Start News The number of refugees will increase dramatically in the coming decades

The number of refugees will increase dramatically in the coming decades

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Never before have there been so many refugees as today, around 70 million people worldwide. They flee from war, violence, oppression and bondage. They flee from impoverishment, economic hardship and lack of prospects, from natural disasters and the consequences of climate change. Every two seconds, somewhere on our planet, a human becomes a refugee – every second person is a child or adolescent.

It is hard to imagine the extent of the global escape movements. In just a few years, it could be over 80 million people. That would then correspond to the population of Germany. Only a small part of it will be accepted in the increasingly isolated industrialized countries. The vast majority will live a life of abject poverty in underdeveloped countries.

Many will try to reach the prosperous North. This is already happening on the way through Mali, Niger and Libya with a subsequent trip across the Mediterranean towards Europe. Likewise in Central America, where refugees and migrants headed for the United States.

Migrants or refugees?

The boundaries between migration and escape are fluid. Through migration, people hope to find better living conditions in another area or country. By fleeing people want to escape existential emergencies. Existential emergencies are no longer just wars, violence, oppression and persecution. For a long time, this has also included the increasingly noticeable effects of climate change, overpopulation and the growing scarcity of resources.

„Any migration leads to conflicts, regardless of what triggers them, what it is based on, whether it happens voluntarily or involuntarily, and what scale it adopts,“ wrote Hans Magnus Enzensberger in his 1992 essay „The Great Migration.“ „Group egoism and xenophobia,“ he continues, „are anthropological constants that precede justification.“

Group enmity and xenophobia are obviously increasing in affluent countries. A significant indicator of this is the emergence of right-wing populist and often xenophobic groups, which have little or no interest in looking after the fate of refugees and their reasons for fleeing.