Caitlin Vito

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Imagining 2030 is a series in which PS21 writers describe the world as they see it in 14 years time.

Meine Damen und Herren, today’s lecture is on Syria.”

The university lecture hall is packed. I sit up. I can see the professor clearly from my spot in the back of the room. This lecture hits home, a little too close.

Almost two decades of fighting has left this region traumatized. Over 50% of the population who used to live in the area of former Syria have either fled or been killed in the conflict…”

Syria was unravelling as my family fled 14 years ago.…  Seguir leyendo »

Recent headline-grabbing events coming out of Saudi Arabia overshadow an issue which has been simmering for years: the plight of the country’s migrant workers.  Western governments need to take a – albeit uncomfortable – stand against their ally.

The first planes arrived at Bole airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in early November 2013. As the passengers spilled out onto the tarmac, they were soon joined by hundreds of other returnees scrambling to collect their belongings and to make their way to the migrant transit centres. From November 2013 to March 2014, an estimated 160,000 more Ethiopians were to follow. Deported from Saudi Arabia during an unprecedented crackdown on undocumented migrant workers, they were given the ultimatum: voluntarily leave or face deportation.…  Seguir leyendo »

The devastating consequences of unregistered marriages for Iraqi women and children are leaving many Iraqis without basic state protection. The potential security implications reach far beyond Iraq’s borders.

It was only after her husband’s death that she found out about the devastating consequences for her and her daughter. The 25 year-old woman and her husband had been married by a religious cleric – as is the case for many couples in Iraq – and their religious marriage had never subsequently been registered with the Iraqi civil authorities. In the aftermath of his death, the young widow could neither find the marriage contract that her husband had kept with him, nor the cleric who had conducted the ceremony.…  Seguir leyendo »

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Oct. 17, 2013) Distressed persons are transferred from the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) to Armed Forces of Malta offshore patrol vessel P52 (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The images are stark. Groups of people looking exhausted, anxious and moving with resolve towards the EU’s border thousands of miles away from their countries of origin in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Many of them are Syrians fleeing the four and a half year civil war: the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) estimates that Syrian refugees make up approximately 39 percent of those arriving to Europe. The plight of Syrian refugees dominates public discourse at the moment and is undoubtedly a critical component of the current migration situation; however, our focus here is on another group of migrants: economic migrants who take illegal and often highly dangerous migration routes.…  Seguir leyendo »