The risks and uncertainties of migration: an exploration of recent trends amongst the Wosera Abelam of Papua New Guinea
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This paper reports an ongoing research on migration and circulation between the Wosera sub-district, east Sepik province,Papua New Guinea, and the island province of West New Britain. We examine the pressures contributing to increased family migration and longer-term, possibly permanent, migration from the Wosera. While rising resource/population pressure and stricter forms of land tenure arrangements are altering patterns of out-migration, the situation for long-term and temporary migrants in West New Britain is becoming less certain as land shortages begin to limit opportunities for further settlement and indigenous landowners become less tolerant of migrants from other provinces. We discuss these influences on migration patterns within the context of emerging social stratification of Wosera society, and consider the implications for both migrants and non-migrants.
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