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Forced Migration

November 22, 2022

Woman in a Refugee Camp

Since before recorded history, humans have migrated, which is how the planet has become populated. From the first ancestors who trekked through grass fields to form paths, to horses and wagons, camels and oxen, bikes and cars, humans have been on the move.  

Then borders were drawn, national identities created, and migration became a policy regulated by newly defined governments. For millennia, humans have moved across these newly defined borders seeking opportunities for themselves. Sadly some countries colonized and enslaved masses forcing them into slavery and labor for political and financial gain and pushing the poisonous agenda of supremacy. Wars and poverty also drive forced migration as people become desperate and flee the places they were born.

Today in our modern world, more people live in foreign countries other than the one they were born in. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), “Worlds migration Report 2020” there are an estimated 272 Million Migrants globally. Two thirds of these are migrant workers who leave to find better employment in foreign countries. Although many of these migrants choose to leave their home countries out of choice, many do so out of necessity.

According to the U.N.H.C.R (U.N Refugee agency) “Figures at a Glance” 89.3 million people were forcibly displaced in 2021 of which 27 million are refugees. Almost 7 million of these are from Syria Arab Republic (Syria) alone with another 5.6 million from Palestine. Germany remains the most popular destination for migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe. According to the German Federal office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) 190 816 applications were submitted for asylum in German in 2021, of which 70 000 came from Syria, 32 000 came from Afghanistan and 17 000 came from Iraq. 

The distance from Syria to Germany is 3 700 km’s and it takes weeks and sometimes months to make the perilous journey traveling through Turkey, Lebanon and several European countries. Some make the journey on their own, some have friends and family who help and some rely on people traffickers. 

Reading real life stories of refugees and asylum seekers, the journey is heartbreaking. Below is an excerpt from a story of a Syrian family fleeing from Syria to Germany from Save The Children website.

“Being scared was a permanent state of mind. I was always scared,” said Achmed. “When I went to bed, I always wondered if I would wake up the next morning.” Eventually the violence became too much for Yaser and his wife, and they made the decision to uproot their family from their home in Syria in search of a better life in Germany. They were only able to make their long and difficult journey from sunset to sunrise so they would not be spotted. Young Hala lost her glasses during their trek. “Everything is already strange, but now it is also blurry,” she said. “It is very scary not to be able to see clearly. 

“They walked for days until they reached the boat that would carry them to Germany. The water was rough and the children were scared, but the family eventually made it. Now they must wait to register for asylum, a process that takes up to two weeks. During those two weeks the family must wait outside the registration center every day for their number to be called. There are no facilities or shelter from the rain.”

“I am tired of waiting here all day. We just stand in the rain,” said Achmed. “But I will tell you something: after everything we have been through, a bit of rain can’t hurt me.”

Many of those fleeing Syria and other countries take only what they can carry with them and as much cash as they have and rely on multiple 3rd parties to change that cash into local currencies in the various European countries they travel through. This process erodes the vital cash required to finally settle in their final destination and blockchain technology can play an extremely vital role in giving refugees and asylum seekers the sovereign ownership of their money during such a crisis.   

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