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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Migration and human rights


Migration and human rights (or their violation) are two notions undoubtedly connected. Migrants, adults or children leave their countries trying to escape violence and poverty.
Although the idea of human rights is supposed of global reach and their application universal, the fact is that when those people leave their countries, especially without documents, it is very difficult for them to assert their rights. Authorities and border officials treat them as "illegal" immigrants and although human rights still should apply, there is very little control over the processes of detention and treatment of apprehended undocumented immigrants.
Moreover, immigrants are vulnerable as in many cases they do not speak the language, they do not know their rights and, as the article states, in most cases they do not have access to legal counselling. This leaves them open for abuse from the authorities, as it has been identified by many NGOs reports. Even if those migrants do not get caught, they usually fall victims of exploitation by employers.
The problem is that it is very difficult to convince domestic populations that migration flows should be treated in accordance with human rights, especially when there are many politicians willing to exploit the situation in their own interest. Nevertheless, countries or the international community should put in place a more effective monitoring mechanism in order to ensure the fair treatment of migrants.

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