KUWAIT CITY, Oct 21: In this week’s Arab Times online poll, readers weighed in on the pull factors that make developed countries of North America, Europe, and Oceania, preferred destinations for migration today. The majority of respondents felt that the freedoms available and value attributed to humans were the determining factor.
Data on migration trends reveals that US and Canada have 5% of the world’s population and almost a quarter of the world’s migrants. Europe, with about 10% of the world’s population houses almost one third of the world’s migrant population.
In Australia, over 25% of residents were born outside the region. While the growing gap in living standards and wages between the developed and developing countries has drawn migrants towards countries with higher standards of living or with greater economic growth and employment opportunities, 56% voters valued the principles of freedom and human rights of the countries to be more appealing. 21% of respondents did however rank better job opportunities and a better life as the prime factor. “People want to avail of every freedom and enjoy civil liberties, nobody likes excessive control. Moreover, every person wants to live in dignity and be valued for their work. Unfortunately, here, expatriates often do not feel valued or respected as equals which is why there is a big move to the West”, a reader told the Arab Times.
5% shared that developed countries appealed most to those who had been forced out of their countries on account of religious intolerance, strict laws & instability. “Historically, religious intolerance has fueled migration. Persecution of any kind would compel anyone to seek out a safe haven.”
Another 5% stated the difficulty to do business in own country due to corruption and legal hassles. Frustrations with the political class, corruption and a legal system are push factors for many, a reader expressed, “It is extremely difficult to live in a country where there is so much dishonesty and corruption. I think injustice is a very strong motivator for many to relocate. Nobody wants to live as a victim of crooked system”.
Another 6% supported the idea of moving on account of better education system for their children. Only 8% of respondents shared a desired to remain in their own country and work to make it better. “I feel that people need to contribute to the country they came from. We should be nation builders not opportunists who only seek the best for ourselves. Talent should remain in the home country so that there can be positive change and growth. But the sacrifice is never easy”, a voter shared.
By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff