations of the scale and diversity of current migratory movements in the region.
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