Programme details and objectives
For millennia, individuals and communities have crisscrossed continents and oceans in search of a better life or in an effort to escape persecution. Millions of others were transported to be sold into slavery, or for other kinds of coerced employment. Voluntary, involuntary, enslaved, or coerced, human mobility has transformed our planet, formed and reformed societies, and created the world in which we live.
The governance of mobility lies at the very heart of contemporary governance. Immigration has become a major preoccupation in many countries, trapping societies in deepening cycles of political conflict, xenophobic distrust, discrimination, victimisation, and violence. However, migrants crossing national borders are only a small fraction of movements occurring within them.
Migrations into Europe and North America are also merely the tip of mobilities and shifts underway within Africa, Asia, or Latin America. Occurring alongside flows of goods, capital, values, and ideas, they evoke attitudes that justify raising the barriers to human and social mobility between and within states. While refugees continue to flee persecution, conflicts, or attempts at ethnic cleansing, there is growing displacement attributable to development and infrastructure projects, trade liberalisation, climate change and agrarian transformations.