Globalization and refugee situation- A lecture by Helena Lindholm

​The lecture “Globalization and refugee situation” given by Helena Lindholm, Pro-vice-chancellor of Gothenburg University focused on the amalgamated e​​ffect of Refugee crisis and growing globalization on the demographics of a nation and how it triggers climatic chaos.
Ms Lindholm is a Professor of Peace and Development Research and her lecture was backed by her study of the situation of Palestinian refugees.
Here are few excerpts from her lecture at the Sustainability event.

Refugee Crisis
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data, taken in the end of 2014 states that 59.5 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide. Out of this number, 19.5 million were refugees. These refugees crossing Mediterranean for a better life came from various countries like Syria, Iraq and Eritrea to name a few. The chaotic situations in their home countries force people to leave and take shelter as refugees and 86% of world’s refugees are hosted by the developing nations.
A survey by the UN showed that out of 4.5 million students in Syria 100,000 students were qualified for higher education but couldn’t access it because  of the massive destruction caused by war in Syria.

Globalization, role of IT and its effect on refugees
“We live in a globalizing world. That means that all of us, consciously or not, depend on each other. Whatever we do or refrain from doing affects the lives of people who live in places we'll never visit.”
Ms Lindholm quoted the words of famous Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman thus emphasizing the fact that globalization has drastically changed the present world.  Technology has ushered the age of globalization and is an essential catalyst. Internet has allowed people to share information with one another globally and the surge in telecommunications technology has facilitated the global exchange of data.  A humorous but sad quote by Ms Lindholm shows the role of smartphones in our life- “I have a smartphone, therefore I exist”.
People are all the more interconnected now and aren’t divided by borders anymore. But, for the vulnerable strata of society, including refugees the consequences of globalization are often less positive. To handle the increased immigration pressure, some nations are introducing various measures to control and restrict access of refugees into their country. This in turn promotes smuggling and trafficking of people who try to illegally cross the border. The challenge is to manage migration in a way that upholds human rights and at the same time addresses illegal migration.

Globalization, effect on climate and inequalities
Demographic changes have resulted in rise in inequality and racism which mature into War & conflict. This has a negative impact on climate. Ms Lindholm gave some examples on how globalization has resulted in degradation such as Rise in sea levels in Qatar, Tunisia.  Water stress, and problems in Middle Eastern region.

Sustainable development goals
Ms Lindholm ended her lecture by giving special emphasis on the Sustainable development goal number four of UN i.e. to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.

Compiled by Mrinalini Raina

Page manager Published: Fri 26 Jun 2020.