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February 20, 2019

End conflicts, create jobs to solve migration crisis

Last week, I met a senior UNHCR official, and he complained about Kenya’s little and skewed coverage of migration issues.

I pleaded guilty, but not entirely. Media has reported on this issue. I think we should further ask what responsible or concerned agencies are doing to deal with the migration crisis. The migration crisis in Europe can be traced to migrants from developing countries that are either grappling with economic problems and harsh living standards or experiencing conflicts. Many are in search of  'a better life', while others are fleeing from war and persecution. These countries include Eritrea, Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Algeria, Yemen and Syria.

Managing these numbers has proved difficult due to a number of reasons on the receiving states end. These include a broken European Union migration system; failure to put in place updated security measures as well as the Schengen Agreement that made Europe a borderless area, a factor that should be a wake up call to newly integrating states or regions.

An analytical look at increased migration, especially the South-North migration can be zeroed in to a desire to have a 'better life' due to widening awareness of opportunities through advanced communication.

To note, the very poorest people are the most affected by global inequalities and are desperate to move under whichever means and circumstances. They'll take any risk. Nothing will pull them back. They got nothing to lose after all.

The other problem is that there are far more unemployed or under-employed people in the developing countries than the jobs available in the segmented level markets of the developed economy. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is on record as the Interior minister saying that four out of 10 migrants entered the UK with no job secured for them. That number must have increased since then.

While there is a push to have a single European Policy on asylum and migration, research shows it is difficult to disrupt momentum associated with migration networks through policy. There is more to be done. In fact, in the recent past, there has been an expansion on rights and entitlements that allow certain people — asylum seekers and refugees — to cross borders and stay abroad. Many more countries have signed the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, which guarantees protection and assistance outside their country of origin.

I would admit that it is difficult to develop effective policies on migration due to its increased complexity, unless collectively. It is also unfortunate that few if any of the major labour exporting countries publishes accurate records on the number of international migrants they produce. They need to play their part by well structuring labour export.

By cooperating more, and the word here is cooperate, in peacekeeping efforts and by streamlining development, the ongoing conflicts will end. This is opposed to what some European companies are accused of, part-funding conflicts in Central Africa Republic by entering into timber deals with militia groups.

This definitely reduces refugees and asylum seekers a big deal.


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