Historically, the sociological study of migration patterns has focused on "push factors" and "pull factors" - conditions that cause people to leave one area and to be attracted to another. Current research on this topic has used more complex approaches that take into account larger-scale processes such as the international demand for labor and the shift of capital across national boundaries."
The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology (2000).
Retrieved 13 December 2003, from xreferplus. http://www.xreferplus.com/entry/724104
In The Dictionary of Human Geography (2000), racism is defined as
an "ideology of difference whereby social significance is attributed to culturally constructed categories of race. Racism is 'an ideology which ascribes negatively evaluated characteristics in a deterministic manner ... to a group which is additionally identified as being in some way biologically ... distinct' (Miles, 1982, p. 78). Such ideological distinctions invariably lead to discrimination and racialized inequality.
Racism can take various forms, from the 'scientific' racism of the nineteenth century to the 'cultural' racism of today where the emphasis is on supposedly 'inherent' cultural differences rather than on innate biological differences. Discourses of 'race', like ideologies of gender, attempt to ground themselves in nature though they are both socially constructed".
Retrieved 13 December 2003, from xreferplus. http://www.xreferplus.com/entry/734624
"According to international law, a refugee is a person fleeing from oppressive or dangerous conditions (such as political, religious, or military persecution) and seeking refuge in a foreign country. In 1995 there were an estimated 27 million refugees worldwide; their resettlement and welfare is the responsibility of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). An estimated average of 10,000 people a day become refugees. Women and children make up 75% of all refugees and displaced persons. Many more millions are ‘economic’ or ‘environmental’ refugees, forced to emigrate because of economic circumstances, lack of access to land, or environmental disasters.
The Geneva Convention only applies to victims of persecution, not to those fleeing civil war or violent disturbances at home.
Between 1985 and 1989 the number of refugees doubled worldwide.
Internally displaced people, who have been forced to leave their homes but not crossed their country's borders, are not recognized as refugees; they were estimated to number at least 26 million in 1995".
The Hutchinson Encyclopedia, Helicon (2001).
Retrieved 13 December 2003, from xreferplus. http://www.xreferplus.com/entry/1105959
Tasks for Students Why are definitions particularly important for this topic?
According to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (the Geneva Convention) a refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable, or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it" (Art. 1A(2)).
For more definitions, see the Migration Information Glossary at http://www.migrationinformation.org/Glossary/
See 'The Single European Act and the road toward the Treaty of the European Union (1986-1992)'
1999 The Amsterdam Treaty provides for a common asylum system.
2004 Target date for developing the European Union into an area of freedom, security and justice, including a first phase of the establishment of a common European asylum system.
'A single roof for asylum in the European Union'
Council of Europe Recommendation 1440 (2000)
Restrictions on asylum in the member states of the Council of Europe and the European Union
"In recent years, many European governments have introduced restrictions in their immigration and asylum policies and practices with a view to substantially reducing the number of refugees and asylum seekers on their territory. These restrictions are reflected and amplified in the ever more intensive efforts by the European Union to harmonise the asylum and immigration policies and practices of its member and applicant states.
Restrictive policies and practices may be classified into four types
Tasks for Students Why do EU countries appear to be so reluctant to fulfil their human rights and humanitiarian obligations to the full?
Andrew Geddes (1997) in 'Fortress Europe: Immigration Policy Fact or Phantom?' asks whether racism in Europe has changed from being 'ethnocentric' to being 'eurocentric'.
He concludes that "Even though there is resurgent ethnocentrism which makes itself manifest in racist and anti-immigrant political mobilisation the forces of ethnocentrism are strongly opposed to both immigration and European integration because both threaten the far-right’s idea of the nation".
New Immigration legislation pending in Germany
Original Act declared unconstitutional because of dispute over voting in Bundesrat.
"In the case of work-related immigration it was important to comply with a demand voiced by employers, something we consider to be right, and that is to establish a clear priority for the domestic labor force," Schröder said just before the bill was voted on in the Bundestag. The rule to be followed is that if a job can be filled by a person from the domestic workforce then preference is to be shown for the latter. It is only if this is not the case that applicants for immigration are to be given consideration.
Update at http://www.bundesregierung.de/en/dokumente/-,10001.747136/Artikel/dokument.htm(not accessible 4/12/05)
The authors say that in France, the term 'immigrant' is used inaccurately and in a perjorative way to describe migrant workers from Southern Europe, asylum seekers from S.E.Asia, Latin America & the Middle East, French citizens from the French Overseas departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique etc. and people from what used to be the French Empire in North Africa, many of whom accepted french citizenship on independence.
White French culture has a strong strand, deriving from the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, of perceiving other cultures as inferior. A key principle of French colonialism was 'assimilation' - imposing French values and practices on colonised peoples and incorporating their elites into French culture.
Asylum seekers - 12,500 in 1989 - doubled since 1986.
Long waiting times for applications to be heard - applicants may be kept in custody.
Deportations 1,578 in 1985 - rose to 3,101 in 1989
1989 4 Kurdish asylum seekers had applications refused and were deported - Immigration Appeal Tribunal eventually found the deportation to be unlawful but, by this time, one of the deportees had been arrested & tortured in Turkey.
1990 European Commission of Human Rights found that the deportation of 5 Turks was contrary to the Human Rights Convention.
'Migrants: Facing the Clampdown' Labour Research February 1991.
2003 The Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill is the fifth asylum Bill in eleven years and Labour's third since 1997.
"The government had indicated that the two-tier appeal system of adjudicator and Tribunal was to be replaced by a one-tier appeal. What it had not indicated before the Bill's publication was that rights of appeal and review from the Tribunal to the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords were also to be abolished. The 'ouster' clause proclaims that 'no court may entertain proceedings for questioning' the Tribunal's decisions, which are to be final".
"But it appears to enshrine into law the concept that those who are not citizens of this country are entitled only to a curtailed and second-class justice system, thus undermining the universality of the human rights protection which was hitherto recognised as the birthright of every human being".
'Concern at new asylum measures' by Frances Webber 1 December 2003http://www.irr.org.uk/2003/december/ak000001.html
Tasks for Students Can you make two or three generalizations about the differences between the approaches of the three countries above?
'Fortress Europe pulls up the drawbridge' June 3, 2002 The Guardian
|‘Immigration and Asylum as Political Issues in the European Union’ by Andrew Geddes|
|‘Fortress Europe: Immigration Policy Fact or Phantom?’ by Andrew Geddes
|'Asylum seekers in Europe: What Difference has the EU Made?' by Jan Findlater
|Amnesty Report 'Get it Right: How Home Office Decision Making Fails Refugees'
|'2003 Global Refugee Trends', United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
|World Refugee Survey 2003 http://www.refugees.org/newsroomsub.aspx?id=1062|
|United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home|
|'Introduction to Asylum in Europe' from European Council on Refugees and Exiles http://www.ecre.org/factfile/facts.shtml|
|Human Rights Watch on Refugees http://www.hrw.org/refugees/|
|Migration Information Source http://www.migrationinformation.org/|
|Asylum Support http://www.asylumsupport.info/about.htm|
|OneWorld Guide to Refugees http://www.oneworld.net/guides/migration|
Review of 'Dirty, Pretty Things' (2002), directed by Stephen Frears.
'Frears' film focuses on the usually unseen world of the capital's illegal immigrants, the invisible people who keep its economy running smoothly'.
Page created by Penny Welch October 2000/ updated December 2005
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