MODULE 2: MIGRATION
This module looks at the discourses of migration, covering related vocabulary and further providing various narratives surrounding current migration issues. It contains a number of collaborative group projects in the form of non-formal activities designed to foster open discussion and critical debates related to the concept of migration. Furthermore, the format is flexible and can be easily adaptable to diverse school environments, systems and be used with any taught subject (e.g. History, Geography, Civic Education). The content involves a wide range of personal lessons on empathy, respect, understanding, connection and open-mindedness for complex topic engagement.
The aim of the module is to develop the capabilities of students to compare and contrast migration stories of the past with the present. The desired results are for students to obtain effective tools for conducting research, analysing media content (fact-checking) and presenting. It is to foster critical thinking ,and cultivate good reasoning skills. Students will additionally, develop individual skills for participating in open communication discussions or argumentations.
THEORETICAL AND CONTEXTUAL BACKGROUND
In today’s increasingly interconnected world, internal and external migration is a global phenomenon with extensive effects on culture, economics, politics, the environment and a range of complex sub-topics. As a consequence, the relocation of populations has generated contradicting responses both politically and socially. In conjunction, increased access to internet information has magnified the media’s reach to the public, often contributing to spreading polarizing narratives. There has been concern regarding the misinformation and inaccuracy of the news generated on social media platforms. The rise of “fake news’’ has had a major impact on how the public views migrants, often threatening migration policies, social cohesion and particularly reinforcing stereotypes which have lasting effects on public opinion.
The youth has been recognized as key partners in the dialogue regarding migration. In recent trends a shift is taking place, calling for youth engagement and encouraging critical thinking. The importance of this engagement is largely to buildunderstanding among the young generation. Moreover, to develop their abilities for filtering false narratives so that they can be better informed. Young children are more likely to fall victim to false narratives at an earlier stage in this digital age. Migration is an important factor at all levels of education as the attitudes which develop around this topic impact interaction in integrated schools and intercultural communities. Youth engagement on serious topics at all levels is fundamental for improved personal developments and constructive thinking skills.
Migration is generally discussed as a survival strategy motivated by a wide range of factors. The broad construct is used to describe flows of populations as voluntary, or the involuntary travel. As a concept migration can be described in patterns which illustrate seasonal or permanent movements. The framework of migration studies has been used to study historic migrant labourers, nomadic groups, journeys of explores missionaries. It has also been used to examine varies complex forced migration periods such as, civil wars, the transatlantic slave trade and environmental responses. Drawing from the above definition and historical perspective, relevance from past migration stories can be identified. Further allowing explanations for the hostilities evident in today’s society. The ability for the youth to learn from this, allows for open communication and conversations which foster understanding of topics which would otherwise result in conflict.
The recent “refugee crisis’’ and “migrant crisis’’ has had additional dimensions and challenges relevant to this period of time. Placing education, knowledge and information as important prerequisites for reasonable individual participation in social, economic and cultural life. There are more young people in the world than ever, 1.8 billion, making it the largest generation in history. Out of these, 258 million are international migrants and around 11 percent of them were below 24 years old in 2017 (The UN Migration Agency World Migration Report 2017). As the future and participants in the upcoming voting process, youngpeople have a key role to play in the policy discussions rising up worldwide. There lies the key reason for involving them as partners in global processes and agents of change. Against this background, the UN in conjunction with the youth have established Youth2030: The United Nations Strategy, which recognizes the potential of the youth to advance progress in many policy areas. In fact, the topic of migration itself has an influence on all policy areas. This means migration policy has to be taken into account in all political decisions which in turn impact our future generations.
Together with the Youth2030 strategy, the UN has involved youth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This strategy has tasked the youth with defining their future aspirations of a sustainable and peaceful world. The goal is to have the young generation realize that their aspirations depend on their empowerment, development, participation and choice. For the development of the human perspectives it is particularly significant to address the topic of migration in a manner which provides youth with the opportunity to develop a mutual societal culture that not only focuses on differences but also what brings them together, allowing them to celebrate different backgrounds and learn from one another.
Child and young migrants. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://migrationdataportal.org/themes/child-and-young-migrants.
IOM (2017), World Migration Report 2018, UN, New York, http://doi.org/10.18356/f45862f3-en
Ionescu, D. (2006). Annex. IOM Migration Research Series Engaging Diasporas as Development Partners for Home and Destination Countries, 68–73. doi: 10.18356/bfb06d17-en
Report by the migration council on Austria https://bmi.gv.at/Downloads/files/Bericht_des_Migrationsrats_PDF_komplett_ENG_23_3_17.pdf
Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2017 Revision, while the estimates and projections of the total population and of net migration are derived from the publication World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, DVD Edition.
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017). Internation United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017). International Migration Report 2017: Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/404).
Youth 2030: The UN Youth Strategy – Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/youth-un/.
Stateless refugees concept set of political refugee illegal immigrants rights protection Free Vector. (2019, July 19). Retrieved from https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/stateless-refugees-concept-set-political-refugee-illegal-immigrants-rights-protection_3791030.htm.
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Coordinator – Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci – Italy