Interesting Migration Facts

As we have seen in the earlier pages, migration can be voluntary or involuntary. It can also become more complex than that.

Year after year, thousands of people make the desperate choice to move as a result of extreme economic strain, political and civil violence, conflict, and crime in their home country. Many people know the treacherous nature of smuggled migration, but they choose to pursue it because they often face a similar difficulty if they stay.

People who make this desperate choice have no way to get out of their situation, and therefore often fall into the hands of sophisticated human trafficking or illegal migration networks and hubs. These illegal hubs extort money from vulnerable migrants and move them on caravans, boats, or foot to some promised destinations.

There lies the heartbreak of this idea.

Smuggling migrants
Smuggling migrants

These illegal hubs do not have the tools and resources to deliver migrants safely to their destinations. Every year many migrant groups, often with children, die as a result of boat accidents and robbery. Others end up with criminal networks that kidnap people, especially women and girls for many horrible reasons.

  • Smuggling migrants is big illegal business.
    A 2018 GLOBAL STUDY ON SMUGGLING OF MIGRANTS highlights that at a minimum, 2.5 million migrants were smuggled for an economic return of US$5.5-7 billion in 2016*. Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants 2018
    (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.18.IV.9).

Smugglers charge these migrants according to the route that they pursue, conditions, and the provision of fraudulent ID and travel documents.
Many of the migrants do not make it to their destination. Others make it, only to be deported (sent back) at the port of entry. Few that make it into the destination communities, have to spend many years hiding because they do not have the legal paperwork to work and live in a home.

This issue can get politicized. It has been a divisive issue in many countries including the USA. But it need not be so, because it involves lives, especially children. Also, there are criminal hubs that smuggle people and that needs to be addressed too.

Debate with your classmates and teacher to find a common way to address the issue.