migration and movements of people - archive
movement of people
With increasing movement of people from one community to another, no country is untouched by global migration. Every country is now either a place of origin, transit and/or destination for migrants.
Migration is a complex and emotive issue, and is motivated by a huge number of factors. For many, it is a positive experience with individuals proactively deciding to move, opting to relocate either temporarily or permanently in order to provide themselves or their family with new opportunities.
Global businesses also rely heavily on an international labour force and the ability of people to move around the world with ease. Remittances earned abroad can be an important source of income to developing economies.
But there is another side. Scores of migrants find themselves forced to move, victims of conflict, natural or environmental disasters, and famine or development projects. The 'brain drain' of trained personnel means that long term progress of developing nations is often stifled.
Lack of regulation, coupled with desperation, are factors which contribute to the dangerous underbelly of migration. Criminal smuggling and trafficking networks which spring up to match the supply of labour with the demand, mostly in the informal economy, are two such consequences. Xenophobia and racism can be other negative responses impacting both host communities and migrants.
Migration provides challenges but it also holds great potential. Social mobility provides us with an opportunity for renewal and conversion, a time for dialogue and for community development. As hosts, we are invited to provide hospitality and to open our community to those who may be separated from their families and homeland. As migrants we have a role to play to share our experience with others. Both may be called to work as instruments of reconciliation.