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Kerilyn Schewel presents on global trends in South-South migration during UN Migration Week

The DCID lecturing fellow discussed the chapter she co-authored in “The Palgrave Handbook of South-South Migration and Inequality” to celebrate the book’s launch.

By Emily Klein MPP ‘24

Kerilyn Schewel, lecturing fellow at the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) and co-director of the Duke Program on Climate-Related Migration, discussed global trends in migration between Global South countries during a virtual book launch for “The Palgrave Handbook of South-South Migration and Inequality.” The event was part of UN Migration Week 2024, a biennial umbrella event hosted by the United Nations Network on Migration to promote dialogue on migration-related issues.

Kerilyn Schewel

The book aims to explore specific dynamics in South-South migration without “flattening out” distinct histories of countries in these regions and examine how inequalities influence migration patterns. Seventy migration scholars contributed to the book, most of them from the Global South. Their perspectives often challenge dominant ideas around migration and the goal of the book is to add nuance to the global conversation on migration.

Schewel co-authored a chapter in the book, titled “Global Trends in South-South Migration” with Alix Debray, United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies and Ghent University. She began her talk by explaining “over one-third of all international migration in 2020 was between countries in the Global South,” and noted “this was more than migration from the Global South to the Global North.”

She showed that while migration rates have remained stable over the past half-century, the direction and nature of migration have changed. Three major migration trends she drew attention to were: 1) the Middle East is a relatively new and major migration destination in the Global South, 2) most migrants move to countries in their home region, and 3) extra-regional migration is on the rise as more migrants travel further distances.

Following Schewel’s talk, several authors presented their chapters. Dereje Feyissa, Addis Ababa University, discussed the “Migration as a Collective Project in the Global South” chapter, which covers how to bring collective dimensions of migration into focus. Several speakers focused on specific migration corridors in the Global South. Jixia Lu, China Agricultural University, spoke about the history and drivers of Chinese migrants in Ghana, while Feline Freier, Universidad del Pacífico, discussed African migration to Latin America.

The final three speakers, Alexandra Tapsoba, University Joseph Ki-Zerbo; Ingrid Boas, Wageningen University; and Rey Asis, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants; discussed remittances, climate-related mobility, and migration governance in the Asian context, respectively. Each of their chapters provide a different lens through which to better understand South-South migration.

The book launch was co-hosted by the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR), the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana, and the Migration for Development and Equality (MIDEQ) Hub.

View the recording of the book launch.