Globalization and Its ‘Born Throwaways’: Exploring The Impact of Neo-Liberal Reforms on Irregular Migration in Africa

Policies of free trade and the adoption of neoliberal economic models, which are important aspects of globalization, have caused major disruptions in labor markets around the world. In the less developed regions of the world, relatively unskilled agricultural hands have been rendered redundant in production processes while in the more technologically advanced countries, several long-stable industries closed down while some others were outsourced to less developed countries in a bid to maintain competitiveness. As the flow of material and cultural goods and services accelerated over time under the rubrics of globalization, human beings dislodged from their various productive bases became important components of the exchange. However, whereas the process of globalization appears to be bringing humanity closer together due to advances in transportation and communication technologies, this apparent physical closeness has created social distance between individuals and groups across territorial boundaries. Large numbers of mostly economic migrants from the less developed regions have ossified into an army of social outcasts, born throwaways, in various destination and transit countries. This paper explored the contradictions and tensions arising from globalization-induced migration within and out of Africa. It found that the massive outflow of irregular migrants from Africa has fed into the stream of modern day slavery in transit and destination countries that is unlikely to abate even in the face of apparent repudiation of globalization by its avid promoters, the United States and Great Britain