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The International Migration Factor:
Causes and Consequences*

References
Bettleheim, Bruno; Children

of the Dream,

Palad-

m i n g , " Gratz College, Philadelphia, (1975)

G A Y N O R I. JACOBSON

ium Press, London
Reibman, Jeanette F. (compiler); "The Role of the
M e a d , M a r g a r e t ; Culture

and

Commitment,

Doubleday and C o . , Inc., New York,

(1970)

Family

in

Child

Development,"

Executive

Educational

Vice-President,

HIAS, New

Commission o f the States, Denver, (1975)

Melnick, Sidney M. and Bogot, Howard I.; " A n

Sklare, Marshall; America's

Outline of Process: Jewish Identity Program­

Inc., New York, (1971)

Jews, Random House,

In a world characterized by conscious awareness of the need and the will to bring into being national interdependence, the causes of international migration will be other than those caused by man's inhumanity to man ... among the consequences of such migration will be the broadening of man's horizons ...

The right to leave one's country is a basic
human right. Socrates regarded it as an
"attribute of personal liberty." The Magna
Carta incorporated it for the first time into
national law. The French Constitution of 1791
provided for the same guarantee, and an act of
the U.S. Congress in 1868 declared that "the
right of expatriation is a natural and inherent
right of all people, indispensable to the
enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness."
In considering the right to leave, there is
frequent association with the concept of a
"refugee" and with the crossing of borders in
order to seek asylum outside one's country or
place of residence. However, it should be
noted that there are situations (e.g. in both
hemispheres) where some people within their
country of residence or nationality are
oppressed and uprooted from, or impeded
from living in accordance with, their culturalreligious roots which are distinctive and different from the majority culture.
Whether the refugee is within an inhospit­
able country or elsewhere, his position is
especially precarious. As Dr. Paul Weiss,
formerly director of the Legal Division of the
United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, pointed out:
This

is due to

the fact

that

in

this

link

is

not

effective,

it

has

been

b r o k e n . . .Refugees may be stateless or not.
It is not their nationality status but the
absence

of protection

determining

element

by a state

which is a

of their refugee

charac­

ter. It would therefore in the case of refugees
and stateless persons who have been called
"flotsam, res nullius," "a vessel on the open
sea not sailing under any flag," be more
proper to speak of de facto

and de

jure

unprotected persons.'

Political, religious or economic oppression,
and military pressure are among the principal
elements creating the refugee, who, according
to the internationally accepted definition, is:
an individual who owing to well-founded fear
of being persecuted for reasons of

race,

religion, nationality, membership of a parti­
cular social group or political opinion, is
outside the country of his nationality and is
unable, or owing to such fear, unwilling to
avail

himself

of

the

protection

of

that

country; or, w h o , not having a nationality of
being outside the country o f his

former

habitual residence as a result of such events,
is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling
to return to it.2

The plight of the refugee
perceptively described as being:

has

been

Isolated in an anarchy that he did not create,

classic

international law nationality is considered as

he is overwhelmed

the link between the individual and interna­

belonging. H e lost his social status when he

tional law

In the case of the refugee,

Conference of the International Council of Volun­
tary Agencies, Leysin, Switzerland, December 6-11,
1976.

by his

sense

of

not

lost his economic status. Deteriorating in the
1 Paul

* Based on a Paper presented at the General

370

York

Weiss, Human

Rights

and

Refugees,

1966, pp. 1-2.
2

R e v i s e d 1951 U . N . Convention Relating to the

Status of Refugees. Article 1(2).

371

frustration of camp life . . . he lives in despair
in a moral v a c u u m .

A brief survey of the refugee situation by

3

continents will provide an overview of this

In the 17th century religious wars caused the
migration of people who would not accept
religious persecution. A hundred years later,
due to the power policy of absolute dynasties,

painful situation.
Africa
Algerian independence

in 1962

impelled

many citizens of such countries preferred to

over a million persons to migrate, primarily to

leave and settle abroad.

France. The recent Algerian-Moroccan dispute

Political as well as religious

persecution

characterized the second half of the

19th

century. At that time men fled in order to go to

over the Sahara area given up by Spain impels
additional new refugees to seek asylum.
Also

during

the

sixties,

ferment

arose

freedom

elsewhere on the African continent causing

and freedom of speech and thought. Certain

displacement of peoples. Thousands of Asian

regimes tried to prevent their going but despite

white collar, professionals, technicians and

this many fled to the Americas. Migration on a

merchants have been displaced in parts of East

countries which offered economic

scope heretofore unknown raised the United

Africa, as well as large numbers of highly

States of America within two centuries from a

trained

country of medium size, lying on the periphery

distrusted by local peoples as controlling their

of the world, to a great power.

government administration or certain fields of

The

1974 (the latest

published)

annual

economic

or

administrative

elites,

economic activity.
Among such displaced peoples in the early

survey issue of the World Refugee Report
issued by the U.S. Committee for Refugees

1960s were also the Dahomeyans who staffed

indicated

the colonial civil

there

were

14,195,451

political

service in French

West

refugees, as in the following table, as well as

Africa. The Balubas of Katanga Province in

500,000 additional refugees resulting from the

the Congo, another administrative elite, fled
fearing reprisals from others of the region

drought in Africa.

should the Katanga secession succeed.
Total World Refugee Population

About 300,000 Balubas returned to their
ethnic homeland, Kasai Province, within the

1973

Area

1972

Asia

9,389,427

8,581,230

Middle East

1,887,645

2,328,989

Africa

1,263,291

1,105,217

Europe and
United Kingdom
Western Hemisphere

During the struggle for independence, tens
of

thousands of

Mozambicans

ha...

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Keywords

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