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Mass migration a shared problem
Mass migration – a shared problem
Mass migrations of refugees and illegal immigrants will become an ever-growing problem for developed countries over the next decade, Ricardo B. Salinas, a Mexican business leader, warned at the World Economic Forum recently.
"Today, more than 140 million people live outside their countries of birth and migrants, many of them illegal, comprise more than 15 per cent of the population in over 50 countries", Salinas said. "During the next 15 years these numbers will grow dramatically due to globalisation, imbalances between industrialised and developing nations, and interstate and civil conflicts".
Salinas, chairman of Grupo Salinas, a group of leading Mexican companies, said that the mass migrations are being driven by grinding poverty, harsh political repression and internal and external conflicts in many of the developing countries.
Unless the developed nations work together to set up a structure to deal with these underlying causes, the problem will get increasingly worse, he said. Each year for the next 15 years, some 45 million people in developing countries will enter the job market. Unless opportunities are opened up for these young people in their home countries, they will fail to find work and emigrate, whether legally or illegally.
Salinas pointed out that the 2,500 persons attending the World Economic Forum meeting, including business leaders, government officials, academics, and journalists, are, in a sense, privileged citizens of the world, free to travel wherever they wish.
"But this is not the case for the 2.8 billion people in the world – more than one-third of the world's population – who live in poverty, without the prospects of a good education, decent jobs or adequate health care", Salinas said.
"These harsh realities drive mass migrations by persons seeking to better themselves."
Salinas suggested four questions that the forum members should address regarding the mass migration problem:
Are the industrialised nations doing enough to provide developmental assistance to developing nations?
Should the United Nations take a more active role in intervening in civil or external conflicts that generate massive refugee problems?
What can developing nations do to help stem the migration of their citizens?
Do industrialised nations need to liberalise their immigration regulations to make it easier for migrant workers to enter their countries for temporary or permanent jobs?
(Grupo Salinas is a group of dynamic, fast-growing, and technologically advanced companies focused on creating value for their shareholders, building the Mexican middle class, and improving society. Created by Ricardo B. Salinas, one of Mexico's most successful entrepreneurs, Grupo Salinas operates as a management development and decision forum for the top leaders of all Grupo Salinas companies. Grupo Salinas Companies currently include TV Azteca, Grupo Elektra, Unefon, Telecosmo, Movil-Access and Todito.)