In the society, the term globalization has many meanings all of which depend on the context that the word is used. It is informally used in popular franchises such as Coca-Cola to mean global expansions of capitalist economies (Jones 4). Globalization is influenced and accelerated through the linkage of stock-markets with banks which enhance quicker transfer of money worldwide. Refugees on the other hand are described by the UNHCR as people who have escaped their origin land or country because of war, political persecution, fear, and religious persecutions. Global refugee population has been on the rise and it has currently reached crisis levels. Globalization theories have been used to explain the ever increasing refugee population all of which satisfy the notion that there is a direct relationship between Globalization and refugee population. However, it should be noted that globalization in itself does not directly influence refugee populations but rather social, economic, and political changes of the world system all of which are influenced by globalization.
The background of globalization and refugee is traced at the same time in the seventeenth century where the just like the first refugees who were reported in 1685, the world capitalist system originated. The modern integrated single-economy all attributed to globalization has proved to be detrimental to stability of individual countries. Globally, the economy is controlled by super nations (s) like—Japan, USA, and UK—who force other countries to become less self-sufficient as control over finance and production, economy, and trade is limited at the national level. This problem further weakens under-developed economies further challenging the integrity of their national boundaries and forcing many countries to extreme poverty. The situation has led to internal wars, increased poverty, internal conflict, and collapse of states. Populations of these states are forced to escape from their original homes all for the sake of finding stability and better work elsewhere hence become permanent refugees. Others are internally or externally displaced all waiting for a suitable time to return home when safety is guaranteed, becoming temporary refugees.
As a result of globalization, there has been free movement of people from different races and cultures all of whom seek work in developed economies. The new populations offer competition for limited resources such as employment, food, and shelter to the native populations. This ultimately leads to persecutions and discriminations against certain particular ethnic groups. In regions such as Eastern and Central Europe the Romany have experienced systemic and institutionalized discrimination all of which has forced many of them to flee to friendly countries such as France, Germany, and Britain. Many Western European countries have strict visa requirements against refugees in general, but because of the EU union which came as a result of globalization, then the refugees from hostile countries have easily been granted access to friendly countries. This has contributed to the sharp increase in European refugee populations that is currently being felt in developed economies of Western Europe.
Globalization has also influenced the emergence of human-traffickers and structured crime organisations that come together to exploit the difficult immigration policies of advanced economies, and the desperation of asylum seekers and ‘economic’ migrants to gain entry into developed countries. Structured crime organisations were amongst the first and most successful in acclimatizing to globalization, and therefore easily managed to move individuals to countries they were not permitted to enter. Numerous refugees die during transit from starvation, suffocation, hypothermia, or dehydration. Majority of the populations who use this avenue to reach ‘better’ economies use the strategy of applying for refugee status once they reach their destination. Because of this illegal system, the numbers of refugee populations have increased spontaneously since the same developed states have no way of proving whether or not the illegal immigrants have a valid reason to claim for refugee status. Furthermore, the recognition of these people as legitimate refugees and consequent resettlement results in creation of social links that culminates in establishment of chain migrations. Relatives and friends of the ‘legal refugees’ will come all in the name of visiting but have hidden agendas of obtaining the same treatment as their successful kin.
It is impossible to deny that both positive and negative results of globalisation have had an indirect influence on global refugee populations. The ever increasing gap between the poorest and the wealthiest countries has resulted in many people leaving their homes and searching for a better life. The strict and unproductive policies of global donors like the World Bank and IMF have also directly influenced the political stability and economy of the world’s poorest nations. This has lead to internal conflicts and wars, all of which have increased exponentially refugee populations and internally displaced people. Furthermore, the increased free trade, capital, and freedom of expressions and rights in developed economies as a result of globalisation have caused diversity. Diversity amongst the populations like homosexuality has led to persecutions that have forced many to move to states which accept their way of life. For instance, the harsh laws against homosexuality in the Middle East have forced many to migrate as refugees to states that condone the practise.
In conclusion, it can be said that it is not theories of globalization that result in increasing numbers of refugee populations but rather the practical application of those theories. Academicians believe that globalisation is a remedy for forced migration and global conflicts, and poorly performing economies but actually it is an indirect influencer of it. It can be said that globalization influences social, political, and economic developments of an economy which in turn have a direct relationship to refugee populations. Therefore it is important to note that globalisation indirectly influences refugee populations. Nevertheless, as long as developed economies insist on strict migration policies while at the same time advocating for free trade and capital movement, there would always be a rising trend of increased refugee populations. The recommendation in curtailing uncontrolled immigrations is that strategies should be put in place more so by global donors to promote under-developed economies through increasing their wealth and improving education. Furthermore, political and war refugees should also be accommodated for minimum periods before strategies and solutions be put in place so that they could return to their home nations.
Jones, Andrew. Dictionary of Globalisation. Massachusetts: Cambridge Press. (2006). Print. : 4-199