Thursday, May 14, 2015

Migrants - we need them

I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth,
 and I am a citizen of the World. - Debs
Prof. Heaven Crawley, a migration policy expert and chair in International Migration at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University, made some interesting points recently. 

“The reasons migrants are coming to Europe are two-fold. One is that there are many forced migrants particularly from Syria, Eritrea, Somalia who are unable to live in their countries because of the conflict in those regions and so they are moving to try to find safety. But we also have large numbers of economic migrants, who’ve moved from other areas of Sub-Saharan Africa to places like Libya and because of the breakdown of the economy and society more generally in Libya they are no longer able to stay in Libya. So it’s these push factors which are driving people towards Europe more than any kind of pull from the possibility of what is supposedly on offer.”

“We know that economically the EU has an aging population. It has a demographic crisis ahead. Over the next 20-30 years we will as a continent need more migrants… So we have to have a different narrative on migration. We have to explain to people the reasons why we have people coming across the Mediterranean and the fact that actually in the longer term we are going to need those people to fill the gaps in our own labor market. We are going to benefit from those people and that’s not the story we are hearing at the moment.”

“There is absolutely no evidence that a military intervention here is going to be successful. There are numerous reasons as to why this is a problem. One is that there is no coherent set of smugglers and traffickers who can easily be identified and picked off. Many of these people are people who have lost their livelihoods because of the breakdown of law or order in Libya… and they are now resorting to this trade in order to be able in some case maybe leave… Now if you attack those people you are inevitably not only going to attack the traffickers, the smugglers, you are going to kill innocent people or migrants who are using their services in order to seek safety… As long as there is a demand from the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa or in the Middle East for movement across the Mediterranean people will find a way. So it’s only a matter of time before those migrant smugglers set up somewhere else.”

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