• Category Archives: RESEARCH

  • Irish Emigration at “Famine Level”

    February 24, 2013 by marine_olivesi in with 0 COMMENTS

    Just fished out this interesting story from the  Irish Independent which claims that with more than 200 people leaving the island every day last year, the level of Irish emigration in 2012 has reached that of the “Great Famine.”


    Quite a stunning parallel between the state of today’s austerity-driven Europe and one of the 19th century’s largest humanitarian disaster in the Old Continent.


    The Great Famine lasted nearly a decade and drove between 1 and 2 million Irish out of their country. Most sought refuge from starvation to Great Britain, Australia and North America. This time again, England and Australia are the destination of choice for most of the 87,000 who emigrated last year.


    As I’m heading to Greece next week, I’ll keep my ears open for signs of a similar exodus there… With a quarter of its population currently unemployed and over 50% of working-age Greeks under 26 jobless, it’s hard to imagine Greeks aren’t voting with their feet as well.


  • The End of An Era

    April 25, 2012 by marine_olivesi in with 0 COMMENTS

    Listening to PRI from Bamako last night, I heard Marco Werman announce “the end of the largest and most sustained immigration trend in American history.” Pretty momentous stuff.


    Less than a million Mexican-born people lived in the States in 1970. Today, Mexican-born in the US amount to the population of Illinois alone (over 12 millions).


    But a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center finds that net migration from Mexico has now dropped to zero. That means as many Mexican-born adults move from the US to Mexico than from Mexico to the US –and perhaps even more leave the US than get there these days.


    The economic downturn, tougher border control and immigration laws, and Mexico’s own demographic transition mostly account for the drop of Mexican newcomers in the States over the past 5 years.


    Listen to Jeff Passel, co-author of the report and senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, explain why the trend is not likely to be reversed.


  • Migration and the Arab Spring: a Short Introduction

    April 22, 2012 by marine_olivesi in with 0 COMMENTS

    Excellent read from the Brooking’s Institute on migration, displacement and the Arab Spring as I embark on a 6-month long Immigration Journalism Fellowship on this very subject thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation and the French-American Foundation.


    An estimated two million people have left their homes over the last year as a result of the impact of the Arab Spring across North Africa and the Middle East. And at least thirty countries have been directly affected by these flows according to its author, Khalid Koser.


    “Numerically, the largest single category of people who have been forced from their homes over the last year during the Arab Spring has been migrant workers. This phenomenon has been particularly significant in Libya. In the three months between March and June 2011, over half a million migrant workers left Libya for Egypt and Tunisia — more than the number of Libyans who fled the country during all of last year and more than the number of internally displaced Libyans or Syrians. While the majority of these migrant workers were from Egypt and Tunisia, about 250,000 were from other countries, in particular sub-Saharan Africa.”


    And that’s precisely where I start my reporting project, in West Africa. First stop: Mali, a country that is feeling the first major shockwave of Gaddafi’s fall.


    Most people here see the current crisis in North Mali as a by-product of the conflict in Libya last year.

    Addressing the turmoil in West Africa and the Sahel region, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon too connected both episodes in his address last week to Luxembourg’s Parliament: “Events in Libya have made an already difficult security and humanitarian situation even worse. Many thousands returned home to the Sahel. Some were migrant workers, but others are armed fighters, criminal elements, bringing with them large quantities of light and heavy weapons and ammunition.”


    Stay tuned for my upcoming story on the migration-based connections between the Libyan uprising and the current crisis in Mali.




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