Migratory flows to Europe in the mid-twentieth century
Ab initio, in the Europe of the sixties, immigration was closely related to the labor market, -mainly in central and northern Europe- extra-community labor was required, much of that labor came from the countries of the southern Europe, including Spain.
Without wishing to be exhaustive, as it is not the purpose of this article, the migratory flows in Europe in the sixties took place in a context of economic growth that needed to feed on a considerable number of people – mostly without qualifications – who contributed their granite sand to the development of some European countries. In other words, the flows of people, mainly towards the center and north of Europe, yearned for a job that was forbidden to them in their countries of origin.
At this time, from my point of view, a part of the people who come to the Old Continent, do not come looking for a job, they arrive with the perspective and illusion of being welcomed, because they are aware that the crisis is also hitting the markets labor in the European Union. So what is it about? Are they refugees or migrants?
It is important to differentiate between refugees and migrants
Refugees flee from armed conflict or persecution, while migrants are people who voluntarily choose to move to improve their living conditions, indeed, they continue to maintain their passport and the protection of their government.
I think it is appropriate to recall that according to the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy of Language, a refugee is the «Person who, as a result of wars, revolutions or political persecution, is forced to seek refuge outside their country», and to migrate is «Move from the place where you live to a different one».
Therefore, confusing refugees and migrants can have serious consequences on the lives and safety of refugees. Mixing the two terms diverts attention from specific legal protections that refugees require. It can undermine public support for refugees and the institution of asylum at a time when more refugees than ever need such protection. We need to treat all human beings with respect and dignity. We need to ensure that the human rights of migrants are respected. At the same time, we also need to provide an adequate legal response for refugees, due to their particular problem.
Indeed, in our country, specifically in the Canary Islands, but without forgetting the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla and the south of the peninsula, it is not possible to face the migratory phenomenon from an exclusively national perspective, indeed, it is an issue that the Member States of the European Union – and those that are not -, we must confront in a joint way.
Now, are the people who arrive in the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla and the south of the peninsula as refugees? From my point of view they are not, at least not all, and therefore cannot be treated as such. I think it is appropriate to recall that according to the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy of Language, a refugee is the «Person who, as a result of wars, revolutions or political persecution, is forced to seek refuge outside of his country».
In the context of what was stated in the preceding paragraph, I must remember what I stated at first, that is, migratory flows in Europe in the second half of the 20th century took place in a context of economic growth that needed to feed on a considerable number of people – mostly without qualifications. In other words, the flows of people yearned for a job that was forbidden to them in their countries of origin.
And what can be done? Go ahead it is not easy; Taking as a starting point that the idea of trying to reduce the weight of migration is to see its causes, we must focus on:
- The lack of a real democracy in many countries.
- The need for deep reforms.
- Stop relying on grants.
- Policies that trap people in poverty.
- The absence of educational policies that end illiteracy.
- The lack of sanitary infrastructures.
- The widespread corruption.
- The legal security vacuum al.
- The lack of opportunities in general.
In line with what has been stated, the problem is that, at present, our societies also yearn for opportunities and jobs for their members, and not only are they not capable of generating them, but there is a deficit of them.