Category Archives: Migration

Climate Change-Poverty-Migration: The New, Inhuman ‘Bermuda Triangle’

by Baher Kamal
IPS News Service

Unprecedented levels of population displacements in the Lake Chad Basin:  Cameroon, Chad, the Niger and Nigeria. Credit: FAO

ROME, Jul 7 2017 (IPS) – World organisations, experts and scientists have been repeating it to satiety: climate change poses a major risk to the poorest rural populations in developing countries, dangerously threatening their lives and livelihoods and thus forcing them to migrate.

Also that the billions of dollars that the major industrialised powers—those who are the main responsible for climate change, spend on often illegal, inhumane measures aiming at impeding the arrival of migrants and refuges to their countries, could be devoted instead to preventing the root causes of massive human displacements.

One such a solution is to invest in sustainable agriculture. On this, the world’s leading body in the fields of food and agriculture has once again warned that climate change often leads to distress-driven migration, while stressing that promoting sustainable agriculture is an essential part of an effective policy response.

The “solution to this great challenge” lies in bolstering the economic activities that the vast majority of rural populations are already engaged in,” José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 6 July said.

The UN specialised agency’s chief cited figures showing that since 2008 one person has been displaced every second by climate and weather disasters –an average of 26 million a year– and suggesting the trend is likely to intensify in the immediate future as rural areas struggle to cope with warmer weather and more erratic rainfall.

For his part, William Lacy Swing, director-general of the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM), also on July 6 said “Although less visible than extreme events like a hurricane, slow-onset climate change events tend to have a much greater impact over time.”

“Since 2008 one person has been displaced every second by climate and weather disasters”

Swing cited the drying up over 30 years of Lake Chad, now a food crisis hotspot. “Many migrants will come from rural areas, with a potentially major impact on agricultural production and food prices.”

FAO and IOM, chosen as co-chairs for 2018 of the Global Migration Group –an inter-agency group of 22 UN organisations– are collaborating on ways to tackle the root causes of migration, an increasingly pressing issue for the international community.

Drivers of Rural Migration
“Rural areas of developing countries, where often poor households have limited capacity to cope with and manage risks, are forecast to bear the brunt of higher average temperatures. Such vulnerabilities have been worsened by years of under-investment in rural areas.” Continue reading Climate Change-Poverty-Migration: The New, Inhuman ‘Bermuda Triangle’

Vatican funds job-creation project for refugees in Jordan

Catholic Universe

A Christian family who fled from violence in Mosul, Iraq, sit in the room of a church in 2014 in Amman, Jordan. The Vatican is funding a job-creation program for Iraqi refugees in Jordan, a country that is hosting close to 1.5 million refugees, but is struggling to provide work for them. (CNS photo/Jamal Nasrallah, EPA) See JORDAN-REFUGEE-JOBS May 10, 2016.

The Vatican is funding a job-creation programme for Iraqi refugees in Jordan, a country that is hosting close to 1.5 million refugees, but is struggling to provide work for them.
With €132,000 donated to the Vatican by visitors to its pavilion at the World’s Fair in Milan in 2015, the Vatican will provide the funding that Caritas Jordan needs to launch the project.
Fifteen Iraqi refugees will have full-time work cultivating, producing and selling vegetables and oil, said a communique from the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican office which promotes and distributes Catholic charity. The jobs will allow them to provide for their families and become self-supporting, the office said.
Another 200 Iraqi refugees will be given training in carpentry, agriculture and the food industry, Cor Unum said, and an additional 500 will be given seasonal employment. Continue reading Vatican funds job-creation project for refugees in Jordan

Immigrant families’ lives, nation’s values hinge on court’s ruling (COMMENTARY)

Religious News Service

By Sr. Bernadine Karge (RNS)

Sophie, walks with her father, Raul Cruz, after arguments in a challenge over the constitutionality of President Obama's executive action to defer deportation of certain immigrants, in Washington

As an immigration lawyer for more than 30 years, I have seen how immigration laws evolve in response to the needs of the country, world events and the political winds. The result is an inconsistent mishmash that traps hopeful immigrants and rips families apart.

As a Catholic sister, I reflect on the values and church teachings that should inform just and prudent immigration policies. Pope Francis speaks about the dignity of every person and rails against treating immigrants as mere pawns on a global chessboard. Continue reading Immigrant families’ lives, nation’s values hinge on court’s ruling (COMMENTARY)

Migrant mothers bridge distance with virtual parenting

Deutsche Wella

Migrant parents are using social media to raise their kids from afar. But a virtual presence enabled by technology is hardly a substitute for the intimacy of physical closeness. Ana P. Santos reports from Paris.


It is nearly midnight and like most working mothers, 39-year-old Gemma, is preparing for the next school day before turning in.

It is about 5:30 a.m. in the Philippines and Gemma picks up her phone and goes on Viber to wake up her nine-year-old son, Vlad, and her husband, Nielson.

If the soft whir of the Viber ring doesn’t wake them up, she will try Skype from the laptop on the stump of a nightstand next to her bed.

“If that still doesn’t work, I’ll try calling the landline. That’s the loudest, you can hear it ring throughout the entire house,” said Gemma, chuckling at the familiar struggle of rousing a young child from slumber. Continue reading Migrant mothers bridge distance with virtual parenting

Heathrow’s immigration detention centre “among worst”

The Tablet

Megan Cornwell

mig6A recent report into Europe’s largest immigration centre finds conditions substandard.

Heathrow’s immigration detention centre “among worst” Heathrow’s immigration detention centre “among worst”.

A report into conditions at Harmondsworth immigration centre near Heathrow Airport has found evidence of substandard facilities and lack of suitable care for vulnerable adults.

Europe’s largest immigration removal centre, housing 661 men, is holding detainees for unacceptably long periods and failing to provide adequate risk assessments in the first few days of arrival, the report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons found. Continue reading Heathrow’s immigration detention centre “among worst”

A Little Reality on Immigration

New York Times

David Brooks

Donald Trump built his campaign on the promise to build a wall along the Mexican border. The idea is attention-grabbing (and unworkable). But the striking thing is that it’s not too far away from the current Republican orthodoxy.

Not long ago you could be a movement conservative and be for reasonably open immigration policies. Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Steve Forbes and George W. Bush all took open positions on immigration.

But times have changed. Now you prove your conservative credentials by saying you want to deport undocumented aliens. Now you prove it by opposing higher immigration flows. Now Donald Trump brings Republican crowds to their feet by bashing the supposed criminal hordes sneaking up from Mexico. Continue reading A Little Reality on Immigration

‘We have the same God’: A priest helps Syrian refugees

Al Jajeera

In a Greek village at the heart of the refugee crisis, Father Schuff calls on priests and monasteries to do more.

Matthew Vickery, Kelly Lynn Lunde

Boats of refugees have been coming to Skala Sikamineas, a village on the coast of Lesbos that was originally founded by those fleeing the 1919-1922 Greco-Turkish war, for almost two decades.

The secluded village of fewer than 200 people is a gateway to Europe that has brought joy, but also grief as death blights the waters around this Greek island.

The fishermen and other residents of the village have been saving their passengers for that long too. But these days the numbers are hard to cope with. A few years ago a boat arrived every week, carrying mostly refugees from Afghanistan. Now 40 boats packed with Iraqis, Syrians, Somalis, Afghans and other nationalities can come in a single day. Continue reading ‘We have the same God’: A priest helps Syrian refugees