CHAPTER ONE
Global Migration Issues
Myths and Realities
Diego Acosta Arcarazo and Anja Wiesbrock
Introduction
Migration has become one of the most debated and politically contested
issues all around the globe. Migration elicits opposition and diverse reac-
tions from Singapore to Chile, from Australia to Denmark, and from South
Africa to Canada. This often becomes clear during presidential elections,
as exemplified by the 2012 elections in the United States and France, or
after particularly shocking events, like the death of migrants at the border,
become the focus of media reports and condemnation by different actors.
A few illustrations of recent developments should suffice to help explain
the importance of such a global-scale phenomenon.
In Qatar, for instance, an estimated 1.4 million migrant workers survive
in an appalling situation; many of them have even died in the building
sites for the football stadiums that will host the World Cup in 2022.1 This
has led to international disapproval and to promises by the Qatari gov-
ernment to improve labor standards2 (see the chapter by Fargues and De
Bel-Air).
Readers will find a chapter author’s name in parentheses when this introduction mentions
the global migration issues that are discussed in that author’s chapter of the book. This will
help the reader to become familiar with the contents of this collection.
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