12 Oct Staying or moving!
Article 1(A)(2) of the 1951 Convention defines a refugee as an individual who is outside his or her country of nationality or habitual residence who is unable or unwilling to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on his or her race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Applying this definition, internally displaced persons (IDPs) – including individuals fleeing natural disasters and generalized violence, stateless individuals not outside their country of habitual residence or not facing persecution, and individuals who have crossed an international border fleeing generalized violence are not considered refugees under either the 1951 Convention or the 1967 Optional Protocol. (http://www.ijrcenter.org/refugee-law/)
What if one is not a refugee but wants to move from one country to another live & work at will just as an expression of life. Is it not a value that should be universally desired? Is it not a value that takes civilization forward? I recently came across an interesting inference on voting behavior in US. “One of the more interesting findings that came out of the 2016 election in the United States ….. is that voters who never left, or remain close to, their hometowns tended to vote for Trump, while those who moved away were inclined to support Hillary Clinton.”* Those traveled were more likely to be college educated, risk taking, hardworking and successful than those who stayed back. Those who stayed back were aggrieved by the success of those who were mobile. One can conclude as those who stayed back are insensitive towards outsiders where as those who moved from place to place are sensitive towards an outsiders. And accordingly their respective political leaning is towards liberal or conservative. The larger issue beyond limited political analysis, however is – What does history of civilization tell us? What needs to be encouraged for the progress of civilization “Moving” or “staying”? If movement is essential for future generations to achieve what their ancestors achieved, how can we assure aggrieved stayers? How can we distinguish ‘movers’ from terrorists, refugees of other kinds?