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 Key Migration Terms

To further promote understanding and communication about Australia’s growing migration, the following key terms concerning migration matters have been put together for quick reference:

Assimilation - Adaptation of one ethnic or social group – usually a minority – to another. Assimilation involves the subsuming of language, traditions, values, mores and behavior or even fundamental vital interests. Although the traditional cultural practices of the group are unlikely to be completely abandoned, on the whole assimilation will lead one group to be socially indistinguishable from other members of the society. Assimilation is the most extreme form of acculturation.

Asylum seeker - A person who seeks safety from persecution or serious harm in a country other than his or her own and awaits a decision on the application for refugee status under relevant international and national instruments. In case of a negative decision, the person must leave the country and may be expelled, as may any non-national in an irregular or unlawful situation, unless permission to stay is provided on humanitarian or other related grounds.

Brain drain - Emigration of trained and talented individuals from the country of origin to another country resulting in a depletion of skills resources in the former.

Brain gain - Immigration of trained and talented individuals into the destination country. Also called "reverse brain drain".

Forced migration - A migratory movement in which an element of coercion exists, including threats to life and livelihood, whether arising from natural or man-made causes (e.g. movements of refugees and internally displaced persons as well as people displaced by natural or environmental disasters, chemical or nuclear disasters, famine, or development projects).

Immigration - A process by which non-nationals move into a country for the purpose of settlement.

Internally Displaced Person - Persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.

Migrant - any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of (1) the person’s legal status; (2) whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary; (3) what the causes for the movement are; or (4) what the length of the stay is.

Migration - The movement of a person or a group of persons, either across an international border, or within a State. It is a population movement, encompassing any kind of movement of people, whatever its length, composition and causes; it includes migration of refugees, displaced persons, economic migrants, and persons moving for other purposes, including family reunification.

Multiculturalism - the co-existence of diverse cultures, where culture includes racial, religious, or cultural groups and is manifested in customary behaviors, cultural assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative styles.

Refugee – A person who is outside their own country and is unable or unwilling to return due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

Resettlement - The relocation and integration of people (refugees, internally displaced persons, etc.) into another geographical area and environment, usually in a third country. In the refugee context, the transfer of refugees from the country in which they have sought refuge to another State that has agreed to admit them. The refugees will usually be granted asylum or some other form of long-term resident rights and, in many cases, will have the opportunity to become naturalized.

Stateless person - A person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law. As such, a stateless person lacks those rights attributable to national diplomatic protection of a State, no inherent right of sojourn in the State of residence and no right of return in case he or she travels.

Trafficking in persons - The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Trafficking in persons can take place within the borders of one State or may have a transnational character.


Sources

Australian Human Rights Commission, (2015), Asylum Seekers and Refugees Guide. Retrieved from: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/asylum-seekers-and- refugees/asylum-seekers-and-refugees-guide

International Organization for Migration, (2017), Key Migration Terms. Retrieved from https://www.iom.int/key-migration-terms

United Nations on Drugs and Crimes, (2017), Human Trafficking. Retrieved from https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html

Contact

For more information, contact the Cultural Diversity Engagement Officer on 9477 7453 or by email communitydevelopment@belmont.wa.gov.au.