MIGRATION AND DIVERSITY
Human history is composed of innumerable stories of migration. People have always been on the move continuously reconstructing and transforming social identities, places, and cultures. According to the United Nations, in 2013 there were 232 million international migrants (or 3.2% of the world’s population). Though international migration affects countries in both the Global North and South, ten countries host half of all international migrants (USA, Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, UK, France, Canada, Australia, and Spain). In the developed world, North America receives the largest number of migrants, while Europe has the highest percentage of migrants in proportion to its native population. Migration is also growing in Asia. The lion's share of refugees and displaced people live in close proximity to the land that they have fled, taxing the resources of neighboring countries. The rise in people seeking asylum reflects the profoundly precarious contemporary situation of people around the world in the face of war, environmental degradation, violence, and poverty. Increased refugeeism and global migration has been paralleled by a growing sense of moral panic and anxiety in many host societies. Migrants have often been constructed as the embodiment of otherness: representing images of inscrutable difference, cheap labor, and welfare fraud that are perceived as threatening the livelihood and identity of the nation and citizens. As political discourse in many industrialized countries has increasingly criminalized and stigmatized people who have had the experience of forced, undocumented or voluntary migration, discussions on the moral obligation to share a host country as a safe space for those in need of protection have been largely silenced.
My interest in migration and diversity focuses on the intersection of HIV/AIDS, social justice issues, and the complexity of the migration experience and identity in Finland and the European Union.