The Congregations of Saint Joseph willingly migrated from France to areas around the globe to spread their mission. They are conscious that for many migration is not a choice; it is a necessity. There are an estimated 200 million external migrants, 16 million refugees and asylum seekers, and 26 million internally displaced people (IDPs) who constitute some of the groups who have moved for work, safety, or as a result of poverty, conflict or climate change. There is virtually no country that is unaffected by human migration. Leaving a marginal existence in countries of origin, migrants move to improve their lives by integrating themselves into a new society in the countries of destination, who most often benefit from migrants’ contributions. Migrants are often disappointed when they are marginalized yet again in their new location.
Poverty is the leading cause of migration worldwide. With the global financial crisis causing many to fall back into ever deeper poverty, worldwide migration patterns are expected to expand. Many other factors result in people leaving their homes. Environmental refugees flee from disasters caused by climate change.
In all cases, whether they move within their own borders or internationally, migrants are frequently met with extreme forms of social exclusion and marginalization. Large groups of people are systematically blocked from rights, opportunities and resources (education, housing, employment, healthcare, and democratic participation) that are normally available to members of society and which are key to social integration.
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Migration is one of the defining issues of this century
Global Forum on Migration and Development