|A hundred years after Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini's death, migration has become a worldwide phenomenon which from departure, transit to destination, involves all nations.
Worldwide, 214 million people live outside their country of birth. They include 15.2 million refugees and 983'000 asylum seekers.
To this international movement we should add the 27.1 million displaced people forced to flee from one region to another within their own country, and the unknown number of internal migrants who move mostly from rural areas to the outskirts of the sprawling mega cities. Migration is a matter of numbers and statistics in constant variation, but most importantly it involves people: their many faces and stories, their hopes and expectations...and the many "whys?" of humanity's current dramas. In the globalisation era, economies are progressively moving beyond national frontiers: they act almost autonomously, unrestrained by national political controls. The current global economy, does not offer guarantees for greater justice, democracy or the redistribution of goods. At the same that a single cultural uniformity, based on profit and free market values, is prevailing worldwide, new totalitarian ideologies are emerging, thriving on religious fundamentalism and on the obsessive preservation for one's ethnic identity.
The current and expanding migration flow is rooted in a growing social and economic inequality between North and South, in the lack of prospects for education and employment for many young people, in natural and ecological disasters, in the demographic imbalance between continents, in wars, in political, ethnic and religious persecution, terrorism, and human rights violations.
No less powerful than the reasons forcing people to migrate, are those which attract them awaking in them the urge to leave: among them, the media's portrayal of the social model of Western prosperity, the call of fellow countrymen who have migrated, and the active recruitment by smuggling organisations.