Today is International Migrant’s Day! The day celebrates our human history, the story of hundreds of millions of courageous individuals who chose to overcome adversity and work at creating a better life for themselves in a foreign country.
Migration is a powerful expression of will and courage. Today, it is estimated that 250 million people have migrated to another country – making this population some sort of fifth continent.
The factors fuelling migration are 80% of the time economic reasons but one cannot confuse this consideration, for the spark by which the migration journeys started: poverty, war and environmental disasters.
Today, long-term and short-term migration is also an expression of our advancement in technology, globalisation and the reduction of costs of transports. The recent refugee crisis has highlighted how these elements have to play – mobile phones are acting as a lifeline and Facebook groups a source of information – but also stresses the need to rethink the dichotomy between economic migrants and refugees.
Many genuine asylum seekers are now trapped in a bureaucratic system that prevents them with going on with their lives: putting them in legal limbo and preventing them from starting any paid working activity. Many migrants are destitute of rights as extreme rights parties gain followers and blame foreigners for the economic crisis.
There is hope. Since the picture of the little Aylan Kurdi on the beach, civil society has woken up to the issue and responded with empathy – the spread of a Welcome Refugees movement across Europe – and with determination to help solve the problem – the coming together of tech entrepreneurs and engineers to create apps for refugees (Techfugees).
Refugees & migrants arriving in Europe this year will define a lot of the future of Europe.
This blog post is dedicated to Migreat staff, each of them amazing individuals (migrants themselves!) working everyday at producing information in 12 languages to migrants around the world heading to Europe.
Thank you to each one of you – for a fun and successful year of high quality and trust worthy content and events.