The migrants that the West doesn’t talk about

Borders & Belonging

Feb 7 2023 • 39 mins

From the way Western media and politicians talk about migration, you’d never guess that only 30% of refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants are heading for the Global North. Instead, most people on the move like this are travelling from one country in the Global South to another.

Why does this get so little coverage? What are the most popular destinations for migrants in the Global South? Do migrants moving South to South face the same problems as those headed North: harassment at border crossings, problems with documentation and discouragement from destination countries?

Hear from Vani Saraswathi, a journalist who has spent years documenting the experiences of migrants working in the Gulf states. Then host Maggie Prezyna speaks with experts Nicola Piper (University of Sydney) and Joseph Teye (University of Ghana) to explore the unique patterns and challenges of South-South migration.

Maggie is a researcher with the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Migration & Integration program at Toronto Metropolitan University and this new podcast is Borders & Belonging. Maggie will talk to leading experts from around the world and people with on-the-ground experience to explore the individual experiences of migrants: the difficult decisions and many challenges they face on their journeys.

She and her guests will also think through the global dimensions of migrants’ movement: the national policies, international agreements, trends of war, climate change, employment and more.

Borders & Belonging brings together hard evidence with stories of human experience to kindle new thinking in advocacy, policy and research.

Top researchers contribute articles that complement each podcast with a deeper dive into the themes discussed.

Borders & Belonging is a co-production between the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration & Integration at Toronto Metropolitan University and openDemocracy. The podcast was produced by LEAD Podcasting, Toronto, Ontario.

Show notes

Below, you will find links to all of the research referenced by our guests, as well as other resources you may find useful.

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Kafala system, Human Rights Watch


Decolonising knowledge production on south-south migration’, by Mariama Awumbila, Leander Kandilige and Mary Setrana, MIDEQ (25 March 2022)

‘Q&A: South-South migration has long been overlooked. Why?’, by Eric Reidy, MIDEQ (8 July 2021)

New labour law ends Qatar’s exploitative kafala system’, by Pete Pattisson, The Guardian (1 September 2020).

What or where is the ‘Global South’? A social science perspective’, by Sebastian Haug, London School of Economics (28 September 2021)

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