Over recent weeks we have looked at some of the many challenges that are associated with international migration and the national and global responses that have been employed to alleviate some of the perceived and realised difficulties. But what about retiring and aging migrants, what is their experience?
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations; the other 4 are Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP),
Economic Commission for Latin America and, the Caribbean (ECLAC) and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Collectively they are a global platform whose mission is to facilitate and enhance greater economic integration and cooperation among its member countries and to promote sustainable development and economic prosperity. They describe their role as one that “contributes to enhancing the effectiveness of the United Nations through the regional implementation of outcomes of global United Nation Conferences and Summits. It gives focus to the United National global mandates in the economic field in cooperation with other global players and key stakeholders, notably the business community”.
In 2016 UNECE reported “The UNECE region is experiencing a steady increase in the number and diversity of retired labour migrants and migrant eldercare workers and that the international mobility of older persons is also on the rise. Yet the participation of migrants in the host communities and their access to welfare remains a challenging issue.” It was concerning to see that “compared to native-born peers, older migrants are often more vulnerable to poor socio-economic and health status, social isolation and inclusion.” Sadly these issues are a reflection of some of the educational issues for migrating children and young people and refugees. The article goes on to say that ‘the integration and wellbeing of older migrants and migrant care workers can be ensured if barriers in accessing health and social care, social protection and formal employment are removed”.
Other solutions include and extension of learning and educational opportunities at all levels for older migrants and extending provision to include this often under the radar group of people.
We now turn to education in Indian, our 12th migration hotspot. Non-compulsory education known as Pre-school or Kindergarten is available for children between 18 months and 5 years. Compulsory education begins at the age of 6 with a dual staged primary education; primary education between the ages of 6 and 10 years followed by upper primary/middle school education between the ages of 11 and 14 years. Secondary education also consists of two stages; secondary for those aged 14-16 and higher/senior secondary for 16-18 year olds.
The Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development website provides a range of educational formation for school and higher education.
Lesley Shepperson is Managing Director at Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants LTD