Friday, May 13, 2011
Migrant workers fleeing North Africa - What will be there Fate?
Since the rebel uprising in Libya came to light this past February (2011), there has been an exodus of migrants coming from Libya into Europe and specifically Italy and France (via Italy) and Greece (source).
Much of the media has focused mainly on two points surrounding this issue: 1) why the migrants are leaving Libya; for example, some of the migrants are fleeing the violence voluntarily, while some are being forced to leave at gunpoint - and 2) the politics between Italy and France in determining who should take the migrants into their borders. Some even claim that the Libyan government is forcing migrants to leave as a way to punish Italy and France for their role in supporting the NATO air attacks on the Libyan government (source). Regardless of the multiple reasons why these people are fleeing Libya into Europe, what is not is not being discussed is the eventual fate of these people. There are those who don't even make it to Europe because they die at sea on the boat trip from Africa, but for those who do make it in one piece, what is their fate?
What is the fate of migrants fleeing North Africa?
One point to note (see the NY Times article linked above) is that many, if not most, of these people fleeing from North Africa are actually migrant workers foreign to Libya. They are mostly from South Asia (Bangladesh, Philippines, etc) and other African nations such as Tunisia, Eritria, Somalia, and Ethiopia (source 1, source 2)
According to Human Rights Watch, "Sub-Saharan African workers [in Libya] are in dire need of evacuation because of the threats they face. The people most in need are mainly from poorer countries in Asia and Africa... whose governments have apparently been unable or unwilling to rescue them." (source)
And according to Hein de Haas, an researcher and expert on immigration, most of these migrant workers “work as low-paid labourers in the oil industry, construction, agriculture and service sectors.” (source)
These people, who through external circumstances, are being forced to pack up and leave their base of support and move to a new area, equipped with only a set of very specific skills and little education. And they are having to flee to countries that don’t even want them there, which means that it will be difficult for them to reestablish a base of support for themselves and their families, due to illegal immigration laws. In the NY times article cited above, they point out that many of these people who are found in France by the French authority are being sent back to Italy to be dealt with there.
This attitude towards immigration, especially of immigrant labor, which is shared by most of the rich nations (America included), is one of accepting as little responsibility as possible, not only for the welfare and rights of the abused and disenfranchised, but also for the consequences of one’s own actions.
France was one of the major proponents of the air attacks on Libya and now wants, apparently, to offer no support whatsoever to those directly affected and displaced by the attacks.
But the real concern, which few seem to be looking at, is what will happen to these people who are fleeing North Africa. And not just in the short term.
Consider, as we noted above, that these people have little money, few skills, and basically no education. And now they are being shafted from every direction even by the countries who are responsible for removing the little support that these people did have. What we have here is the perfect breeding ground for the next generation of criminals and rebels against society. These human beings are being swept under the rug, so to speak, by the system, and one can only put so much under the rug before it begins to become a problem in itself. Eventually these people and/or their children (who will grow up with little support as well) will turn to violence, the very same thing that put them in the situation in which they find themselves currently.
And if we look at the root of this current situation in Libya, we have groups of ‘rebels’ who have no interest in participating in effective politics and would rather use violence as a means of manipulation to force reality and government into complying with their rather vague demands for rights. The solution to this problem (the political dispensation in Libya and other countries) and also the problem facing the fleeing migrants will not come through violent or revolutionary means. We have to accept as human beings that the only effective change in this world will come through political, democratic means. In this, the Principe of 1 man 1 vote is the key. And the solution itself will must come in the form of an Equal Money System, so that each are placed in a position of support, and so that no matter where one is or where one must go to, there is always a network of support available. This should not be determined by where one is born, or what occupation one’s parents had, but rather by virtue of the fact that one is born in the first place. An Equal Money System will guarantee that all have enough money from birth until death to not only have the basic support needed to live a life of dignity, but to be an effective human being and to participate in this world at their full potential. This is the true meaning of Equal Rights and Human Rights. Obviously this is what the rebels fighting in Libya want, and it is the goal of all the revolutions that have ever occurred, but until we look at the situation practically, and actually learn from history and common sense, that political change can only happen through democratic, equal vote, we will continue creating more and more unnecessary consequence. And that is simply unacceptable.
I encourage you to investigate the Equal Money System, as it is the common sense solution to the current economic and political crisis that we find ourselves in as a Human Race, and unless we are willing to investigate and open our minds to being honest with ourselves about what change is necessary and how that change can practically come about, then perhaps we deserve the consequences that we will all inevitably face.