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People on the move: new policy challenges for increasingly mobile populations

Briefing/policy papers

Population mobility within poor countries has increased worldwide as better roads and communication networks offer people employment opportunities in distant locations. High levels of mobility either within rural or between rural and urban areas help to strengthen the livelihoods of those mainly dependent on selling their labour, and in some areas mobility seems to have more than compensated for declining returns from the commons. Yet official statistics continue to overlook this phenomenon and governments remain reluctant to support people on the move. The case of India offers new policy opportunities in a context where poverty reduction programmes have hitherto been premised on the notion that populations are sedentary.

Priya Deshingkar and Edward Anderson