Issue 7, January 2009
|Letter from the Editor|
The story of humanity is the story of people on the move. History teaches us that great civilizations have always thrived at the crossroads of this mobility where ideas, talent and human energy coalesce. Yet, as we drew borders on maps and assigned those borders legal and political significance, this geographic dynamism was restrained by the nation states we created. Economic migrants, immigrants, refugees - voluntary, forced, documented, irregular, displaced… we have developed an entire lexicon to describe the who, why, where and how of people on the move, and the rights and protections attached to the various designations.
Counting people in motion is a difficult task; classifying them is even more difficult. How can we truly know what motivates people to leave their birthplace? How can we hope to represent the experience with a simple categorization? The term “displacement” can seem so innocuous when compared with the often violent, tragic and unfathomable sadness that characterizes the experience; this is particularly poignant for me as I explore this month’s topic. Further, if freedom of movement is considered a universal human right, how does this sync with the sovereign right of nations to regulate human migration within their borders?
In this edition of the World Savvy Monitor, we present an overview of migration in the world today and examine related, current controversial issues. In a world where money, goods, and services increasingly know no borders, human mobility is a critical component and a fundamental challenge of globalization.
The human experience of migration, whether in pursuit of better economic opportunity or begun under the most desperate and fearful of circumstances, is best captured by the narratives of migrants themselves. In this edition you can learn the economic, political, social, and demographic implications of migration as viewed by experts and scholars. But this is certainly only part of the story. We hope you’ll be inspired to read, listen and appreciate the stories of those people on the move.