Friday, 30 July 2021

Attack the causes of migration

 Before making his reprehensible grab for power (though he does seem now to be rowing back on it to some extend), Tunisian president Kaïs Saïed made some very sensible points in an interview with euronews about migration out of Africa. He warned that:

Europe can only stem the flow of migrants reaching its shores by helping to improve conditions in the countries that they are leaving. Saïed told Euronews that an approach to migration that only deals with security - preventing people from reaching Europe - would ultimately fail to solve what is a global crisis.

He went on:

If those illegal immigrants had fulfilled their ambition to live well and to make their dreams come true, and had the same opportunities European citizens have in their countries, the immigration issue would not be raised. It is better to find out about the real reasons for immigration rather than analysing the phenomena. 
Many illegal immigrants who reach Europe from Tunisia and North Africa are exploited by criminal organisations: they are forced to do illegal work, which violates their rights as refugees. [...]
What about the resources that Tunisia needs from the EU to fight human trafficking networks that are active in Tunisia? 
To fight these networks in Tunisia, but also in Europe, you need to look at those who welcome them. Who receives them when they turn up to work in the fields or in factories, or even on the black market? Who exploits them and who benefits from it? It's here in Europe. These migrants are forced to work illegally, so it is absolutely necessary to combat human trafficking networks within Europe as well. There will be no security and no peace here unless we eliminate the causes that led to this illegal migration. Some illegal immigrants were forced to do so because they had lost all kind of hope, they had no dream.

Denial of opportunity for and exploitation of citizens, especially the young, in poorer nations may be major drivers of emigration, but so also is the denial of human rights. In the stream of migrants from Central America to the US, Guatemalans are prominent. Eritreans form a disproportionate number of African migrants. Both sets are fleeing repressive regimes. It is to be hoped that Tunisia does not become another such.

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