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Migration is transformative both for those who move and for the places and economies of source and destination. The global stock of migrants, depending on definition, is approximately 750 million people: to assume that the world is static and that migration is a problem to be managed is inaccurate. Since migration is a major driving force of planetary and population health, we argue that it must be more directly incorporated into planning for sustainable development, with a focus on the extent and way in which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) incorporate the transformative reality of migration.


The science of migration explains social and demographic dynamics, with human mobility as the norm rather than as a discrete event. Flows of ideas, remittances, and social capital from migration, for example, play a central role in transforming economic as well as social and political life in places of origin and destination. Migration is, therefore, an intrinsic part of social transformation that occurs in parallel and in combination with other societal trends, including many that are the explicit focus of the SDGs.


Adger WN., Boyd, E., Fábos, A., Fransen, S., Jolivet, D., Neville, G., Safra de Campos, R. & Vijge, M J (2019). The Lancet, 3 (11), 440-442

Migration transforms the conditions for the achievement of the Global Development Goals 

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