The world is awash in a sea of migrants. The numbers could get bigger. Today, about 60 million people are migrants. They are fleeing failed states such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. They are fleeing wars and religious battles that never end. More people are in transit than any time since World War II.
African countries such as Eritrea and Nigeria are seeing an outflow. Haiti and Gaza are small places that people are leaving. Christians in Egypt and Iraq are worried about their future.
The rise of the Islamic State is one big reason for the flights. Other groups such as the Taliban are pushing people out.
There are between six million and eight million people displaced in Syria. More than four million Syrian refugees are in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.
An expert said, “We are talking about millions of potential refugees trying to reach Europe, not thousands.”
Climate change is also creating migrants. Large areas of sub-Saharan Africa are now dry. A single typhoon in the Bay of Bengal could drive millions of Bangladeshis from their homes in low-lying coastal areas. Their land could become unlivable.
The migrants are heading to Europe. All is not well in Europe. Right-wing and nationalist party resistance to migrants is growing. An expert said racism is on the rise.
Some say the problem can be managed. Lebanon is the size of Maryland. It is hosting one million Syrians. A region the size of Europe should be able to host millions, an expert said.
A social scientist said, “I don’t think this wave can stop. It can maybe from time to time be somewhat less intensive. We simply have to prepare. The global North must be prepared that the global South is on the move, the entire global South. This is not just a problem for Europe but for the whole world.”
Source: The New York Times October 31, 2015