Emmaus International


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An Increasing Number of Wars

Almost a third of countries are currently in a conflict situation. The World Bank estimates that 250,000 people died in conflicts in 2015. The ideal of universal peace put forward after WW2 when the UN was created is becoming more and more distant.


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Costly Conflicts

In 2015 the cost of war totalled $13.6 trillion ($13,600 billion), or 13.3% of global GDP.
For the first time since 2011 global military spending increased in 2015 and the military industry in rich and emerging countries prospers from these shocking figures.
Global military spending was calculated at just under $1.7 trillion ($1,700 billion) in 2016 whilst public international development aid was just over $80 billion.


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Selective Freedom of Movement

International laws on mobility are created and controlled by the richest countries in order to serve their needs and interests.
Merchandise (including weapons) and capital flow freely around our planet, as do nationals of OECD countries, with no prior authorisation required. But the poorest, if their labour cannot be exploited in slavery-like conditions (domestic work, agricultural day workers, etc.), are denied access by ultra-militarised and high-security barriers.


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Fictitious “Migratory Invasion”

International migrants account for just 3% of the global population; the remaining 97% of people are sedentary. In 2015 southern countries welcomed almost 30% of global migrants despite having less capacity to do so than richer northern countries.


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Migration Policies with Unacceptable Human and Financial Costs

Since the year 2000 46,000 people have gone missing or died whilst trying to cross a border. In 2014 and 2015, more than 5,000 deaths and disappearances occurred each year, 70% of which were recorded in the Mediterranean.
The budget for border closures and controls is continuously increased: between 2000 and 2015 Europe spent more than 13 billion euros on stopping migrants from entering their countries or on sending them back.



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Categorising and Creating Competition amongst Migrants

Freedom of movement is a fundamental right championed by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (articles 13.1, 13.2 and 14.1).

However, States constantly draw distinctions amongst migrating people on the basis of the causes and conditions of their departure (international migrants or displaced people, political refugees, legal migrants, illegal migrants, economic migrants, climate migrants, displaced migrants, etc.) whilst the reality for these people is actually quite similar and there is never just one reason why people migrate.

Accepting just a small minority (most often political refugees and victims of war) makes it seem legitimate to turn away the majority and makes them even more stigmatised as they are 'undesirable'.


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