Can We Solve The Migration Crisis? by Jacqueline Bhabha

The Blurb On The Back:

Every minute 24 people are forced to leave their homes; currently, more than 65 million are displaced worldwide.  Small wonder that tackling the refugee and migration crisis has become a global political priority.

Can this crisis be resolved and, if so, how?  In this compelling essay, Jacqueline Bhabha explains why forced migration demands compassion, generosity, and a vigorous acknowledgement of our shared dependence on human mobility as a key element of global collaboration.  Unless we develop humane “win-win” strategies for tackling the inequalities and conflicts driving migration and for addressing the fears fuelling xenophobia, innocent lives and cardinal human rights principles will be squandered in the service of futile nationalism and oppressive border control.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Jacqueline Bhabha is Professor of Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and in this essay (which is an okay primer but quite academic in tone and didn’t add much to my overall knowledge of the subject), she examines what constitutes a “crisis”, how we should evaluate the ethical issues relating to the current crisis, the applicable legal and administrative framework and what’s driving this forced migration.

Part of the issue for me was that Bhabha starts out by pitching the current migration crisis against historical migration patterns. I understand why she wanted to do that (to provide data points against which the current situation can be measured) but there’s a lot of supposition there to explain migration 2000 years ago. I was equally unconvinced by a section on religious responses to migration, which while making some interesting points about the responses of certain countries to the crisis (and also sets out their defence, which I found interesting).

Bhabha is better in the section on distress migration where she discusses the reasons for the same and makes interesting observations about drivers for the same (including the impact of climate change) and on the existing refugee mechanisms (which she describes in an easy to understand manner).

Ultimately, I think my main issue with the book was that having read the excellent Refuge: Transforming A Broken Refugee System by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier a few weeks ago, there wasn’t much here for me that was new.  Saying that, if you’re looking for an introduction to the topic then this is worth checking out.

CAN WE SOLVE THE MIGRATION CRISIS? was released in the United Kingdom on 2ndMarch 2018.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

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