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Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Ligaya Lindio-McGovern

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm393

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Lindio-McGovern, L. 2013. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Migration generally takes two forms: internal migration and international migration. Internal migration is where people move from one area to another within their own country, usually from rural to urban areas where they perceive they will have better economic or job opportunities. International migration is where people move outside their own country of birth to a foreign country for various reasons, including seeking better job opportunities, which have resulted in international labor migration, usually from poorer countries to richer ones (Zlotnik 1998). Various factors may have influenced international labor migration. One factor can be the labor export policies of poor countries, such as the Philippines, to deal with high unemployment in their societies. Another factor could be the impact of neoliberal structural adjustment policies implemented in these poor or developing countries, under the dictates of the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, that result in the destruction of local industries, ultimately causing unemployment and the preconditions for outmigration (Lindio-McGovern 2004). Another factor is the creation of a demand for migrant labor in the labor-receiving countries where capitalist enterprises seek cheap labor, turning to migrant work as the source of such labor. Therefore, foreign migrants tend to become vulnerable to human rights violations, discrimination, and other forms of exploitation. This condition has provided an impetus to the emergence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). This essay will focus on international labor migration and the models of nongovernmental organizations that have emerged in response to the needs and issues confronting foreign migrants, and conclude with a brief discussion on migrant NGOs' role in civil society in relation to states.


  • Geneva Conventions;
  • international agencies;
  • International Law;
  • rights;
  • poverty