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From Migration Hub to Asylum Crisis: The Changing Dynamics of Contemporary Migration in Yemen

Abstract : Historically, Yemen has been a country of emigration, immigration and transit. The fate of Yemeni society has been tied to emigration, as well as to the presence and activities of a Yemeni diaspora scattered throughout the world, in the Gulf countries mainly since the 1950s, in Asia and Africa, and also in the United States and Europe. Yemen’s migration history seems to have reached a stalemate in the past two decades as, gradually since the 1990s, the borders of oil-producing countries have become largely closed to Yemenis.

Since the early 1990s the country has also had to deal with a substantial influx of refugees from the Horn of Africa, who have con- tinued to seek asylum in a country plagued by its own political crisis. In addition, from 2000 onwards, there has been significant internal displacement as the country unravels – as a result of the Sa‘ada war in the north since 2004, and the southern insurrection since 2007. Most recently, the national uprising of 2011 has also had side effects involving additional displacement. Forced and economic migration are connected in Yemen, as the country plays a strategic role in the management of migratory and trafficking flows between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula.

In the first part of this chapter, I examine the historical structure of mobility to and from Yemen, and assess the importance of migration as a core element of the country’s domestic and international profile. In the second part, I examine refugee movements from the endemic humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa; for these refugees, Yemen represents a staging-post and, paradoxically, a ‘safe haven’. Finally, I consider the local and regional impact of a new trend of mobility – internal displacement – as a consequence of the various conflicts that have been taking place in the country relating to the 2011 uprisings...
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Hélène Thiollet. From Migration Hub to Asylum Crisis: The Changing Dynamics of Contemporary Migration in Yemen. Helen Lackner. Why Yemen Matters, Saqi Books, pp.265 - 285, 2014. ⟨hal-01675524⟩

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