DEFINITION OF KEY TERMSAsylumSeeker:”Aperson who has left his/her country of origin and formally applied for asylumin another country, but whose application has not yet been concluded.” (Anon n.d.) Refugee:”Aperson who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons ofrace, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group orpolitical opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or,owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of thatcountry; or who not having a nationality and being outside the country of hisformer habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing tosuch fear, is unwilling to return to it”(Echr-cedh1998). Fertility:”It is the ability for a woman to conceive achild and give birth to her children.
Fertility incentives are the statebenefit that is accrued to both mother and child in order to support the familywhich aims at subsidizing the welfare of the family by providing cheap houses,child support payment, and free education, mother welfare payments for stayhome mothers or temporary unemployed due to childbearing”(Anon n.d.). AIMThe aim of this paper is toexamine the quick response by the women to fertility and its benefits onarrival in Germany. This paper also seeks to understand the cause and thereason for the migration patterns from their places of origin and choice of Germanyas a destination. HYPOTHESISIt is to assess therelationship between female migrants’ social benefits on fertility and theirincreased fertility desires for more children.
LITERATURE REVIEW MigrationTrends.By statistical analysis, about 20 percent of thepopulation have migration backgrounds and that makes Germany one of theEuropean countries with the largest migrant population. The largest migrantgroups in Germany are those from the former Soviet Union, followed by thegroups are made up of ethnic Turks, numbering about three million and is veryoften spoken of as Germany’s largest non-native population group. The next onthe list are people from Southern Europe, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, nextare those from the Far East and the Middle East and finally, people fromAfrica, the smallest of the groups.
The demographically youngest migrant groupsfound in Germany are those with Turkish and African backgrounds and they are thegroups with the highest birth rates (Kreyenfeld 2010). African Immigrants are relatively young at the timeof arrival; unlike the other migrant groups under consideration. This groupcontinues to grow solely on the basis of their high fertility rates, while thenative population have been shrinking for decades; since migrants tend to havemore children than they do and their percentage share of the population willcontinue to grow even without any further immigration. Policieson Asylum SeekersThe European Union convention made lot of resolutionon asylum seekers and refugees; Article 3 and 12 of theEuropean Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (states that ‘No one shall besubjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. A personcan make a claim for protection based directly on Article 3 of ECHR as statesare prohibited from returning a person to a country where she/he may suffer aviolation of his/her rights under Article 3) and Men and women ofmarriageable age have the right to marry and to fund a family according to thenational laws governing the exercise of these rights respectively.
FertilityTheories The literature on fertilitygoes back at least to Thomas Malthus and the nineteenth-century debate on thePoor Law (Boyer, 1989). Malthus argued that “the Poor Law subsidized marriageand fertility by removing the natural checks on population growth of delayedmarriage and abstention from sexual activity” (Anon n.d.), this was articulated fromhis famous book Essay on the Principle of Population (1798).
He saw positive checks to population growth as acontributing factor to the shortening of human fertility. Recent theories have linked migration and fertility prevalence fromdifferent aspects of human lives, such as:Disruptiontheory:It considers the economic and psychological costs of migration and notes thestresses people are exposed to from migration processes and after arrival;which may cause a short term disruption of fertility (Goldstein, 1973; Hervitz,1985; Kulu, 2005). After arrival at a place of destination, people need time tosettle down, which makes the occurrence of conception unlikely. An anticipatoryeffect is assumed that there is temporary separation between partners which decreasesfertility.Socializationtheory:This stresses the childhood socialization processes of an adult. “It assumesthat the norms and values adopted in the home country are essential for thelater fertility behavior of migrants” (Hervitz, 1985; Kahn, 1994; Kulu, 2005; Stephenand Bean, 1992)” Those norms and values of fertility are shaped during earlychildhood of migrants and are predominant in their fertility behavior(s) in thecountry(s) of destination.
Migrants will maintain the norms and values learnedduring socialization; even if the norms and socialization process in the hostcountry are different. As migrants adjust to the host county’s socializationprocess, there is convergence in the norms and values of the country of originand that of the host country. Adaptationtheory:Cultural and socioeconomic conditions posit the differences between a migrant’scountry of origin and host country of destination in terms of fertilitypreferences. From the view of household micro economies, there is a shift in thecost benefit calculation of having an additional child in the host country(Becker, 1998).
Thus, migrants’ adjustment to a desired number of childrenmight change both in the short and long run due to the social, economic, andcultural conditions in the host country (Kulu, 2005; Milewski, 2007).Today, in the developing countries; there is a huge rise in poverty andhunger, lack of basic infrastructure and health care facilitieswhich now are great threats to human lives; leading to the huge migration rate fromthe west African sub-regions. According to Malthus, subsidizing (which could bea form of indirect earns such as free housing, free healthcare services, socialwelfare payments, free education for children, and other public services) forthe poor will lead to an increase in fertility rate.
The key modern referenceon fertility as an economic decision is (Becker 1960), that argues thatchildren should be analyzed as durable consumption and production goods. Withinthe Becker’s framework, demands for children responds to changes in the cost ofa marginal child. The effect of income changes on fertility has been a majordebate in recent times; he asserts that the demand for an additional child isdirectly proportional to the level of income of the parents. In other words, the demand for an additionchild is equal to the family subsidies available. In addition to the fore going, Germany has been known tobe a social welfare state and has given opportunities to migrants to benefitfrom such privileges. Immigrants are often perceived as aburden to public budget as they allegedly pay less tax; they consume goods andservices provided by the Government.
On the other hand, refugees and asylumseekers are non-contributors to government tax, they are solely dependent onand expend all necessary aids from the government. Finally, the theories link migration with the legalstatus of the mother and her fertility desire. Fertility may increase shortlyafter migration because undocumented migrants want to obtain legal or economicbenefits by giving birth (Bledsoe, 2004; Bledsoe et al., 2007).
However, this theory only applies to specificcontexts. METHODOLOGY Sample size: The number of respondents were five (5) women intotal. Two (2) unmarried and three (3) married. Datacollection:The data collected were done by semi structured interview questionnaire. It wasa face to face interview session with the respondents and audio recordings werealso made. Method:Mixed Method1.Qualitativemethod2was used by administering questionnaire which comprises of both structured andunstructured questions; which also made the respondents engage in a reflectiveexercise. Quantitative method3was also used to describe the data collected in terms of percentages andfrequencies to establish the statistical relationship between variables.
1 Mixedmethod should be embraced as an extension to a more detailed research process,mixed method is not another type or new research method, it is a more robustand broader approach of investigating phenomena by examining the advantages andthe disadvantages of using either a qualitative or quantitative researchapproach(Creswell 2003). 2 Aqualitative research is a very technical and robust method to investigate theorigin or the root cause of social problems. It tends to give more meaning tothe sociological and psychological issues originating from ethnographical studyof culture, people and local environment which goes beyond the numericalattributes of research explanations (Creswell 1998).3 Quantitativeresearch methodology is defined as a conventional system a researcher uses incarrying out the research, it involves the collection of data for the purposeof information gathering which are quantified and processed through statisticaltreatments in order to support or criticize already existed data.