The Migrant Crisis: A Moral Responsibility Only?

June 7, 2014 - Mediterranean Sea / Italy: Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa. More than 2,000 migrants jammed in 25 boats arrived in Italy June 12, ending an international operation to rescue asylum seekers traveling from Libya. They were taken to three Italian ports and likely to be transferred to refugee centers inland. Hundreds of women and dozens of babies, were rescued by the frigate FREMM Bergamini as part of the Italian navy's "Mare Nostrum" operation, launched last year after two boats sank and more than 400 drowned. Favorable weather is encouraging thousands of migrants from Syria, Eritrea and other sub-Saharan countries to arrive on the Italian coast in the coming days. Cost of passage is in the 2,500 Euros range for Africans and 3,500 for Middle Easterners, per person. Over 50,000 migrants have landed Italy in 2014. Many thousands are in Libya waiting to make the crossing. (Massimo Sestini/Polaris)
June 7, 2014 – Mediterranean Sea / Italy: Italian navy rescues asylum seekers

The global migrant crisis continues to unfold, and today we can certainly speak about a historic crisis, and the worst refugee crisis since World War II. As the number of political and economic refugees increases, so does the tension between countries and the opposition between those who welcome them and those who don’t. The migrant debate is very heated and very emotional, with feelings of fear and lack of security mixing with a sense of moral responsibility and empathy towards human misery. On one hand, the unemployment rates are already high, the integration of culturally different refugees is very expensive, and the whole migration process is out of control… On the other hand, just a short reference to the horrific incidents of a drowned Syrian boy, or dozens of dead refugees in a truck in Austria, and the humanly innate empathy kicks in.

Although emotions are very relevant in this situation, at times they block more objective reasoning and action. Currently, the main line of argument in the media and wider public goes something like this: ‘there are too many refugees, they are a burden, BUT we have our moral responsibility to take them in’. Yet, although rarely pronounced and often overlooked, there is also a more opportunistic mood in the air.

As highlighted in a recent Guardian article, ‘one of the ironies about Europe’s state of panic about migration across the Mediterranean is that for a number of years policymakers have been warning that Europe’s population is ageing and, in many countries, shrinking’. The same notion of the upcoming labor shortages was brought up also in one of my earlier blog posts. According to various forecasts, due to an aging population, continuously decreasing birth rates, and the retirement of the baby boomers, the mature economies are expected to experience significant labor shortages already by the year 2025. For example, it is projected that Germany will have a 23% labor gap by 2030. By that time, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Russia and Brazil will also experience a lack of working population. So, while the majority of our largest economies will face labor shortages, aren’t these economies exactly the places where refugees are headed to? And this is where some see the opportunities; here is where global business interests may converge with humanitarian interests.

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) argues that we should rather speak about refugee migration than about refugee resettlement. According to MPI’s report many refugees are educated and have technical or professional skills, which are currently wasted in endless waiting lines in refugee camps. Instead, this population could be allocated more effectively to fill labor market gaps, and businesses have an opportunity to engage proactively with this process.

The German Federal Employment Agency makes a similar point, urging German employers to tap into the potential of refugees. Indeed, many refugees are eager to work, and offer their professional qualifications, language skills, and their diversity. As for the latter, there is a host of benefits of diversity for business performance and employee satisfaction.

Naturally, turning refugees into employees is challenging, and different countries have different needs in terms of labor gaps. But this simply means that we need to gather knowledge about the skills of the global refugee population, and try to match these skills with global demand. We need to converge global business needs with our moral responsibilities, and make it work on a global scale. And we definitely need formal policies and order, as to reduce the emotional response induced by the chaotic and uncontrolled inflow of refugees. Yet, this can be done only through global cooperation and involvement of both the humanitarian and business sectors. Most important of all though is the initial change of perception from refugee to migrant, and from burden to opportunity.

249 thoughts on “The Migrant Crisis: A Moral Responsibility Only?

  1. i think one thing that needs to be done is a skills assessment of all refugees so that we dont end up having engineers and doctors working manual jobs when there is a shortage of these same professionals

  2. REFUGEES ARE PEOPLE WHO SUFFER FROM ONE ECONOMIC HARDSHIP OR THE OTHER BUT HAVE A MEANS OF ESCAPING FROM THEIR CURRENT ECONOMIC CONDITION FROM THE PERCEIVED GREENER PASTURE.MOST ARE SKILLED AND THAT CAN BE HARNESSED TO THE BETTERMENT OF THEIR HOST COUNTRIES

    1. US gobernment starts to deport illegal immigrants. But, have you ever wonder why a lot of mexicans are getting into USA? They are not risking their own life just to go into United States to robbering or to rape women http://ayokiukiu.com as Donald Trump said, because if this was their inention it could be easier to keep into Mexico to do these illegal activities. There is no need to be in danger to die while getting into USA through dangerous dessert

  3. Actually, Russia told some times before: if noone wanna stop war, soon we will get a lot of migrants… But nobody in Europe and USA didn’t lesson it….
    BTW, some part of migrant went to India, Saudian, and Russia. Not only to Europe!

  4. Well, I don’t think a single solution to the refugee crisis exists. Countries need to come together and brainstorm on how to find immediate and long-term solutions especially pertaining to how it affects individual countries.

  5. On the other hand, just a short reference to the horrific incidents of a drowned Syrian boy, or dozens of dead refugees in a truck in Austria, and the humanly innate empathy kicks in. :((

  6. Really an interesting article. I am totally shocked after reading this post. Countries need to come together and brainstorm on how to find immediate and long-term solutions.

  7. While i agree with most of the things written in the article, i can’t help but feel like a large amount of the west is to some extent to blame for the mass migrations – and therefore it is not just a moral responsibility, but a duty of ours as fellow citizens of the earth to provide a safe place for them to live and work.

    In the US, UK and western Europe, migrants are some of the most hardworking achievers. Steve Jobs was himself the son of migrants, as was Gary Vaynerchuk, Bernie Sanders etc.

    The Western world, in my opinion, should accommodate people from all parts of the world it has previously plundered or continues to. On my blog http://www.rupeebanyan.com – we are trying to teach Indian’s how they can make a solid global salary from the comfort of their own home.

    The internet is an opportunity hugely overlooked for those seeking entrepreneurial opportunity as opposed to a safe place from war.

  8. Really an interesting article. I am totally shocked after reading this post. Countries need to come together and brainstorm on how to find immediate and long-term solutions….

  9. A awesome article about moral responsibility. After reading this article I am totally shocked. I think we are responsible for this crisis. We have to do something for this urgently. Thanks for sharing this article.

  10. I think people need to be supported. Many refugees are prepared to work with good skills. I see nothing wrong and release migration.

  11. Refugees are people like us, but they don’t have a house nor a way to work and make a life by themselves. They are not a trouble if any government see them as potential workers and useful citizens to be.

  12. Most of them are young people unemployed who are not in the country of origin and do not want to change the situation . For these people the type of immigration plus the opportunity to have more without hard work

  13. I think the most important thing about refugees is not to reject them. A lot of people feel that their territory is being invaded by other people who will diminish the available space and resources, but this is not different from what the population grow will cause in their country with or without refugees coming into. Is a question of humanity and tolerance to receive those people in our countries without hesitations, and then, helping them to get another life at a country that is as foreign for them as they are for the inhabitants of the country.

  14. irrespective of the country of origin of refugees , we ought to help each other to solve this problem , because most of them are people who have a strong determination and wants to realize his dream of getting a safe and prosperous life

  15. Hello, the migrants are a serious problem that caused by conflict conditions in Middle East. Under today’s developments, they should be protected well by the governments.

  16. This inequality is created by the world powers.They must provide various grants to the poor countries.each rich country must adopt one African country and invest hugely in that country.So no migration crisis will happen in future.

  17. I was very excited to read this article. but no decision has been less precise .i think one thing that needs to be done is an assessment of the skills of all refugees so that we do not end up having engineers and physicians who work manual jobs when there is shortage of professionals alike..

  18. A lot of people feel that their territory is being invaded by other people who will diminish the available space and resources, but this is not different from what the population grow will cause in their country with or without refugees coming into.Not only a social responsibility but its a call for humanity too to take care of refugees who were compelled to migrate and are left with nothing.

  19. Really an interesting article.Interesting post about moral responsibility. I think the most important thing about refugees is not to reject them. A lot of people feel that their territory is being invaded by other people who will diminish the available space and resources, but this is not different from what the population grow will cause in their country with or without refugees coming into.

  20. Whatever politician can sort this out deserves a Nobel peace prize! This has been going on for centuries and has caused at its worst, wars. It’s about time we came up with a suitable solution for all concerned.

  21. It is indeed in the interests of a country of illegal immigrants is very troublesome because it will give the effect on the provision of budget, place, power and various kinds of social problems will arise. but in terms of humanitarian immigrants need to be handled voluntarily. in this case the role of the UN is crucial in providing the encouragement and radar in order to be obedient and submissive Member States against commitments together in UN

  22. There are several questions to answer.

    Is there really going to be a labor shortage with the current rate of technological innovation? It appears that technology is eliminating low skill jobs which would be good placements for migrants. So the cost of harboring and training a migrant a very advanced skill is extremely high. We have to consider pragmatism along with our morals.

  23. Unfortunately this will be not be the last time this will happen. Its the way we deal and manage the issue that is critical. After all they are all human beings with families.

  24. The crisis that migrants entering into United States are suffering is going to get harder for them from the moment Donald Trump gets into White House. This is going to add a suffering situation more to the migrating crisis arount the world. Then, the situation is going to get harder from the moment the US gobernment starts to deport illegal immigrants. But, have you ever wonder why a lot of mexicans are getting into USA? They are not risking their own life just to go into United States to robbering or to rape women as Donald Trump said, because if this was their inention it could be easier to keep into Mexico to do these illegal activities. There is no need to be in danger to die while getting into USA through dangerous dessert conditions where a lot of these people die from starving and thirst, or to get killed by US citizens who like to shot migrants to die if the reason is doing some illegal activity. The real reason is this: Do you know what is the minimum salary in Mexico? It is 73.04 pesos for an entire day of work. This is 3.65 dollars. Now, do you know how much does a mexican earn for some easy and humble job as washing the dishes in a restaurant in USA? He can earn three dollars an hour! This is a total of 24 dollars for a day of work. This is more than six times the money he would earn by working in Mexico. You can figure out by yourself why mexicans get illegally into USA just with the intention of working there and send the money they earn to their family back to Mexico. What do you think?

  25. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto
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  26. The refugees are peoples like us, is not their fault that the war destroyed their life and familys. Is our moral responsibility to help them and to integrate in our countrys. Many of them are doctors, engineers or working people and in context of the labor shortages these migrants could also help ours economy.

  27. No one country is obligued or has the obligation to receive migrants, but each human should help others when they are in danger or poverty, and these two conditions are emerging from countries which are in war or in dramatic economic conditions. Is a question of humanity to help those one who came toour contry looking for a chance to make aliving by their work and effort. They left their countries mostly because of lack of opportunities.

  28. I live in Mexico, and not everyone here know that once there was a social current against chinese migrants to avoid them to work and settle down. This is a useful example that even countries that claim to have an open mind attitude to migrants and claim others to have the same attitude, can be in some period of time, migrant opponent. I just wonder: why not open our countries to be multi-cultural and to receive others to work freely and to coexist in peace?

    1. and these two conditions are emerging from countries which are in war or in dramatic economic conditions. Is a question of humanity to help those one who came toour contry looking for a chance to make aliving by their work and effort. They left their countries mostly because of lack of opportunities.

  29. I think each country has their own set of quality of life issues so when you discuss migrants it’s just adding to a mounting stress. It seems that cost of living is rising anywhere so people are fearing a mass migration but with proper planning I think each country can orderly accept some and then the world is in a better place.

  30. migrants and claim others to have the same attitude, can be in some period of time, migrant opponent. I just wonder: why not open our countries to be multi-cultural and to receive others to work freely and to coexist in peace?

  31. Nobody nation is obligued or has the commitment to get transients, yet every human ought to help other people when they are in threat or destitution, and these two conditions are rising up out of nations which are in war or in sensational monetary conditions.

  32. I think each country has their own set of quality of life issues so when you discuss migrants it’s just adding to a mounting stress. It seems that cost of living is rising anywhere so people are fearing a mass migration but with proper planning I think each country can orderly accept some and then the world is in a better place.

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  33. migrants and claim others to have the same attitude, can be in some period of time, migrant opponent. I just wonder: why not open our countries to be multi-cultural and to receive others to work freely and to coexist in peace?

  34. Thanks for such useful information, You can’t stop these migrants, till the war in middle east and in some African countries not end. Right now the best policy follow by Australian Government, they are suffer a lot less from other Europeans. I think Europe should learn from them.

  35. I think the formation of a moral is not completely finished. There needs to be awareness of the self about to get a good behave morally good. Care for the environment is one of the manifestations of moral good. For example, do not aggravate environmental damage to the garbage

  36. What is the life of an undocumented in Spain like today? I have seen in the news and I have read that Spain is in an economic crisis, that there is unemployment or “unemployment” and that many of the Latins who were in Spain were returned by this situation and that even many Spaniards emigrate to other European countries .

    If someone knows agradesco in advance live in united kingdom

  37. No one nation is obligued or has the dedication to get transients, but each human ought to assist different individuals when they’re in menace or destitution, and these two circumstances are rising up out of countries that are in warfare or in sensational financial circumstances.

  38. Why every middle-east people abandon their own countries, mostly in the majority. I can not pass through without thinking what ‘s going on. Why people leave their own country. Why does nobody run from europe?

  39. We have this problem here in Spain as well, unfortunately this problem will exist for a long time because of the inequality of the regions. We are developed countries but undeveloped mentally.

  40. I agree with you that the number of political and economic refugees are increasing, so does the tension between countries and the opposition between those who welcome them and those who don’t.

  41. Every day, thousands of people embark on dangerous journeys to find a better life. Some are refugees fleeing conflict zones such as Syria, many others are in search of education for their children, jobs, better opportunities and freedom. All have aspirations and hopes for a better future.

  42. After I read this article, I got to have knowledge and add my insight, I happened to look for an article like this, it is very helpful for me and the crowd, the writing is good to read and easy to understand.

  43. ‘one of the ironies about Europe’s state of panic about migration across the Mediterranean is that for a number of years policymakers have been warning that Europe’s population is ageing and, in many countries, shrinking’.. thats real, i was check this

  44. Thank you for writing articles that are useful to me. During this time I was looking for a quality article as you write today. Hopefully, this article is also useful for other people who need articles like this.

  45. That’s really an interesting article, thanks! I think that migration is a normal process in case of humans, through history people always changed their places for living because of some reasons. Usually the main thing which causes migration is the bad environment for living in your home country and I think that this process is eternal because it’s really impossible to imagine ALL countries in their prosperity, there will be always poor and rich ones. However even if African countries for example will reach high economic level, some people will move to USA or Europe anyway, just because people always want to be somewhere where it’s better. It’s our feature, always trying to achive the best among all others…

  46. The issue for the United States is, what did we do to create all of this? The answer is practically everything we could. Those of us who took to the streets in 03 to protest the worst single act of aggression by the U.S. in modern history will just say told you so. It was clear, we had an imbecile at the helm and whatever Bush and company would do would only further destabilize more than one country. In this case, it’s spread up to Syria, so of course we are responsible for taking these people in. Just one more nail in the entire nightmare period that began in 1980 with Reagan. The United States is meeting it’s fate for the utter stupidity of the GOP’s modern day fantasy defense policies. It could have only happened by their hand.

  47. so of course we are responsible for taking these people in. Just one more nail in the entire nightmare period that began in 1980 with Reagan. The United States is meeting it’s fate for the utter stupidity of the GOP’s modern day fantasy defense policies. It could have only happened by their hand

  48. This is a good article. The issue of migration is a subject that causes much debate and that has to be resolved without affecting the population. I am totally shocked after reading this post. Countries need to come together and brainstorm on how to find immediate and long-term solutions

  49. Today countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and few more are offering immigration facilities to people worldwide. Then not offer the same to people who are well educated and skilled but waiting at the refugee camps. It would be like giving a home to homeless people. I think countries should think about it.

  50. The world is facing the refugee crisis since world war II. Be it Vietnam war, Korean War, Soviet-Afghan war or the recent Syrian Civil War. We must help each other and that will be the best service to humanity. European countries like Iceland and Greece are doing an awesome of holding more and more refugees from the middle east.

  51. Most of the migrants are Children & Women. It’s just pain everywhere. But countries like Canada, Australia,..are offering best immigration policies. All nations should come forward & put an end to this migration crisis.

  52. I think it’s supposed to be an immigrant crisis that happens in some of our mutual responsibilities, but tragically many countries do not allow immigrants to live safely in their country, so it’s really a very good conscience

  53. The issue for the United States is, what did we do to create all of this? The answer is practically everything we could. Those of us who took to the streets in 03 to protest the worst single act of aggression by the U.S. in modern history will just say told you so. It was clear, we had an imbecile at the helm and whatever Bush and company would do would only further destabilize more than one country. In this case, it’s spread up to Syria, so of course we are responsible for taking these people in. Just one more nail in the entire nightmare period that began in 1980 with Reagan. The United States is meeting it’s fate for the utter stupidity of the GOP’s modern day fantasy defense policies. It could have only happened by their hand.

  54. It was clear, we had an imbecile at the helm and whatever Bush and company would do would only further destabilize more than one country. In this case, it’s spread up to Syria, so of course, we are responsible for taking these people in. Just one more nail in the entire nightmare period that began in 1980 with Reagan. The United States is meeting its fate for the utter stupidity of the GOP’s modern-day fantasy defence policies.

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  58. This is the sad thing about how far the human race has gone.
    Once, thousands of years ago the world was not divided up Now we have borders that create problems for the people who truly OWN the whole world.
    Get rid of borders and there would be peace.

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  60. thanks: my translate this text to persian lang
    seomir
    سئو سایت در عمل با تئوری بافی تفاوت های معناداری دارد ….. حتی یک دکتری نرم افزار و استاد دانشگاه شریف هم نمیتواند تضمینی بر موفقیت در سئو سایت داشته باشد . افراد بی سواد زیادی در سطح شهر تحت عناوینی چون پدر سئو وب سایت ایران و… میگردد و در جلسات پرزنت چه بسیارند مدیرانی که در دام تئوری بافی و خوش حرفی آنها می افتند.

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