Why do people migrate?

Introduction to Module 3: Why do people migrate?

People migrate for a variety of reasons. This unit will look at some of the main drivers of migration and provide context for how they affect different people in different parts of the world.

Learning Objective

Students will be able to discuss the multi-faceted drivers of migration (including, economic, social, environmental, and conflict components) and the decision to migrate, which works along a continuum, from voluntary to forced.

WMR Chapter Focus

This module will draw on the global overview of migrants and migration in Chapter 2 of the World Migration Report 2022 and migrant contributions detailed in Chapter 5 of the World Migration Report 2020.

Proposed Schedule

2 50-minute periods plus independent student work.

  • Class period one: Introduction, student resource sheet; text-based and figures-based questions.
  • Class period two: Module One Scenario Interactive Activity: City Council Hearing to determine what services can meet the needs of migrants coming into a city.

Student Assessment

There are several assessment options in this module and teachers may use some or all of them.

  • Understanding the Basics:
    • Questions based on the Student Resource Sheets
  • Going Further:
    • Text case study: Net migration in Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania
    • Data case study: Internal and International displacement (Focus on Africa and Asia)
    • Interactive Scenario: Spokesperson for the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre

Evidence of Learning

Students will work together to complete a group activity that focuses on the movement of people around the world. The activity includes an oral presentation and a written reflection on the project. Details of the Evidence of Learning assessment is found in the ‘Scenario’ section of the module.

Starter Activity

Ask students to brainstorm about reasons why people might leave their country. Ask them to think about reasons that might be voluntary and reasons that might be forced? Ask them to explain the difference between the two. Ask them to think about how the COVID-19 pandemic might influence migration, both as a driver and an obstacle (lack of jobs in home country due to pandemic; closed borders making it harder to move to another country; etc).

Interactive Visualization

Visit Precision for Covid Africa and talk with your students about the Community Vulnerability Index map on the main page. Ask how the information from the map might relate to the movement of people. Visit The Refugee Project and pick one country (hover over the country) to discuss refugees in depth.