People often confuse whether a migrant is different from a refugee. Basically, there are two fundamental kinds of migration: Internal and external migration. Internal migration, also known as displacement, is a process of moving toward another area of the same country whereas external migration is the act of moving outside of the geographical boundaries of a country. Crossing borders is another term of external migration. 

In recent years the term migrant has started being used for refugees and asylum-seekers. But, in fact, they are really different from one another in meaning and purpose. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) differentiates between the two. It defines migrants as the people who take step to another country to develop their ways of life by finding work, education or other social opportunities while refugees are those who are compelled to move to another state owing to conflict, violence and discrimination at their own home. They often face despicable and violent situations at home and thence cross borders of neighbouring countries to find safety. 

Moreover, since a migrant has left at will, he/she retains the choice to return. On the contrary, a refugee does not have the same choice and cannot return until the conditions back home allow it. 


Shikarpur, May 8.