Threatened population expulsions as a strategy of conflct

One aspect of international migration, analyzed here, is the strategy of one country to threaten, or deter, other countries by coerced migration of some of its population. In 1978- 1982 Bangladesh sought (successfully) to deter Burma (the target) from expelling Muslims. In the 1990s Vietnam used the threat of out-migration to induce (successfully) the European Community and the United States (the targets) for economic aid. Often expulsions took place as part of a strategy against other countries, such as Asians from Uganda during the regime of Idi Amin.

After 1948 (the study covers until 2006) coercive engineered out migration happened on average one time a year. Well over 40 groups of displaced people have been used as pawns in at least 56 discrete attempts at coercive engineering migration since the advent of the 1951 United States refugee convention alone. Coercive engineering migrations are those cross-border population movements that are deliberately created or manipulated in order to induce political, military and economic concessions from a target state or states.

In three of the 56 attempts East Germany during the Cold War was the instigator. A few involved the Western Hemisphere. Most were in Asia. The targets often were more powerful countries such as the United States and the EU.

These attempts were in violation of international law: the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1951 United Nations convention on refugees, and the 1967 protocol relating to the status of refugees.

Coercive engineered migration can be exercised by three distinct types of challengers. (1) Generators directly correlate or threaten to create cross-border population movement unless targeted and see if their demand. (2) Agent provocateur do not create crises directly, but rather deliberately act in ways design to instigate others. Many see themselves as engaging in the kind of altruistic Machiavellianism, Opportunists play no direct role in the creation of migration crises, but simply exploit the efforts of others.


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