Why Do People Migrate? Part 1: Facts

Chapters 2 › Unit 2: SCROLL DOWN FOR INSTRUCTIONS View instructions Hide instructions


`Start by reading this article and discuss in your journal how current official definitions of "migrants", "refugees" and "asylum seekers" are challenged by the on-going migration crisis at the South-East borders of Europe.

You can also see Unit 2.1 for more information about irregular migration in Mediterranean region, Unit 2.2 about EU norms on asylum seeking, and Unit 2.3 on the case of Syrian refugees.

Don't forget to have a look to what others have done in their journals!

Not clearly separable categories


Definitions of people moving between countries

The article "Refugee versus migrant: time for a new label?" discusses the various definitions which are used for people on the move from one country to another. The different definitions are mentioned and it is quickly getting clear that they are hardly separable. Not only travel refugees often together with those considered migrants or economic migrants, but they also share some of their motivations with other groups of people on the move. Apart from saving his live and preserving his freedom the refugee can also think about improving his life in terms of economical conditions. Furthermore whether the refugee status is granted or not, does not only reflect the personal background but also a decision of the host country. On the other hand those who are regarded as economic migrants in the host country, might nevertheless have faced percecution, violence and repression in their country of origin. The last category, the so called forced migrants are hard to be seperated from the other groups too. Someone beeing forced to flee because of a natural disaster might have no other choice because of economic reasons, so is he might also be considered an economic migrant.

The Problem of these categories as it was also mentioned in the article, is that public policies rely on these categories.
Apart from the article which claims that only in situations where there are mass movements of refugees because of a war countries recognize all arrivals from that country as refugees and do not regard the single case, in the so called refugee crisis in Europe, this is not an exception anymore, aswell as it is getting more common that asylum seekers are generally rejected their asylum request, because they are coming from a country which is declared as a safe one. Checking the individual background of a refugee seems to get more and more rare.

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