Migratory issues in wake of new international restructuring


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In wake of the newest global restructuring such as the European Union weakening (Brexit, structural crisis, monetary and economic anxieties…), tensions in the South China Sea, the occurrences within the new security arrangements such as the alliance of USA, UK, and Australia, it seems that migrants are again being neglected as a global major problem. What’s at stake with migrations in an environment of endangered global system?

The growing gap between the underdeveloped and developed part of the globalized world and Europe, after the United States, is coming more vivid. The great migrations that are both the present and the future of Europe are a kind of “third world revenge” in which, according to projections, eight billion people will live by 2050, while in developed countries there will be only about a billion. Regardless of how the agreement between Turkey and the EU ends, which obliges Turkey to prevent the approach of refugees and migrants from the Middle East for 3.2 billion euros, in the future the pressure on Europe, according to experts, will be much higher than it is nowadays. The number of migrants from Africa and Southwest Asia who will want to move to Europe in the coming decades could rise to tens of millions of people, and large migrations to the EU follow from Ukraine.

Between 2011-2021 the world had probably seen the highest inflows of refugees and migrants than ever before in the time span of the several decades. The World Bank has published a report on predictions of global migratory movements. The second part of the report, released in January 2021, explores how the effects of climate change such as water scarcity, crop decline and rising sea levels could lead to millions of “climate migrants” by 2050, based on three different scenarios, with different levels of climate action and development. According to the most pessimistic scenario, which predicts high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and uneven development, the report predicts that up to 216 million people will have to move to another place within their country, in the six regions analyzed. These are: Latin America, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia and the Pacific.

Under the worst-case scenario, which involves lower emissions and inclusive, sustainable development, the world could still see 44 million people forced to move out of their homes. The report’s findings “reaffirm that climate has the power to drive migration within countries”. The report did not consider the short-term impact of climate change, such as the effect of extreme weather events, and did not analyze climate migration across borders. In the worst case scenario, sub-Saharan Africa – the world’s most endangered region due to desertification, specific coastline and population dependence on agriculture – could see the most migrants. Up to 86 million people could move within national borders. Moreover, climate change could force more than 200 million people to flee their homes over the next three decades, creating hotspots for migration if urgent action is not taken to reduce global emissions and bridge the development gap, the World Bank report warns.

The UN Human Rights Council began its annual session in Geneva in mid September, and in her opening speech, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet warned that climate change and pollution pose a serious threat to human rights and humanity. The UN chief for human rights states that the lack of action of people facing disasters on the planet has serious consequences for a number of human rights, including the right to adequate food, water, education, health and even life itself. Bachelet says extreme and deadly climate events have befallen residents of all regions in recent months.

In an ever changing world, it is still unclear which actors or organizations are going to address the migration issues as they are falling from the top of the political agenda. But the fact that this question is quite on its rise since on the global level not many actors are considering long term solutions to settle it.

Written by: Nenad Stekić

Submitted on: 16.10.2021.

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