About the project
Migrants on the margins is a three-year collaborative field research project led by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and is taking a comparative approach in four of the world’s most pressured cities: Colombo in Sri Lanka, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Harare in Zimbabwe and Hargeisa in Somaliland. The project is investigating the movement of migrants into and around these cities, and looking at the opportunities available to them in order to better understand their experiences and vulnerabilities.
The project aims to not only dispel misconceptions around migration and improve the lives of migrants in the study areas through advising policy changes, but also to build regional research capacity and networks of expertise across Africa and Asia.
By 2050, it is estimated that the number of people living in urban areas in Africa and Asia will have doubled to 5.2 billion. And research shows that people moving away from humanitarian, environmental and other crises tend to move short distances, often ending up in marginal communities on the outskirts of urban areas, where it is all too easy to become stuck.
These movements are some of the most important but least studied migration patterns across the globe. The impact that migrants have on urban areas and how cities can best respond to the influx of people is understudied, while little is known about the life chances of the migrants themselves. This is an issue that will only become more urgent as populations grow and the impact of climate change is increasingly felt.