Solidarity and Migration

In the globalized world of today, the effects of ecological disasters, of economic or financial crisis, and of demographic eruption often do not come to a halt in front of national boundaries. In recognizing the mutual dependency and interconnectedness, solidarity receives a new dimension: it becomes the global survival strategy with solutions oriented towards implementation on the basis of binding agreements and alliances.

The international development coordination of the past 50 years has not been able to fulfill the hope invested in it. However, it is only in retrospect that the reasons for the evident gap between expectations and results can be understood. Unforeseeable, very spontaneous global political developments (such as the recent ‘facebook revolutions’ in North Africa and in the Near East) or erroneous presumptions have most certainly contributed to that gap. On top of this, it is difficult to estimate in which condition the faintly developed world would find itself today, if there never had been development cooperation or if there had been a much different kind of ‘North-South cooperation’. And certainly, protectionist measures of industrial nations, economic exploitation, brain drain and capital flight, have massively contributed to the stagnation of the economies in developing countries.

Nonetheless, the international development aid and cooperation, with its many competent experts, hundreds of governmental organizations, thousands of dedicated non-governmental organizations, and dozens of important international organizations, is being critically questioned. This may not really apply to immediate lifesaving aid, but all the more to developmental programs in a more confined sense.

In particular, public developmental funds are more likely not compelled to be spent strictly according to cost-benefit criteria (contrary to what a destitute individual would certainly do), since there are no tangible links between the stakeholders on both ends of public aid system, that is to say the tax payers and voters in donor countries on the one end, and the final beneficiaries in the receiving countries on the other. Instead, individual concerns, lobby interests, institutional considerations, and political constraints at different levels, between the end-stakeholders mentioned before, inevitably affect the processes all along from assessments to the allocation of funds, the planning, implementation and, of course, even the final evaluation of projects. The fact that Governmental development agencies neither have to raise, nor generate the funds they are spending, and that they take no immediate risks if their programs show a poor performance, has advantages and disadvantages.

While authentic solidarity is lastly based on empathy and voluntarism of ‘the haves’ and while the needy people in the struggling countries mainly take on only the passive role of partially dependent recipients, the migrants from South to North resp. East to West have taken their fate (at least initially) into their own hands. History reveals that in some cases it has indeed been possible to prevent the emigration or flight from one country (e.g. from former East- to West-Germany) and the immigration or infiltration into another country (e.g. from Cisjordan into Israel) efficiently by means of physical or other boundaries. However, such walls were always, rather sooner than later, surmounted, razed – sometimes with fatal consequences for the people on the opposite side, sometimes for the good of all – or simply became redundant.

ANTHILLS will look critically at both the opportunities, as well as the risks of global migration, and drafts concrete and pro-active options.

On the drawing board

  • PINOY SWANS stands for a suggested treaty between Switzerland and the Philippines regarding the institutionalized recruitment, training and hiring of Pilipino care personnel for the benefit of Swiss hospitals, homes for old aged and private individuals inclusive working parents. Download PINOY SWANS
  • ANTHILLS’ concept SOCIETE GENERALE DE SURVEILLANCE HUMANITAIRE is concerned with the feasibility of a transparent, standardized, internationally accepted, quantification scheme regarding Public Development Aid. Such standardization would promote the credibility and solidarity both among the funding nations of the OECD and within the community of benefitting countries.
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