The Forgotten People: Once We Were Migrants (Part 1)

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 2 Oct 2023

Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service

“It is a Serious Indictment on Governments, that various world leaders have forgotten their Origins as Migrants and are now Anti-migrants.” [i]

Migrants continue to make the perilous sea journeys, crossing the Mediterranean Sea, from Libya to Europe, in makeshift rubber boats, which are overloaded and often capsise in rough, deep oceans, causing an enormous loss of lives. Photo Credit: SOS Méditerranée/Flavio Gasper

This paper, Part 1, discusses the plight of migrants and asylum seekers, globally, along the main migrant routes, involving thousands of displaced humanoids, arriving into different countries, principally due to intolerable conditions of living in their countries of origin. As the author writes this paper, various international news media report that at least 9000 migrants have landed in United States from Mexico in the hope of seeking asylum there, traversing dangerous terrain, at great personal hardships and cost of lives, to seek a better future.  These migrants are fleeing worsening economic conditions, gang violence, murder, sexual molestations, human trafficking and other abhorrent crimes in their countries of origin.   In the present scenario, at the Mexico-US border town of El Paso, approximately 11000 migrants, including women and children are making their way from Honduras, across Mexico to the southern border of United States.  There they cross a large river, where throngs of migrants have for several days been wading across the Rio Grande, near a railroad bridge in Eagle Pass, undeterred by coils of razor wire placed along the river banks by the Texas National Guard.  Unfortunately, a few days ago, a strong current, swept away a three-year-old boy, from his parent, to the profound grief of all concerned.[1]  These migrants try to breach the multiple layers of razor wire to gain access across the border into United States and there their journey and hardships do not end, as they still have to be processed by the US authorities and their fate decided after having spent thousands of dollars to traffickers in their quest for a better life, after leaving the intolerable conditions in Honduras, in a mass exodus.

 

Furthermore, the Nagorno Karabakh [2]enclave in Azerbaijan is another hotspot for a new migrant crisis of ethnic Armenians who are fleeing the regions in a mass exodus fearing ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan, as a developing story this week.[3]

 

At this point it is necessary to review the definitions, rules and regulations pertaining to Migrants and Refugees.  The 1951 United Nations Convention[4] relating to the Status of Refugees, commonly referred to as the 1951 Refugee Convention, is a key international treaty that defines who is considered a refugee and outlines the rights and protections to which refugees are entitled. The convention and or the 1967 Protocol was signed by 149 states[5], adopted on 28th July, 1951, and it entered into force on 22nd April, 1954. Its main articles include:

 

Article 1 – Definition of a Refugee:

This article provides the fundamental definition of a refugee. According to the convention, a refugee is someone who has a “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion” and is outside their country of nationality or habitual residence.

 

Article 2 – General Principles:

This article emphasizes that the convention shall apply without discrimination based on race, religion, or country of origin. It also clarifies that the convention shall not apply to individuals who have committed serious non-political crimes, are guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, or pose a threat to the host country’s security.

 

Article 3 – Non-penalization:

This article prohibits states from imposing penalties on refugees who enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.

 

Article 4 – Religion:

This article specifically mentions that religious beliefs and practices are among the grounds for persecution recognized by the convention.

 

Article 5 – Refugee Status Determination:

Article 5 outlines the procedures for determining refugee status. It establishes that refugees should receive a fair and efficient examination of their claims.

 

Article 6 – Exemption from Expulsion:

This article prohibits the expulsion or return (“refoulement”) of refugees to a territory where their life or freedom would be threatened based on the grounds outlined in Article 1. It is a fundamental principle of the convention and a core protection for refugees.

 

Article 7 – Refugee Travel Documents:

This article outlines the rights of refugees to obtain travel documents for the purpose of travel outside their host country.

 

Article 8 – ID Cards:

The convention provides for the issuance of identity cards to refugees to facilitate their identification and protection.

 

Article 9 – Access to Courts:

This article ensures that refugees have access to the courts of the host country and to legal assistance.

 

Article 10 – Public Relief:

Article 10 grants refugees the same treatment as nationals with respect to public relief and assistance.

 

Article 11 – Housing:

This article ensures that refugees receive the same treatment as nationals regarding housing.

 

Article 12 – Education:

Refugees should have access to primary education on the same basis as nationals.

 

Article 13 – Wage-earning Employment:

Refugees should enjoy the same treatment as nationals concerning wage-earning employment.

 

Article 14 – Artistic Rights and Industrial Property:

This article addresses the protection of refugees’ artistic rights and industrial property.

 

Article 15 – Administrative Assistance:

States are expected to provide refugees with assistance to facilitate naturalization and assimilation.

 

Article 16 – Access to Courts:

Refugees should enjoy the same access to legal assistance and the courts as nationals.

 

The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol [6]remain the cornerstone of international refugee law and provide essential protections for individuals who are forced to flee their countries due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. They set the standard for the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers by signatory countries.

 

“The Convention continues to protect the rights of refugees across the world,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

 

“Thanks to the Convention, millions of lives have been saved. Seventy years since it was drawn up, it is crucial that the international community defends its principles.”[7]

 

He expressed alarm at recent attempts by some governments to disregard or circumvent the Convention’s principles, from expulsions and pushbacks of refugees and asylum seekers at land and sea borders, to the proposals to forcibly transfer them to third states for processing without proper protection safeguards.

Signature of the 1951 Refugee Convention in Geneva, Switzerland / the three seated men (l-r): Mr. John Humphrey, Director of the Human Rights Division; Mr. Knud Larsen (Denmark) President of the Conference; Dr. G.V. van Heuven Goedhart, High Commissioner for Refugees / copyright Arni / UN Archives / August 1, 1951

In fact, Ms Suella Braverman[8] is a British politician and barrister who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) for Fareham since 2015 and a member of the Conservative Party.  Braverman previously served as chair of the European Research Group from 2017 to 2018 and as Attorney General for England and Wales from 2020 to 2022. In January 2018, she was appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state for exiting the European Union by Prime Minister Theresa May but resigned later.  Braverman stood as a candidate to succeed Boris Johnson in the July–September 2022 Conservative Party leadership election but was eliminated from the ballot after the second round of voting.  On 26th September 2023, Braverman, spoke to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC on immigration, where the Home Secretary Suella Braverman, challenged the UN’s convention for protecting refugees during a speech at a right-wing think tank in the US. She questioned whether the UN’s 1951 Refugee Convention, which was drawn up after World War Two, was “fit for our modern age”. Laws had morphed from helping those fleeing persecution to those fearing bias, she argued. She said fearing discrimination for being gay or a woman should not be enough to qualify for refugee protection. Home Secretary Suella Braverman says multiculturalism has “failed” during a speech on migration in the US.  In summary, Braverman stated that she does not outline any new policies but calls for a new international approach to granting asylum and changes to the 1951 Refugee Convention.  And she says fearing discrimination for being gay or a woman should not be enough to qualify for refugee protection. But the UN says the Refugee Convention is “as relevant as ever” and has saved “millions of lives”. Meanwhile, Labour says Braverman is trying to “distract from her failures” after “losing grip of the asylum crisis at home”.And charity ActionAid says providing “refuge and safety to women in need is not just an option, it’s an imperative”[9]  The reaction was widespread to her speech:  The UN’s refugee agency rejected her call to tighten the definition on who qualifies as a refugee, saying the convention had saved “millions of lives”

Labour said she was trying to “distract from her failures” in getting to grips with the UK’s migrant crisis, and accused her of using gay people and women as “scapegoats”

Tim Loughton, a Conservative member of the Home Affairs Committee, said Braverman “had a point” and “the UK cannot be the refugee camp for the entire world”[10].

 

Braverman said the UN Refugee Convention conferred refugee rights to 780 million people, we look at that number here. The UN’s refugee agency estimates the world had around 35 million refugees at the end of 2022.  After her comments on gay people seeking refugee status, it is worth noting that 1.5% of the 74,751 asylum claims in the UK last year cited sexual orientation as the basis for their claim.

 

Much of the world is signed up to the UN’s Refugee Convention, so the idea she could single-handedly drive through reforms, or that it is in her remit alone, is quite unrealistic, our political correspondent Ione Wells writes. But by starting the debate she wants to highlight a determination to take a tough approach on migration.[11]  As a personal background, Braverman, religion has been a topic of discussion as she is a member of the Triratna Buddhist Community[12] and took her oath of office on the Dhammapada.  Suella Braverman religion is Buddhist. She has been a member of the Triratna Buddhist Community, formerly known as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, for many years.  She has attended the London Buddhist Centre monthly and has publicly spoken about how her Buddhist practice has helped her in her political career.  Braverman took her oath of office on the Dhammapada, one of the most widely known Buddhist scriptures. Suella Braverman was born on April 3, 1980 and christened Sue-Ellen Cassiana Fernandes. Braverman was born in the UK to parents of Indian origin. She is of Tamil and Goan ancestry. Her father, Christie Fernandes, has his roots in Goa, while her mother, Uma, was born into a Hindu Tamil Mauritian family. Both her parents emigrated to the UK in the 1960s.

 

In spite of her religion and Indian origins, with both her parents having migrated to UK in 1960s Braverman has being unaccommodating in her anti migrant tone of her speech. Fearing discrimination for being gay or a woman should not be enough to qualify for international refugee protection, the UK home secretary has said.  Labour accused her of having “given up on fixing” the asylum system. “Now she’s resorting to grandstanding abroad and looking for anyone else to blame,” said shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper. She accused the home secretary of using gay people and women as “scapegoats” rather than “recognising her responsibility to get a grip of the asylum system”.[13]  Braverman has also confirmed that regarding the Rwanda policy: Government committed to deportation plan.[14]  Furthermore, the government is committed to ending cross-Channel migrant boats despite a court ruling its Rwanda policy is unlawful, the home secretary has said.  Suella Braverman told MPs she would do “whatever it takes to stop the boats.” Her comments came after judges at the Court of Appeal ruled that the plan to send asylum seekers to the African country could also breach human rights. The government says it will appeal. Labour says the plan is “unethical” and Ms Braverman is “ramping up rhetoric”. [15]

 

Asylum Aid, the charity which brought the legal challenge, said the decision taken by the court on Thursday was a “vindication of the importance of the rule of law and basic fairness”.

 

The plan to send people who arrive in the UK illegally to Rwanda was first unveiled in April 2022 in an attempt to deter crossings on the English Channel on small boats.

 

It has been subject to several legal challenges, including the latest at the Court of Appeal where judges ruled that Rwanda had not provided enough safeguards to prove it is a “safe third country”.

 

Two out of the three judges found that there was a risk that asylum seekers sent to Rwanda could then be forced back to the country from where they were originally fleeing. This means the UK government’s immigration policy contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects against torture.

 

However Ms Braverman said this did not mean that Rwanda itself was not safe.

 

The home secretary told MPs she respected the judgement, but added it was “disappointing” and that the government would be challenging it.

 

Ms Braverman said that the “abuse” of the asylum system was “unfair” on local communities, taxpayers and “those who play by the rules”.

 

She added that it “incentivises mass flows of economic migration into Europe, lining the pockets of people smugglers and turning our seas into graveyards, all in the name of a phoney humanitarianism”.  Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the government’s Rwanda scheme was “completely unravelling” and described it as “unworkable, unethical and extortionately expensive.”  “This is their chaos, their Tory chaos, their boats chaos and their broken asylum system,” she said. She also accused the home secretary of “wasting everybody’s time” on “ramping up the rhetoric rather than coming up with a serious plan”. The Rwandan government insisted it was “one of the safest countries in the world” and had been recognised for its “exemplary treatment of refugees”.  The question which needs to be raised is why does the UK want to send asylum seekers to Rwanda?  Land of safety – or fear? Why Rwanda divides opinion.  The case was brought by Asylum Aid, which argued the policy was unlawful, as well as 10 people from countries including Syria, Iraq and Albania, who arrived in the UK in small boats.

 

The High Court had backed the government’s policy at an earlier hearing, but that decision was scrutinised by Appeal Court judges Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Sir Geoffrey Vos and Lord Justice Underhill in this latest stage of the process.  While Lord Burnett sided with the UK government, the others concluded that the assurances from the Rwandan government were not “sufficient to ensure that there is no real risk that asylum seekers relocated under the Rwanda policy will be wrongly returned to countries where they face persecution or other inhumane treatment”.  They said that sending asylum seekers to Rwanda will be unlawful “unless and until the deficiencies in [its government’s] asylum processes are corrected”.   The judges stressed that they all agreed that the Rwandan government’s assurances of the policy had been made “in good faith”. Tessa Gregory, a partner at law firm Leigh Day which represented Asylum Aid in the case, said: “We are delighted that the Court of Appeal has ruled that the Rwanda removals process is unlawful on grounds of safety.”  It acknowledged that not all of the charity’s challenges had been accepted by the court, but said the ruling had affirmed there are “clear deficiencies” with the policy.[16]  Other human rights groups have welcomed the court’s decision, with Freedom From Torture describing it as a “victory for reason and compassion”.

 

The migrant Rwanda asylum plan (officially the UK and Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership, also known as the Rwanda asylum scheme, the Rwanda plan and the Rwanda deal) is an immigration policy which was first proposed by the British government, is a policy that was announced in a speech by the former, British prime minister Boris Johnson,[17] whereby people who the United Kingdom identifies as being illegal immigrants or asylum seekers will be relocated to Rwanda for processing, asylum and resettlement. Those who are successful in claiming asylum will remain in Rwanda and they will not be permitted to return to the United Kingdom.

 

The first flight for this plan received legal clearance from the High Court and was scheduled for 14 June 2022. A last-minute interim measure by the European Court of Human Rights led to the plan being halted until the conclusion of the legal action in the UK. At the end of 2022, the High Court further ruled that though the plan is lawful, the individual cases of eight asylum seekers due to be deported that year, had to be reconsidered.[18] The Court of Appeal ruled on 29 June 2023 that the plan is unlawful.  The Plan was enacted for a duration of five years by British home secretary Priti Patel and Rwandan foreign minister Vincent Biruta on 13 April 2022.[19]

On 14th April 2022, United Kingdom (UK) Home Secretary Priti Patel and Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta signed a deal to send asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda for case processing. The Court ruled that this outsourcing was illegal in terms of the 95 refugees Convention and the deportation of migrants into UK was stopped literally at the last minute, before the refuge plane could depart for Kigali

Essentially, there are various communities which have been forgotten by the so-called protagonists of democracy and human rights in the western world, including governments, while they are relentlessly pursuing their election campaigns, to strengthen their political goals.

various forgotten communities around the world. These communities often face unique challenges and are severely marginalised and conveniently overlooked by governments and society, alike. Some examples are:

 

Rohingya Muslims (Myanmar/Bangladesh): The Rohingya are a Muslim minority group primarily residing in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. They have faced persecution, discrimination, and violence at the hands of the Myanmar government and military. Many have been displaced, leading to a humanitarian crisis in neighbouring Bangladesh, where refugee camps are overcrowded and living conditions are dire.  The Buddhist monks in Myanmar, have formed an “Unholy Alliance” with the ruling military Junta, giving the military carte blanche approval for the genocide of this community as worse than animals, disenfranchised, persecuted nd subject ethnic cleansing.  Ironically the monks[20] are vehemently denying theirs genocidal narratives, often in exchange for financial support from the military government.  Local Buddhist groups in South Africa have also denied and forgotten the ongoing plight of the Rohingyas, based on their Islamic religious beliefs.  While this Muslim minority group has been resident in Myanmar for centuries, they are described as cockroaches who multiply uncontrollably and they are seen to undermine the state of Myanmar. Their reality of being subject of genocide, is described as fake and lies by these Buddhist monks.[21]

 

Yazidis (Iraq/Syria): The Yazidis are an ethnoreligious minority primarily living in Northern Iraq and Syria. They faced brutal persecution by ISIS, with thousands killed or enslaved during the group’s occupation of their territories. Many Yazidis continue to suffer from the physical sexual and psychological trauma of these events.

 

Uighurs (China): The Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang region. They have been subjected to mass detentions, forced labor, and cultural suppression by the Chinese government in what some describe as a form of cultural genocide. The situation has garnered international attention and condemnation.

 

Roma (Europe): The Roma, also known as Romani people or Gypsies, are an ethnic minority spread across Europe. They often face discrimination, social exclusion, and economic hardship. Many live in marginalized settlements with limited access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities.

 

Dalits (India): Dalits, previously referred to as “untouchables,” are a group of historically marginalizes and discriminated communities in India. Despite legal protections and affirmative action policies, Dalits continue to face caste-based discrimination, violence, and limited access to resources and opportunities.

 

Indigenous Peoples (First Nations” in various countries): Indigenous communities around the world often struggle to protect their land, culture, and way of life. They face threats from land encroachment, resource extraction, and cultural assimilation. Examples include the Native Americans in the United States, Canada, the Aboriginal peoples in Australia, the Maoris in New Zealand and the Amazonian tribes in South America.

 

Palestinians (Middle East): Palestinians have faced decades of conflict and displacement due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many live-in refugee camps in the Middle East and face restricted access to basic services and limited opportunities for economic development.

 

Syrian Refugees (Global): Millions of Syrians have been displaced due to the ongoing Syrian civil war. Many live as refugees in neighboring countries like Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, facing challenges related to housing, education, and employment.

 

Afghanistan (Post-Taliban Era): Afghanistan has faced ongoing conflict and instability, leading to widespread displacement and insecurity. Afghans, particularly women and children, face uncertain futures as the country undergoes political and social changes.

 

The above are just a few examples of communities facing significant challenges around the world. The plight of these communities often involves complex historical, political, and social factors, and addressing their issues requires attention from both local and international sectors. The important point to note is that these forgotten communities form the basis for global wave of “neo migration” of humanity in the 21st century.

 

In addition, constituting a smaller, but an equally important group of forgotten people, are the journalists in different parts of the world, where they are persecuted, threatened or eevn assassinated, as in Palestine[22].[23],[24] Saudi Arabian[25] “Hit Teams”[26] India and Latin American countries, in recent times.  The safety and well-being of journalists are of paramount importance, and they face significant challenges and threats in various parts of the world. Journalists often work in dangerous environments to bring important news and information to the public, and their role in holding governments and institutions accountable is vital to a functioning democracy. Specific information about the challenges faced by journalists in India, Egypt, and globally are:

 

India: In India, journalists have faced harassment, threats, and violence for their reporting, especially when covering sensitive topics or criticizing government policies. Some have been arrested on charges of sedition, defamation, or spreading “fake news.” In recent years, concerns have grown about the shrinking space for free speech and press freedom in the country, under BJP government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

Egypt: Journalists in Egypt have also experienced a challenging environment, particularly in the wake of political unrest and government crackdowns on dissent. Many have been detained, and some have faced trumped-up charges. The 2013 coup and the subsequent regime’s actions have led to concerns about the safety of journalists and freedom of the press in Egypt.

 

Global Targeted Assassinations: Journalists have been targeted for their work in various countries, sometimes with deadly consequences. Prominent cases like the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul and the killing of investigative journalists in countries like Russia and Mexico highlight the dangers faced by journalists who expose corruption, human rights abuses, and other sensitive issues.

 

Blacklisting and Harassment: In some countries, journalists are blacklisted or labeled as terrorists or enemies of the state for their reporting. Such designations can lead to censorship, loss of employment opportunities, and even physical threats to their safety.

 

It is crucial to recognise the importance of a free and independent press in a democratic society and to protect the rights of journalists to report without fear of reprisal. International organizations like Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists work to document and advocate for the safety and freedom of journalists globally.

 

Journalism plays a critical role in providing information to the public and holding those in power accountable, and efforts to protect the rights and safety of journalists are essential for maintaining open and transparent societies.

 

The selective “forgetfulness” or neglect of certain marginalised communities, or issues by the United Nations (UN) and other international authorities, including governments, can be attributed to a combination of complex factors:

 

Geopolitical Interests: The UN and other international organizations often operate in a politically charged environment where the interests of powerful nations can influence their actions. These organizations may prioritize diplomatic or economic relationships over addressing human rights abuses or marginalised groups to avoid confrontation with influential states.

 

Sovereignty and Non-Interference: The principle of state sovereignty is a cornerstone of international relations. Some governments use this principle to shield themselves from international scrutiny and intervention in their domestic affairs. This can make it challenging for international authorities to address issues within the borders of a sovereign state, even when there are grave human rights violations.

 

Lack of Global Consensus: Achieving consensus among member states within international organizations can be extremely challenging, especially when addressing contentious issues. This can lead to inaction or a diluted response that fails to effectively address the concerns of marginalized communities.

 

Resource Constraints: International organizations often have limited resources and cannot address all global issues simultaneously. They may choose to prioritize certain crises over others based on the scale of the problem, the potential for resolution, or the level of international attention and funding available.

 

Political Realism: Realpolitik, or the prioritization of practical political considerations over moral or ethical principles, can lead to the selective neglect of certain communities. Nations may engage in strategic partnerships with governments that have poor human rights records for reasons such as economic benefits or security concerns.

 

Bureaucracy and Inefficiency: Bureaucratic structures within international organizations can hinder their ability to respond effectively to crises or marginalized communities. Decision-making processes can be slow and hindered by red tape.

 

Media Attention: The level of media coverage and public awareness often plays a role in how international organizations respond to crises or marginalized communities. High-profile events tend to receive more attention, which can influence the prioritization of issues.

 

Lobbying and Advocacy: Advocacy groups and lobbyists may influence the agendas of international organizations and governments. Communities with strong advocacy efforts may receive more attention and support.

 

Competing Priorities: International organizations have numerous global challenges to address, ranging from conflict resolution to poverty alleviation to public health. These competing priorities can divert resources and attention away from marginalized communities.

 

Complexity and Nuance: Some issues, particularly those involving long-standing conflicts or deeply rooted systemic problems, may be more challenging to address effectively. International organizations may struggle to find viable solutions or may be reluctant to intervene in complex situations.

 

While these factors can contribute to the selective neglect of certain communities or issues, it’s important to note that advocacy, public pressure, and the work of NGOs and civil society can also have a significant impact on raising awareness and driving action on behalf of marginalized communities on the global stage.

 

The multiple challenges facing each of the above mentioned groups can vary widely, depending on their specific circumstances and the regions in which they reside. However, some common bottom-line challenges that these marginaliesd communities often face:

 

Rohingya Muslims:

 

Forced Displacement: Many Rohingya have been forcibly displaced from their homes, leading to overcrowded refugee camps and inadequate living conditions.

Humanitarian Crisis: Limited access to clean water, sanitation, healthcare, and education in refugee camps poses severe humanitarian challenges.

Statelessness: The lack of citizenship rights exacerbates their vulnerability, making it difficult to access basic services and protection.

 

Yazidis:

 

Trauma and Reintegration: Many Yazidis who survived ISIS captivity suffer from severe physical and psychological trauma, and reintegrating them into their communities is a complex process.

Displacement: Ongoing insecurity in Iraq and Syria has led to displacement and difficulty in returning to their ancestral lands.

 

Uighurs:

 

Mass Detention: Uighurs in Xinjiang face mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, and attempts to erase their cultural and religious identity.

Lack of International Response: Despite mounting evidence of human rights abuses, international action has been limited due to China’s economic and diplomatic influence.

Roma:

 

Discrimination: Roma communities continue to face systemic discrimination, including barriers to education, employment, and housing.

Marginalization: Many Roma live in marginalized settlements with substandard living conditions and limited access to basic services.

 

Dalits:

 

Caste-Based Discrimination: Dalits face pervasive caste-based discrimination and violence, limiting their social mobility and access to opportunities.

Landlessness: Landlessness is a common problem among Dalits, contributing to their economic vulnerability.

 

First Nations and Indigenous Peoples:

 

Land Disputes: Indigenous communities often struggle to protect their ancestral lands from encroachment by governments and corporations.

Cultural Preservation: Preserving their unique languages, cultures, and traditions is a constant challenge in the face of assimilation pressures.

Palestinians:

 

Political Conflict: The unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict leads to ongoing violence, insecurity, and displacement for Palestinians.

Gaza Blockade: The blockade of Gaza has resulted in humanitarian challenges, including limited access to essential goods and services.

 

Syrian Refugees:

 

Lack of Durable Solutions: Many Syrian refugees remain in protracted displacement with uncertain prospects for returning home or resettlement.

Strain on Host Countries: Hosting millions of refugees strains the resources and infrastructure of neighbouring countries.

 

Journalists:

 

Threats and Violence: Journalists face threats, harassment, violence, and targeted assassinations in various countries, making their work dangerous.

Censorship: Government censorship and restrictions on media freedom impede journalists’ ability to report independently.

 

These challenges are often interconnected and deeply rooted in historical, political, and social factors. Addressing them requires concerted efforts from governments, international organizations, civil society, and the global community to protect the rights and dignity of these marginalised communities and uphold principles of justice, equality and human rights.

 

Highlighting the plight of marginalised communities and advocating for their rights and well-being requires a multi-pronged approach involving various stakeholders. Some recommended measures, by the author, that can be taken to raise awareness and address the issues faced by these communities:

 

Media Coverage: Journalists and media organizations play a crucial role in bringing attention to the challenges faced by marginalized communities. Comprehensive and accurate reporting can shed light on their situations and humanize their stories.

 

Advocacy and Lobbying: Civil society organizations, advocacy groups, and NGOs can engage in advocacy efforts to raise awareness about the issues faced by these communities. Lobbying for policy changes and increased support can be effective.

 

Public Awareness Campaigns: Public awareness campaigns, both online and offline, can educate the general public about the challenges faced by these communities. Social media, documentaries, and public events can be used to reach a wider audience.

 

International Pressure: Diplomatic efforts, including diplomatic protests and sanctions when appropriate, can be used to pressure governments that engage in human rights abuses against marginalized communities.

 

International Organizations: Engage with international organizations such as the United Nations, Human Rights Council, and regional bodies to ensure that the concerns of these communities are on the global agenda. Advocate for resolutions and actions to address their specific challenges.

 

Legal Action: Support legal actions, including filing lawsuits or complaints with international human rights bodies, to seek justice and accountability for violations against these communities.

 

Diplomacy: Diplomatic efforts, such as bilateral talks, mediation, and conflict resolution initiatives, can help address the root causes of conflicts affecting these communities.

 

Humanitarian Aid: Provide humanitarian assistance to communities facing immediate crises, such as refugees or internally displaced persons, to meet their basic needs and alleviate suffering.

 

Capacity Building: Support local organizations and communities to build their capacity to advocate for their rights, access resources, and contribute to their own development.

 

Educational Initiatives: Promote education and awareness programs within these communities to empower individuals with knowledge of their rights and opportunities for self-improvement.

 

Solidarity Movements: Build global solidarity movements that connect individuals and organizations from around the world to advocate for the rights and well-being of marginalised communities.

 

Corporate Responsibility: Encourage companies and corporations to uphold human rights standards in their operations and supply chains, particularly when it comes to issues like forced labour and environmental degradation affecting these communities.

 

Donor Support: Encourage donor countries and organisations to allocate funding to projects and initiatives aimed at improving the lives of marginalised communities.

 

It is necessary to approach these measures with cultural sensitivity and a deep understanding of the specific context and challenges faced by each community. Collaborative efforts involving governments, civil society, and the international community are often the most effective way to address the plight of marginalized communities and drive positive change.

 

Addressing the harassment and human rights abuses faced by marginalized communities at the hands of their respective governments requires a concerted effort at both national and international levels. Here are some measures that can be instituted at high national levels to obviate such harassment:

 

Legal Reforms and Protections:

 

Enact and enforce comprehensive anti-discrimination laws that specifically protect the rights of marginalized communities.

Strengthen legal frameworks to ensure equal access to education, employment, housing, and healthcare for all citizens, regardless of their background.

Police and Law Enforcement Reforms:

 

Implement training programs for law enforcement agencies to promote cultural sensitivity and respect for human rights.

Establish independent oversight mechanisms to investigate and address police brutality and abuse of power.

 

Access to Justice:

 

Ensure that marginalised communities have access to affordable legal representation and support when facing discrimination or harassment.

Establish special courts or tribunals to expedite cases related to discrimination and human rights violations.

 

Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression:

 

Protect and promote media freedom, including the right of journalists to report without fear of reprisal.

Combat censorship and ensure that diverse voices and perspectives are represented in the media.

 

Civil Society Engagement:

 

Encourage the active participation of civil society organizations in advocating for the rights of marginalized communities.

Support the work of human rights defenders and organizations that work on behalf of these communities.

 

Government Accountability:

 

Establish mechanisms for government transparency and accountability, including independent watchdog agencies and ombudsman offices.

Encourage government officials to engage with marginalized communities to understand their concerns and needs.

 

Political Representation:

 

Promote the political representation of marginalized communities through affirmative action measures, such as reserved seats or quotas in legislative bodies.

Encourage the participation of marginalized individuals in political parties and electoral processes.

 

Education and Awareness:

 

Develop educational programs that promote tolerance, diversity, and inclusivity from an early age.

Raise awareness among the general population about the rights and contributions of marginalized communities.

 

Community Empowerment:

 

Support community-led initiatives that empower marginalized groups economically, socially, and politically.

Provide resources for capacity building and leadership development within these communities.

 

International Engagement:

 

Engage with international organisations and bodies to seek support and cooperation in addressing human rights violations.

Cooperate with international human rights mechanisms and allow visits by UN Special Rapporteurs and other independent experts.

 

Dialogue and Conflict Resolution:

 

Facilitate dialogue and conflict resolution processes to address underlying tensions and grievances between marginalized communities and the government.

Encourage reconciliation efforts to promote social cohesion.

 

Economic Development:

 

Implement policies that promote economic opportunities for marginalized communities, including access to credit, training, and entrepreneurship support.

 

Rule of Law:

 

Strengthen the rule of law, including an independent judiciary, to ensure that all citizens receive fair and equal treatment under the law.

It’s important to recognize that addressing harassment and discrimination against marginalized communities is a long-term process that requires political will, sustained commitment, and collaboration with both national and international actors. Furthermore, solutions should be tailored to the specific context and needs of each community.

 

The International Criminal Court (ICC) can potentially play a role in addressing ongoing harassment and human rights abuses against the listed groups, but its ability to do so depends on several factors:

 

Jurisdiction: The ICC has jurisdiction over four main crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. To intervene in cases involving harassment and human rights abuses against marginalized communities, the alleged crimes must fall within these categories. This may include situations where systematic and widespread abuse amounts to crimes against humanity.

 

Referral: Cases before the ICC can be initiated through three primary mechanisms: referral by a state party to the Rome Statute, referral by the United Nations Security Council, or initiation by the ICC’s prosecutor proprio motu (on their own initiative). For cases involving harassment of marginalized communities, referral by a state party or the UN Security Council would be the typical routes.

 

State Cooperation: The ICC relies on the cooperation of states to carry out its investigations and prosecutions. If the government responsible for the harassment is uncooperative or not a party to the Rome Statute, it can be challenging for the ICC to gain access to the affected region and gather evidence.

 

Political Considerations: The ICC operates in a politically charged environment. Cases involving powerful or influential states may face resistance and diplomatic obstacles that can hinder the court’s ability to intervene effectively.

 

Resource Constraints: The ICC has limited resources and capacity to investigate and prosecute cases. Prioritization of cases is necessary due to resource constraints.

 

Complementarity Principle: The ICC’s jurisdiction is complementary to national legal systems. This means that the court is meant to step in when national systems are unwilling or unable to prosecute crimes. If a government takes credible steps to address the harassment domestically, the ICC may defer to national jurisdiction.

 

While the ICC may be an option for addressing harassment and human rights abuses against marginalized communities in certain circumstances, it is not always the most expedient or effective mechanism. It is often considered a court of last resort when all other avenues for justice have been exhausted.

 

In cases where the ICC’s jurisdiction is limited or blocked, other international mechanisms, such as the United Nations Human Rights Council, regional human rights bodies, or diplomatic efforts, may also be important in advocating for the rights of these communities and pressuring governments to respect human rights norms and international law. Civil society organisations and advocacy groups can play a critical role in raising awareness and pushing for accountability in these situations.

 

Peace propagators, whether acting unilaterally or collectively, can play a crucial role in obviating cruelties against the listed groups and promoting human rights and justice. Here are some actions they can take:

 

Raise Awareness:

 

Use their platforms, whether in the media, civil society, or academia, to raise awareness about the challenges faced by marginalized communities.

Share stories and information about the plights of these groups to garner public attention and empathy.

 

Advocacy and Lobbying:

 

Advocate for the rights of marginalized communities through diplomatic channels and with government officials.

Lobby for policy changes that protect the rights and well-being of these groups, both at the national and international levels.

 

Mediation and Conflict Resolution:

 

Act as mediators in conflicts involving these communities, facilitating dialogue and peace negotiations between affected groups and governments.

Promote peaceful coexistence and reconciliation efforts to address underlying tensions.

 

Humanitarian Assistance:

 

Provide humanitarian aid to communities facing immediate crises, such as refugees or internally displaced persons, to meet their basic needs and alleviate suffering.

Support organizations working on the ground to deliver aid and support.

 

Capacity Building:

 

Empower marginalised communities through capacity-building initiatives that enhance their ability to advocate for their rights and access resources.

Provide training and resources for leadership development within these communities.

 

Legal Support:

 

Offer legal assistance and support to individuals and communities facing harassment, discrimination, or human rights abuses.

Collaborate with human rights lawyers and organizations to seek justice through legal means.

 

International Engagement:

 

Engage with international organizations, such as the United Nations and regional bodies, to advocate for the rights of these communities and support efforts to address their challenges.

Cooperate with international human rights mechanisms to bring attention to specific cases and violations.

 

Dialogue and Interfaith Initiatives:

 

Promote interfaith dialogue and understanding to reduce religious or ethnic tensions that can lead to harassment and violence.

Encourage cooperation and mutual respect among different religious and ethnic groups.

 

Peace Education:

 

Develop and implement peace education programs that foster tolerance, diversity, and conflict resolution skills.

Work with educational institutions to incorporate peace and human rights education into curricula.

 

Solidarity Movements:

 

Build global solidarity movements that connect individuals and organizations from around the world to advocate for the rights and well-being of marginalized communities.

Participate in or support campaigns, demonstrations, and events that call for justice and equality.

 

 

Diplomacy and International Relations:

 

Engage in diplomatic efforts to encourage governments to respect human rights and address grievances.

Advocate for international cooperation and diplomatic pressure on governments engaging in human rights abuses.

 

Social and Economic Development:

 

Support economic development initiatives that create opportunities for marginalized communities, including access to credit, training, and entrepreneurship support.

 

Conflict Prevention:

 

Work to prevent conflicts and violence through early warning systems, conflict prevention strategies, and peacebuilding efforts.

 

Collective action by governments, civil society organizations, and the international community is often more effective in addressing these issues, as it can bring greater pressure and resources to bear. However, individuals and grassroots organizations can also make a significant impact by raising awareness, advocating for change, and supporting affected communities.

 

Another group of forgotten sectors of the community are the “Regime Dissenters”, collectively across the globe.  Government dissenters and opposition figures, such as Alexei Navalny in Russia and others in various countries, face significant challenges and threats to their safety and freedom. Their cases are indeed important to highlight in discussions of human rights and political freedoms. A brief overview of some prominent government dissenters and the challenges they face is warranted:

 

Alexei Navalny (Russia): Alexei Navalny is a prominent Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist. He has faced multiple arrests, threats, and a poisoning incident believed to be orchestrated by the Russian government. Navalny’s incarceration and the treatment he has endured have drawn international condemnation.

 

Iran: Iran has a history of cracking down on political dissidents and human rights activists. Prominent figures like Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer, and journalists like Jason Rezaian have faced imprisonment and harassment.  More recently, Female Liberation and anti hijabist[27] like Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, died on September 16th 2022, three days after her arrest in Tehran by the notorious morality police for allegedly breaching the Islamic dress code for women.[28]

 

Saudi Arabia: The Saudi government has been criticized for its treatment of government dissenters, including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Women’s rights activists, such as Loujain al-Hathloul[29], have also faced detention and mistreatment.

 

Senegal: Senegal has seen protests and arrests of political opposition figures and activists. The arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko[30] in 2021 led to widespread demonstrations and concerns about political freedom.

 

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe has a history of human rights abuses and repression of political opposition. Opposition leaders like Morgan Tsvangirai and activists like Jestina Mukoko[31] have faced persecution.

 

Myanmar: Myanmar’s military junta has detained numerous political figures and activists following the February 2021 coup, including Aung San Suu Kyi and Min Aung Hlaing[32]. The country has seen widespread protests and violence.

 

China: China has a record of suppressing dissent and human rights activism. Figures like Ai Weiwei[33] and Liu Xiaobo[34] have faced detention, and the crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong has drawn international attention.

 

Latin America: Various countries in Latin America have seen protests and crackdowns on dissent, with cases like the arrest of opposition figures in Venezuela[35] and the suppression of protests in Nicaragua and Cuba.

 

Efforts to highlight the plight of government dissenters in these countries can include media coverage, advocacy, and diplomatic pressure. International organizations and governments often play a role in condemning human rights abuses and calling for the release of political prisoners. The safety and well-being of government dissenters are important aspects of broader discussions on human rights and democracy.

 

In India, there are concerns and allegations of marginalization and harassment of Muslim communities, particularly in the context of the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party[36] (BJP) and its affiliated groups. These issues have drawn significant attention from both domestic and international observers. It’s important to note that India is a diverse country with a large Muslim population, and experiences can vary widely across different regions. Here are some key issues and challenges faced by Muslim communities in India:

 

Communal Violence: India has witnessed communal violence and riots that have often targeted religious minorities, including Muslims. These incidents can result in loss of life, displacement, and property damage.

 

Discrimination: Muslims in India have reported experiencing discrimination in various aspects of life, including employment, housing, education, and access to public services.

 

Hate Crimes: There have been reports of hate crimes against Muslims, including mob violence and lynching incidents. Vigilante groups have been accused of targeting individuals, often in the name of cow protection or religious identity.

 

Political Rhetoric: Some political leaders and members of the ruling party have been accused of using divisive and inflammatory rhetoric that targets Muslims and other minorities, contributing to a polarized political climate.

 

Cultural and Religious Identity: Concerns have been raised about attempts to marginalize or erase the cultural and religious identity of Muslims, such as the destruction of historical sites and monuments.

 

Citizenship and Immigration: The passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) have raised concerns about potential discrimination and exclusion of Muslims in the citizenship verification process.

 

Arrests and Detentions: There have been allegations of wrongful arrests and detentions of Muslim individuals under national security laws, with concerns about due process and fair trials.

 

Freedom of Expression: Concerns about freedom of expression and the ability to criticize government policies without fear of reprisal have been raised, particularly in the context of the use of sedition laws.

 

It is important to note that not all Muslims in India face the same challenges, and there are variations in experiences based on factors such as location, socioeconomic status, and political affiliation. India’s diversity extends to its Muslim population, which includes a wide range of ethnic, linguistic, and cultural groups.

 

These issues have been the subject of debate and discussion within India and have drawn international attention from human rights organizations and foreign governments. Addressing these challenges requires dialogue, policy changes, and efforts to promote inclusivity and respect for the rights of all citizens, regardless of their religious or ethnic background

 

The marginalization of Indigenous peoples, including First Nations in North America, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, Māori in New Zealand, and Native Hawaiians in Hawaii, has been a historical and ongoing issue in these regions. Here are some key points on this topic:

 

North America (First Nations):

 

Historical Injustices: Indigenous peoples in North America, including Native Americans in the United States and First Nations in Canada, have experienced centuries of colonization, displacement, forced assimilation, and cultural suppression.

 

Land Dispossession: One of the most significant issues is the dispossession of traditional lands, often through treaties that were not upheld or through forceful removal. This has resulted in loss of territory, resources, and cultural heritage.

 

Health and Socioeconomic Disparities: Indigenous communities often face higher rates of poverty, limited access to healthcare and education, and lower life expectancy compared to the general population.

 

Cultural Revitalization: Many Indigenous communities are engaged in efforts to revitalize their languages, cultures, and traditional practices. These efforts are essential for preserving cultural heritage.

 

Legal and Treaty Rights: Indigenous peoples in North America have legal rights and treaty agreements that recognize their sovereignty and self-determination. However, the implementation of these rights varies and can be a source of ongoing conflict.

 

Australia (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples):

 

Stolen Generations: A significant historical injustice in Australia is the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, known as the Stolen Generations, from their families. This policy aimed to assimilate Indigenous children into non-Indigenous culture.

 

Land Rights: Land rights and native title issues have been central to the struggle for Indigenous rights in Australia. Land is not only significant for economic reasons but also for cultural and spiritual connections.

 

Health and Education Gaps: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to experience disparities in health, education, and employment opportunities compared to the non-Indigenous population.

 

Cultural Heritage Protection: Efforts are underway to protect and preserve Indigenous cultural heritage sites and artifacts. This includes collaboration between Indigenous communities and government agencies.

 

New Zealand (Māori):

 

Treaty of Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi is a foundational document in New Zealand that outlines the relationship between the British Crown and Māori. Issues related to treaty rights and settlements are ongoing.

 

Language and Culture: There is a strong emphasis on revitalizing the Māori language (te reo Māori) and culture. Māori culture is an integral part of New Zealand’s identity.

 

Health and Social Disparities: Māori face disparities in health, education, and socioeconomic outcomes. Efforts are being made to reduce these gaps and address systemic inequalities.

 

Hawaii (Native Hawaiians):

 

Annexation and Loss of Sovereignty: Hawaii was annexed by the United States in 1898, leading to the loss of sovereignty for Native Hawaiians. There are ongoing discussions and movements for Native Hawaiian self-determination.

 

Cultural Revival: Native Hawaiians are actively involved in the revival of traditional practices, language, and arts. Protecting and preserving natural resources, such as land and water, is also a focus.

 

Land and Resource Issues: Disputes over land use, water rights, and development have raised questions about the protection of Native Hawaiian cultural and environmental interests.

 

Efforts to address the marginalization of Indigenous peoples in these regions involve a combination of legal recognition, land rights, cultural revitalization, and socio-economic initiatives. These issues continue to be central to discussions of social justice and reconciliation.

 

Addressing the issue of migrant influx into perceived “safe” countries from regions such as Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia is a complex challenge that requires a multi-faceted approach. Some strategies that countries and the international community can consider:

 

Address Root Causes:

 

Invest in development and poverty reduction programs in countries of origin to address the root causes of migration, including economic instability, conflict, and lack of opportunities.

 

Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution:

 

Support diplomatic efforts to resolve conflicts and promote peace in regions with high outflows of migrants.

 

Humanitarian Assistance:

 

Provide humanitarian aid to regions facing crises, such as armed conflicts, natural disasters, and food insecurity, to alleviate suffering and reduce the need for migration.

Legal Pathways:

 

Create legal and safe pathways for migration, including refugee resettlement programs, family reunification, and employment-based visas, to reduce irregular and dangerous migration.

Enhanced Border Management:

 

Strengthen border management and security measures to prevent human trafficking and smuggling while respecting human rights and international law.

 

Regional Cooperation:

 

Encourage regional cooperation among countries to develop common approaches to migration challenges, share responsibilities, and harmonize policies.

Information and Awareness:

 

Raise awareness about the risks of irregular migration and human trafficking through information campaigns and community outreach.

 

Labour Mobility Agreements:

 

Develop bilateral or regional labor mobility agreements that allow for the legal movement of workers based on demand for labor in destination countries.

 

Capacity Building:

 

Provide training and capacity-building programs for law enforcement agencies, immigration officials, and border authorities to handle migration and asylum processes efficiently and humanely.

 

Access to Education and Healthcare:

 

Ensure access to education and healthcare services for migrants, regardless of their legal status, to promote social integration and reduce vulnerabilities.

 

Integration Policies:

 

Implement inclusive integration policies that promote social cohesion and economic participation of migrants in host communities.

 

International Cooperation:

 

Engage in international dialogues and partnerships to address global migration challenges collectively, such as through the United Nations and regional organizations.

 

Data and Research:

 

Invest in data collection and research to better understand migration trends, demographics, and the factors driving migration, which can inform policy decisions.

Rescue and Protection at Sea:

 

Establish protocols and mechanisms for the rescue and protection of migrants at sea, particularly in cases of distress and peril.

 

Anti-Trafficking Measures:

 

Strengthen efforts to combat human trafficking, prosecute traffickers, and provide support and protection to trafficking victims.

 

It is important to emphasise that addressing migration challenges requires a balanced approach that respects the rights and dignity of migrants while addressing the legitimate concerns of host communities. Additionally, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, as migration dynamics vary across regions and countries. Collaboration among countries of origin, transit, and destination is crucial to developing effective and humane migration policies and strategies.

 

Mass migration of citizens from a particular country can be driven by a combination of complex and interrelated factors. These factors can vary from one country to another and can include both “push factors” that compel people to leave their home country and “pull factors” that attract them to other destinations. An analysis of some of the main reasons and rationale for mass migration:

 

Economic Factors:

 

Poverty and Lack of Opportunities: High levels of poverty, limited access to jobs, and inadequate economic prospects can drive people to seek better livelihoods abroad.

Income Disparities: Disparities in income and living standards between the home country and potential destinations can motivate individuals to migrate in search of higher wages and a higher quality of life.

 

Political Factors:

 

Conflict and Instability: Armed conflicts, political instability, and human rights abuses can force people to flee their home country in search of safety and security.

Political Persecution: Political repression, discrimination, and persecution based on ethnicity, religion, or political beliefs can lead to asylum-seeking and refugee migration.

 

Environmental Factors:

 

Climate Change: The impact of climate change, including droughts, floods, and extreme weather events, can disrupt livelihoods and force people to migrate in search of more hospitable environments.

 

Social Factors:

 

Family Reunification: The desire to reunite with family members who have already migrated to another country can be a powerful motivation for migration.

Education and Healthcare: Lack of access to quality education and healthcare in the home country can drive parents to migrate with their children in search of better opportunities.

 

Demographic Factors:

 

Youth Bulge: High youth populations in some countries can lead to increased migration as young people seek better prospects and employment opportunities abroad.

 

Networks and Information:

 

Social Networks: Existing social networks and communities of migrants in destination countries can facilitate migration by providing support, information, and job connections.

Access to Information: Advances in technology and communication make it easier for individuals to learn about opportunities abroad and access information about migration routes.

 

Humanitarian Factors:

 

Natural Disasters: Catastrophic events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes can displace populations and trigger migration in search of safety and assistance.

Health Crises: Disease outbreaks or public health emergencies can lead to migration as individuals seek better healthcare and safety.

Economic Opportunities Abroad:

 

Employment: Perceived or real job opportunities, higher wages, and better working conditions in destination countries can attract migrants.

Remittances: The prospect of sending remittances back to the home country to support family members can motivate migration.

 

Legal and Policy Factors:

 

Migration Policies: The migration policies and visa regimes of destination countries can influence the decision to migrate.

Asylum Policies: Countries that offer asylum and refugee protection may attract individuals fleeing persecution and conflict.

 

Smuggling and Trafficking: Criminal networks engaged in human smuggling and trafficking can exploit vulnerable individuals and drive them into irregular migration routes.

 

It is important to understand that individual decisions to migrate are highly personal and can be influenced by a combination of these factors. Moreover, migration patterns can evolve over time as new factors come into play and as conditions change in both home and destination countries. Effective responses to mass migration require a comprehensive understanding of these factors and the development of policies and strategies that address the needs and vulnerabilities of migrants while respecting their rights.

Over 140 million people will move within their countries’ borders by 2050, according to World Bank estimates.
 Photo Credit: IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation / CC BY-NC-ND

Bottom Line is that the entire humanity started their lives as migrants, of one type or another, since evolution.  The very world leaders who, themselves forget, their migrant origins, are now formulating rules and seeking a review to amend the migrant rights, proceeding to even to the extent of redefining the 1951 Migrant Convention, in order to suit their personal goals, to further their political agenda. The British government has even ordered the building of floating barges to house migrants in the interim, , needless to note that these are in contravention of the legal prescription to house migrants .  Furthermore, the outbreak Legionella bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease were found on the Bibby Stockholm, barge that began housing migrants this week as part of a hard-line government policy.  Contamination of the ventilation system, on board the barge has curtailed their enthusiasm to house the migrants therein, as these forgotten individuals had to be evacuated.[37]. Presently, while the worsening climate crisis, largely from the increasing use of fossil fuels, burning oil, coal and gas is uprooting millions of people, with wildfires overrunning towns in California, the politicians are guarding their political survival, by implementing migrant policies in in violation of the basic migrant rights as espoused in the 1951 Convention.  The rising seas, are overtaking island nations and drought exacerbating conflicts in various parts of the world, massive landslides, earthquakes and flooding of biblical magnitude, where entire villages and major habitat structures are destroyed, beyond repair.  The situation is dire[38], climate refugees and environmental migrants are fleeing floods, droughts, and rising temperatures.  Most climate migrants move within the borders of their homelands, usually from rural areas to cities after losing their home or livelihood because of drought, rising seas or another weather calamity. Each year, natural disasters force an average of 21.5 million people from their homes around the world, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The environmental scientists predict migration will grow as the planet gets hotter. Over the next 30 years, 143 million.[39]  people are likely to be uprooted by rising seas, drought, searing temperatures and other climate catastrophes, according to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report published this year.  Climate migration is an exponentially growing crisis, globally, but not fully recognised by world leaders and the problem is not going to disappear by denial and not accepting this category of migrants as a legitimate cause for internal as well as external mass displacement of humanity.[40]  In the second part of this paper the author will discuss further details about migration of all biological creations and draw analogies between human and migratory patterns of other species.

Main Photo:  Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland, Dorset. Ministers intend to house 506 men on the vessel while they await the outcome of asylum applications. However, the contamination of the barge by Legionnaires’ disease, has forced the evacuation of the migrants, due to health violations and the public outcry against the idea of housing these migrants.
 Photograph Credit: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images
Inset Photo:  Detail of the Refugee Accommodation Barge enroute to United Kingdom.

References:

[i] Personal quote by author, September 2023                                                            

[1] https://people.com/3-year-old-boy-dies-swept-away-crossing-rio-grande-with-family-7972962

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Nagorno-Karabakh_War

[3] https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2023/9/26/photos-thousands-of-ethnic-armenians-flee-from-nagorno-karabakh

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_Relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees#:~:text=The%20Convention%20Relating%20to%20the,of%20nations%20that%20grant%20asylum.

[5] https://www.unhcr.org/node/5373

[6] https://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/publication/1967-protocol#:~:text=The%201967%20Protocol%20removed%20the,not%20a%20party%20to%20it.

[7] https://www.unhcr.org/see/13513-the-1951-refugee-convention-70-years-of-life-saving-protection-for-people-forced-to-flee.html

[8] https://modelfact.com/suella-braverman-religion-is-she-buddhist-christian/

[9] https://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-politics-66922119

[10] https://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-politics-66922119#:~:text=The%20UN%E2%80%99s%20refugee,the%20entire%20world%22

[11] https://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-politics-66922119#:~:text=Braverman%20said%20the,approach%20on%20migration.

[12] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triratna_Buddhist_Community

[13] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-66919416#:~:text=Labour%20accused%20her,the%20asylum%20system%22.

[14] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-66051292

[15] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-66051292#:~:text=The%20government%20is,ramping%20up%20rhetoric%22.

[16] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-66051292#:~:text=Asylum%20Aid%2C%20the,reason%20and%20compassion%22.

[17] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/14/uk-to-sign-deal-to-send-male-channel-refugees-to-rwanda-reports

[18] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwanda_asylum_plan#:~:text=Doherty%2C%20Caitlin%3B%20Crowther%2C%20Zoe%20(19%20December%202022).%20%22Home%20Office%20Rwanda%20deportation%20policy%20is%20legal%2C%20court%20rules%22.%20Civil%20Service%20World.%20Retrieved%2010%20January%202023

[19] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwanda_asylum_plan#:~:text=It%20was%20enacted%20for%20a,Biruta%20on%2013%20April%202022.

[20] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2021/02/reply-to-the-message-of-his-eminence-cardinal-charles-maung-bo-to-the-people-of-myanmar-and-the-world-following-the-coup/

[21] https://www.aljazeera.com/program/featured-documentaries/2019/3/18/an-unholy-alliance-monks-and-the-military-in-myanmar

[22] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2023/06/peace-disruption-part-2-palestines-killing-fields-the-end-must-go-on/

[23] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2022/12/the-forgotten-journalists-part-1-the-assassination-of-shireen-abu-akleh/

[24] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2022/05/the-global-killing-fields-of-journalists-the-death-of-shireen-abu-akleh-part-1/

[25] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2023/01/the-forgotten-journalists-part-2-the-quartering-of-jamal-khashoggi/

[26] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2022/05/the-global-killing-fields-of-journalists-the-silence-of-the-world-part-2/

[27] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-66863720

[28] https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/16/world/middleeast/mahsa-amini-iran-protests-hijab-profile.html

[29] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loujain_al-Hathloul

[30] https://www.africanews.com/tag/ousmane-sonko/

[31] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jestina_Mukoko

[32] https://apnews.com/hub/min-aung-hlaing

[33] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ai_Weiwei

[34] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/09/liu-xiaobo-should-be-a-free-man-ai-weiei-joins-calls-release-dying-dissident

[35] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/4/24/venezuela-opposition-figure-guaido-in-colombia-ahead-of-summit

[36] https://www.bjp.org/

[37] https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/11/world/europe/uk-migrants-bibby-stockholm-bacteria.html#:~:text=stockholm%2Dbacteria.html-,U.K.%20Evacuates%20Asylum%20Seekers%20From%20Barge%20Over%20Bacteria%20in%20Water,a%20hard%2Dline%20government%20policy.

[38] https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-what-we-re-missing-in-the-climate-migration-story-96245

[39] https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/climate-migration-growing-but-not-fully-recognised-by-world/articleshow/93192953.cms?from=mdr

[40] https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/climate-migration-growing-but-not-fully-recognised-by-world/articleshow/93192953.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

______________________________________________

READ PART 2

Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.

Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All
Email: vawda@ukzn.ac.za


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 2 Oct 2023.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: The Forgotten People: Once We Were Migrants (Part 1), is included. Thank you.

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