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Why Do People Migrate? Part 1: Facts

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In 2014 there has been a pick in the number of children trying to cross the US-Mexico border. This has provoked heated debates on the relevance on a human rights framework when looking at migrations from South to North America.
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Child Migrants

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My attention was first drawn to the issue of child migrants after an old co-worker posted an article on her Facebook wall about them being held in detention centers in the U.S. If I recall correctly, the detention specifically focused on a center in Texas. It highlighted the system of abuse and neglect, and the debilitating effects that time in detention can impose on young individuals.

After learning about this, my view is that there is no question about the relevance of a human rights framework when we look at migrations from South America to North America. It is well known that child migrants as well as adult migrants from South America are often escaping poor and dangerous conditions. It seems indecent and an insult to human rights to place people in worse or equally harmful situations when all they are seeking is safety and a fair chance at life.

I understand that it is up to the host country to determine whether migrants are entitled to seek such chances in their country. Yet I believe that whether a country decides for or against such an idea, it is still possible (and necessary) to respect the human dignity of migrants. I believe that is what a “good” human rights framework could (should) bring, more respect for people in the processes of migration.

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