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Droit et Sciences Politiques
Towards a more constructive analysis of forced migration : the case of Zimbabwean migrants in Zambia
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IEP Bordeaux - Master Politique et developpement en Afrique et dans les Pays du Sud 2008
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The Revolution Will Eat Its Children (Anthem for Uncle Bob)
I N T R O D U C T I O N
D E F I N I T I O N S
II An important range of consequences : from negative to constructive impacts of Zimbabwean forced migrants
As cited by Refugees International, many Zimbabweans have settled on their own in border areas or in major cities, in particular Lusaka. Although there are no official figures for the number of Zimbabweans resident in Lusaka, unofficial estimates have put the figure at 10,000 or more
Due to the political instability in Zimbabwe, tourists had begun visiting Zambia instead, but the situation reverses. In the short term, as famous tourist destinations in Zambia are located near the border of Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls, Livingstone City), the continuing arrival of Zimbabweans in these places could bring more economic and social instability, resulting in tourists not wanting to visit the places any more.
The importation of poverty to Zambia is emphasized by the risk of state fragilization faced by Zambia, with the risk of political and social instability in Zimbabwe spreading to Zambia. An example was former described in the essay, when the Zambian government decided to arrest Zimbabweans but also Zambian activists trying to raise their voice against the Mugabe regime during the last Annual Southern African Development Community Heads of State and Government Summit. Moreover, some regional countries, including Zambia, have begun to complain about the economic impact Zimbabwe's decline is having on their national economies. The recent events around the last elections in Zimbabwe (29th March 2008), where official results are not yet published, led to some observers saying the delay has «provoked a constitutional crisis, causing instability in Zimbabwe that threatens to spill over to the region
The instability risk in Zambia is emphasized by the risk of increase in crime, the cities already overpopulated are facing a real security challenge, where Zimbabwean migrants are sometimes perceived as a vehicle of local violence. Prostitution is also becoming a major problem for the main cities. Indeed, an important number of Zimbabwean women are reported to work as commercial sex workers, especially in Livingstone and Lusaka. BBC news reported a number of «300 Zimbabwean women working in prostitution in the Zambian border town of Livingstone» and, according to Livingstone town clerk George Kalenga, «Zimbabwean sex workers offered lower rates than their Zambian counterparts
According to UNAIDS, almost 60% of Zimbabwean adults living with HIV and AIDS at the end of 2006 were female. As far as young people are concerned, women represent around 77% of people between the ages of 15 and 24 living with HIV and AIDS. Zimbabweans migrants, and especially women, are more vulnerable to diseases, and sexually-transmitted diseases in particular, coming from a country where HIV and AIDS rates are high, especially among women. In Zambia, the situation is not far better. Although Zambia seems already burdened with the effects of the HIV and AIDS pandemic (HIV and AIDS prevalence rate among adults is around 17%, UNAIDS), forced migration of Zimbabweans may further exacerbate this situation. The Zimbabwean women often survived by street vending, begging and working in the sex industry, but earlier this year the Zambian government decided to ban street vending in Lusaka, leaving sex work as the only option available to many women.
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