While most colonies got their independence decades ago, many countries are still ruled under a heavy hand of strong men, often aided by international powers and free to exploit global economic systems. Many fear that we are headed into a new global debt crisis, while the debtors have changed to more ruthless nations, whilst the indebted countries have yet to recover from the last global debt crisis. For the first time since the cold war we see an increase in armed conflicts, but the nature of the conflicts has changed into a more scattered and chaotic geopolitical reality. Wealthier nations continue to hold the bargaining chips, while developing countries rich in natural resources experience the natural resource course. As the discrepancy in global wealth continues to grow the migration streams of the world are being heavily funnelled into already developed countries as economic differences consolidate even further.

 

  • In what ways can nations tackle their dependency on loans and foreign direct investments? How does increasing differences and continuous uneven power relations drive migration?
  • How can the global community find sustainable solutions to the vast global economic challenges and create a more just, and even global economy? And will this increase migration, or will it thwart it?
  • Does the UN and other over-national organisations consolidate already unfair and uneven global power relations?

History's greatest forced migration was the Middle Passage of the Atlantic slave trade during the 15th through the 19th centuries. Today, wars, human traffickers and human smugglers force many to abandon their homes and livelihood to seek safety elsewhere. There are an estimated 35.9 million people held in slavery today. This horrific act has continued to not only survive but thrive as an immensely profitable business despite Article 49, the Fourth Geneva Convention which specifically forbids forced displacement and The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. People who have to flee their homes are often met with suspicion, or even hostility, but have no choice. But they come from difficult backgrounds, with issues of their own. This can require a lot of resources on the end of receiving communities. How can we ensure the safety of people in need, without exasperating receiving communities? · What are the challenges associated with forced migration? How can we find solutions to these challenges? · When is it legitimate for host communities to deny access for forced migrants? How can we discuss this demanding topic in a fruitful manner? · What really is forced migration? Do we need a new way to define who needs refugee status, either more inclusive or more precise?

Who am I?

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines identity as: “who a person is, or the qualities of a person or group that make them different from others”, and nationality as: “official right to belong to a particular country” and “a group of people with the same race, traditions, religion etc.” What happens when a person becomes a part of two different identities and nationalities or when such person is bi-racial? The children who experience these are often referred to as “Third Culture Kids”. Preconceived notions about race still exist towards such person’s identity. According to statistics from OECD, 250 million people live outside the countries of their birth. This is 3.6 percent of the global population. These people and their families have the culture from their home countries and they also become a part of the culture in their host countries. ‘Caught in the middle’ on which culture or race to associate with, they may feel not accepted in the societies they are and may consider migrating elsewhere to escape prejudice. - How does race or culture affects migration? - What social, emotional and cultural issues do second generation or bi-racial immigrants face? - Are immigrants considered part of the cultural identity? Shouldn’t immigrant change their identities to be a part of the host nation?

  • How does race or culture affect migration?
  • What social, emotional and cultural issues do second generation or multi-ethnical immigrants face?
  • Can one expect immigrants or second-generation immigrants to assimilate? Or should host communities adapt to become multicultural and diverse?

Are you interested in the UN? Do you like to discuss world problems? In this workshop you will simulate the UN Security Council. Together you will discuss issues related to migration. In the end you will end up with a "resolution". This resolution could be an attempt at resolving the refugee crisis. Participants will represent one country and its interests. Throughout the workshop, participants will look into how their country is dealing with migration. Furthermore, we will discuss various questions in plenary. Through the discussion, we will shine a light on how each country looks at refugees and how each country relies on issues related to migration and integration.

Modern slavery?

Human trafficking is the action of illegally transporting people from one nation to another, often for the purpose of forced labour, or illegal sex work. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour today. Out of the 21 million it is estimated that 71 percent are women and children. Several sources will also claim that human trafficking is the modern form of slavery. Human trafficking has become a global challenge, and it is estimated to be the second largest illegal economy in the world. International organizations like the UN and the Council of Europe are working against human trafficking. In recent time, news media have uncovered troubling scenarios of migrants trapped in Libya auctioned and sold as slaves.

  • How can we stop human trafficking? How can we create a global focus on this topic?
  • Do we need a global justice system to stop modern slavery? Is it the role of the international community to counter-act human trafficking?
  • Is the global economic inequality driving desperate people into the grasp of exploitation and human trafficking?

In or out?

Popular culture is part of our everyday lives whether we want it or not. Movies and serials you watch are part of it. Same with books, games and comics, anime, fashion, celebrities, influencers, traditions, shows, and parties, all these and even more are part of the well-known popular culture. Globalization through entertainment has helped to bring this to our doorsteps and shape our thinking and culture. Migration of people has made cultural export and imports possible. Although the United States may be the harbinger within the phenomenon of cultural globalization, it is important to keep in mind that this is not an entirely one-way street. Many other countries also contribute to global culture. The cinema is a good example of a channel that integrates elements from more than one culture. Today we are living in a mixed culture which affects the way we greet, talk or share opinion. Popular culture may also come with some negative tendencies on national identities and cultures.

  • How is popular culture influenced by migration? In what ways does popular culture change societies?
  • Is the spreading of popular culture making the world more homogenous, or does it open up for a wider spread and exchange of cultural experiences?
  • Does popular culture encourage migration?

For the first time in history more people are living in cities rather than the countryside. Everywhere metropolis’ are attracting people from rural areas, and the idea of a city life with all the possibilities associated with it is driving people from farms to high-rise buildings. The urban to rural migration is the biggest migration trend, and urbanization brings with it possibilities, socio-economic movement and cultural exchange. Yet urban environments pose challenges to health, can often lead to a life in poverty and ghettofication and concentrate social challenges such as inequality and discrimination. Yet people across the world seek the urban life, why is that?

  • Why do the cities have such a great pull on people? Should we try to maintain the population in rural areas?
  • What challenges do moving to a city pose for a migrant? And what opportunities do the urban life offer to it’s migrants?
  • How can cities enable migrants to thrive? And how do migrants contribute to cities?

History is a set of lies agreed upon

A hot topic these days is migration, but how was migration in the old days? And how did these migrations affect countries of old? Can we compare the migrations of old with the great migration that is going on now? It is said that ‘’All road leads to Rome’’. How true is this statement in relation to today’s challenges of migration? Who are the ancestral land owners of your community or country and who owns the piece of ground first? In the past years through conflicts and wars, people and communities have been subjugated, driven out of their ancestral homes or captured as slaves, and their lands forcefully taken from them. Most nations states today did not begin by the present day population. People have always been migrating in search of food, fertile soil, minerals deposits and other natural resources.

  • How did conflict and wars affect migration and population?
  • Are present day communities a reflection of the early ancestors?
  • How have human movement throughout history shaped our current societies?

 

Migration is not necessarily a topic just about people. Throughout history, where people have move, we have had the spread of religions, political ideas and ideologies. A great example is the democracythat originated in ancient Greece, which is now practiced throughout the world either in complete or partial form. Communism that originated in Germany in the 19th century spread as far as China! Ideologies are the foundation upon which humans have ordered their societies, and will continue to bea force of change or social cohesion. Ideologies can migrate to the farthest corner of the earth, and as humans move further and more often the different ideologies we have will clash more often. Ideas are a powerful thing, and drives us further in our search for a good society.

  • How have migration and ideologies interacted in the past? And how will they interact in the future?
  • How do different ideologies allow for different understanding of migrants and migration?
  • How has migration shaped the world through the spreading of ideologies? How will migrants shape future ideologies?
  • Do we need new global ideologies to better find sustainable solutions to our common challenges?

The culture of music and performing arts and other forms of entertainment has a universal language. It is what binds us together. Humanity though from different nationalities can connect and chorus in unison the language of the soul – music in a creative imagination and presentation. It is usual to known and follow artist, celebrities from a far distant shores and connect with their lifestyles as an idol in this age. We have opportunities to observe Art work (paintings and sculpture) also, from distant shores that have either migrated legally or illegally to our private or national museums. Other forms of entertainment are also a hinge in our time. Art and entertainments has brought on popular culture that influences behaviours and alter national cultures. Entertainment through visual art and its culture also influences people’s ways of life. All forms of art and entertainments are no longer local to their origin as it has all migrated out. These forms of migration unite the global community and have its own downsides which include, gansterism, vices, intellectual property theft and so on.

  • Art and entertainment have long united us; how have this driven migration?
  • In what way have arts been influenced by migration?
  • Art can unite us, but it can also be a manifestation of power. How can arts divide and cause conflict?

“Religion and migration are two sides of the same coin’’ Ulrich Hemel.


Humans have always migrated, beginning with our ancestors ‘Out Of Africa.’ As people move away from their countries of origin into new hosts communities we see that people often like to live among people from the same cultural backgrounds. The people who have migrated start establishing their own religious and cultural communities in their new region. These religious communities act as support groups and bring about unity of its members. While at the same time there is a tendency of sub-communities who do not interact with the general society in which they live in. The lack of integration of migrants may give rise to concern and fear within the host communities, and cause social tension between migrants and host communities.

  • How does religion affect migration, asylum seekers, refugees, and economic migrants?
  • Is religion a positive or negative factor when it comes to creating communities where both “migrants” and “locals” can create a good and sustainable society?
  • How can we learn from the history of religious migration, and how will faith shape the migration of the future?

Harder, better, faster, stronger

The rise of Information Communication Technology (ICT) has decreased physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale. This has led to increased information about other parts of the world, making it easier and faster to move to other locations either because of better opportunities, beautiful scenery or more wealth.

Each year a lot of money is invested in developing technology further, and ideas migrate across borders like never before. Technology is used in general development of science to better human lives. Technology is simply an important export product and an integral part for many countries, resulting in Smart Cities and Internet of Things (IoTs), giving rise to urbanization of the world into giant cities that requires experts to run
and maintain. However, other developing countries are yet to grasp the use of the internet, and they hardly measure up with the impact and pace of the strides in technological advancements. In many ways, a more united world makes it easier than ever for people to move to other countries either for work, for love or because they are forced to.

  • What kind of impact does technology have on migration? Will technology enable or hinder
    migration across the globe?
  • Will technology bring the world closer, or divide us?
  • Is technology meant for all? Where will we have to move to use technology?
  • Can technology help us migrate into new worlds, and maybe even colonize space in the
    future?

Hidden numbers

It is approximated that 10 to 15% of the world’s international migrants are undocumented. They contribute to the labour force and are often not counted as parts of the statistics. Thus, they are hidden in plain sight. These migrants economic background makes them vulnerable and often victims of smugglers or exploited in harsh working conditions. They are the ones doing the menial jobs with less pay, and suffer humiliation, abuse, torture and even death. They work long hours with less pay and live under vulnerable conditions without rights and privileges. But they are also integral for several industries, and have migrated often knowing what they are getting themselves into. They endure these conditions for search of a better life for themselves or their children. The exploitation of undocumented migrant workers is a global issue and the situation for undocumented migrants are often horrendous.

  • Should undocumented migrants have rights, and do we need international laws and regulations to protect them? Or do we need stricter control of borders to stop people from moving into destitute and exploitation?
  • Should labour rights and equal pay be extended to undocumented migrants and domestic workers?
  • What can be done to stop exploitations of undocumented immigrants? And how can nations regulate these hidden numbers?

Most of the American Nobel Prize winners have had an immigrant background, researchers and academics move to pursue their careers in universities in the West, while skilled labour moves into high income nations. At the same time, people from underdeveloped nations pursue education with the ambition of gaining more academic knowledge in renowned universities to later return “home” with new skills and perspectives. Sports persons, academic researchers, health practitioners, scientists, economist, experts and skilled workers have acquired new nationalities where they may have better opportunities in the developed economies. However, in India there is a blooming tech industry created by people who have learned skills in the American tech industry. The motivations and drivers of skilled migration are complex and deserve a thorough discussion, and can sending nations find a way to gain from people moving abroad in search of a brighter future for themselves and their communities?

  • Can brain drain be stopped? Or should it be viewed as a positive for the sending countries?
    Are the effects of brain drain on developing nations sustainable for them?
  • Are the developed nations luring experts from the developing nations rather than help them
    develop locally?
  • Is it okay to move from a society that has invested greatly in your education? How can
    countries provide a sustainable future for their population?

Sit and take a plate

Food is essential to human life, and everywhere we have travelled, we have brought food and food traditions with us. If you give some thought to where your food is from, the spices it contains and where the vegetables are grown you have probably come to realise that the food has travelled. And as cultures meet, and traditions fuse, we get new dishes, new ideas Food has the potential to create dynamics of inclusion, helping us to address the unprecedented migration challenge of the next decades. In a hyper-connected world, food is more available, and might bring us together more than it used to. But as societies become more and more global, distribution of food will be more essential. It is estimated that about 16 percent of the world’s population depends on food produced elsewhere. By 2050, that number will jump to 50 percent. With the exhaustion of farmland and the ways that climate change will impact arable land; half of the world’s population could rely on food imports. While some grow fat, others live in scarcity and are malnourished. In the EU alone, around 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually. Do you know where the food you eat come from?

  • In what ways will food migration bring our societies together?
  • Can we find sustainable global solutions to food distribution? Or do we need national dependency?
  • How have migrants contributed to different food cultures throughout the world? How have they changed what you find on your table?

Exchanging ideas

Inequality in our societies results to some never having the level playing field to develop in life. The quota system of education is also a factor. Hence, the process of knowing new things, the search for a better performance, the desire to develop skills already learned are the main aspects that lead to those who are erudite or simple people with thirst for learning, migrate to new lands. As a result, they contribute through idea exchange in developing their host countries. Some achieve this through exchange programmes, educational research, or they work and pay tax to help develop the host communities. Educational migrants bring with them new ideas and new way of thinking. Let us not forget also that migrant’s children suffer some social barriers to educational success in their host communities.

  • What would the world look like if everyone had equal opportunities to receive education?
  • Is quota system a good way to go about changing educational inequalities? Do you think education can contribute to eradicate discrimination of all forms?
  • Are there challenges for those seeking education elsewhere?

Building Walls or Bridges?

As a result of wars and internal conflicts large numbers of people have fled their home countries to more peaceful regions. Not since the Second World War have this many people had to abandon their homes and communities in fear of their lives and search for a safe place. At the same time, we meet several dilemmas when we discuss the refugee crisis. Extremist tendencies among disenfranchised refugees, and a nationalist response to the influx of refugees into already hard pressed local communities. We also see a contrast between diversity and nationalism. Some countries who take in refugees have had their capacity stretched beyond their limits, and others shut down their borders to protect their communities. As the international community is struggling with finding a sustainable solution to the refugee crisis’s across the world tensions within receiving countries leads to a social unrest and a shift in the political dynamics of these countries.

  • How can we take care of people in need, but also address the concerns that receiving communities experience in facing the refugee crisis?
  • How can we face the challenges that occur with a sudden influx of people? How can we create a nuanced and open debate, so to find  sustainable solutions for refugees and host communities?
  • Should policy makers resolve the internal conflicts and issues resulting to mass refugees or an open door policy? What can be done differently?

The world is my nation

If you want to cross a border in todays world you will have to have a passport, or something else to identify you. Some nationalities have it extremely easy in entering other countries, and nations have banded together to create a common border based on shared values to make the flow of migrants easier and freer, but in the same effort excluding others. Many are oblivious of the privileges assured by their passports when moving to other locations. For others it is a great challenge when their passports are not recognised or even sanctioned against. The international regulations of human movements are based on unilateral deals, some modern and inclusive, other archaic and excluding. As we are tackling the challenges of migration, we need to look at how we govern our borders, and how to best combine the need to govern one’s borders but also to enable migration when it is needed.

  • Should cross-border movement be free, or do the nation-states have the right to strictly regulate their borders?
  • Will unbounded, free, and borderless movement make the world a better place, or would it have a negative impact on our common future?
  • Are the future regional spanning border deals such as the Schengen deal or the agreement between the East African nations for free movement? Or should we look beyond our regions? Or is it necessary to strengthen the border controls and ensure national control?

Unity in common challenges


Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world, accounting for three times more deaths in 2015 than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, according to a sweeping global study ‘The Lancet medical journal 2017.’ Climate change is one of today's biggest challenges, and will in the future be yet another stress factor on already volunerable communities.


Increased frequency of natural disasters, droughts and floods account for three times as many refugees and internally displaced people as war and conflict. According to Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), 26 million people are forced to leave their homes every year due to natural disasters. Due to
human caused natural degradation, parts of the world have become uninhabitable for humans, animals and marine lives and aquatic ecosystem. We have entered the anthroposcene (anthroposphere?), and we are driving more and more species to the brink of extinction.

  • In what ways can our common challenges surrounding to climate change lead to a more united world? Will we be able to band together to overcome this challenge?
  • Is it fair to hamper the development of rising economies with restraints on energy production? How will these add stress factors to an already unequal global system drive migration?
  • How will natural degradation contribute to the global migration patterns?

Visa approved! But there are groups out there who don’t possess travel documents or apply for Visas. It is Summer and we go on vacations. They too migrate in their seasons. We gave them quit notice to change location and we possess their territories. Ooops! May be they owed the mortgage man. Our crazy appetite for land grapping has made species of animals to lose their habitats, and this put them in further danger. Humans debates on accommodating Migrants but we force different kind of animals together in the same location. We create chaos in their colonies. We force them into abnormal behaviours by training their instincts to mimic and act for entertainment. We kill them also for our food and clothing’s. Animals have the right to migrate freely, but urbanization has claimed large portion of their territories with many going instinct. The future generations may only have their fossils to observe as we do Dinosaurs today. Hope they would not come together and bring upon us Planet of the Penguins?

  • In what ways have humans contribute to the disturbance of animal Kingdom? Do animals have exclusive right of their colonies?
  • Are we doing enough to preserve the different species of animals? 
  • What do you say about animal slaughter and animal entertainment?