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What is Forced Migration ?

created by Pia Behmuaras

“What is Forced Migration” An interactive definition

Broadly speaking, forced migration is what it sounds like: being forced to move, to migrate, to uproot oneself and one’s life and relationships. Forced migration is a much broader and far-reaching phenomenon (os set of phenomena) that what someone might gather from a scan of the headlines. Some key questions to ask: who is considered “deserving” of the term refugee and the protections it can provide? What forms of force are considered to “justify” migration? Typically, war and genocide come to mind, but what about famine? Lack of economic opportunity? Political persecution? Incarceration? As a society, we have to pay more attention to the structural similarities between displacement due to war and displacement due to climate change rendering a place unlivable, to give just one example. Both of these “causes” of migration are themselves results of social, economic, and political violence that have emerged from the current world order, even though our laws and conventions currently privilege one “cause” over the other.