Labour Mobility and Solomon Islands Development
Solomon Islanders have a significant history of labour mobility and diaspora. In the 19th century they provided around 18,000 migrant labourers for the Queensland sugar industry (Moore 1990). In the 20th century, this diaspora was diverted and contained within Solomon Islands boundaries — first to plantations, and then largely to the opportunities available in and around the national capital, Honiara. In the 21st century, after a period of crisis induced in part by the effects of this movement, the internal diaspora is again building
rapidly. In international (and especially wider Pacific) comparison, however, Solomon Islands is a significant outlier.
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