Platform poverty migration
Plattform Armutsmigration in Vorarlberg - Deutscher Text

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What is meant by poverty-driven migration?

The term poverty migration

Poverty migration deals with the migration of people affected by extreme poverty who have no perspective whatsoever to lead a decent life in their countries.

Background information

Most of these people have never visited a school or if, then only for a short time. The reason for this was or is simply the lack of money. Often, they are ethnically affiliated to a minority (e.g. Sinti or Romanies). Because of the surrounding conditions within the corresponding societies, these people have highly been exposed to prejudice and discrimination.

Little assistance - no sustainable improvement

Due to lack of assistance and missing protest as facilitated in an adequate representation on the levels of society and politics, the situation often remains a hopeless one. Many of the people affected therefore leave their countries of origin and thus parts of their family (who very often are their own children) to try to make a living elsewhere. Very frequently, the situation at their new domicile is a repetition of the problems they have had in their country of origin. Sustainable improvement of the situation can thereby not be achieved. As a consequence of their lack of language knowledge and professional skills, these people try to make a living by begging for money and/or working occasionally as unskilled labourers, cleaners etc. This very often leads to the fact that they move on from one place to the other. Thus the term poverty-driven migrants or poverty-driven travellers.

Background information on defensive demeanour

In the case of an increased presence of poverty-driven travellers in a certain region, this can lead to strong resentments and defensive demeanour with the locals of that place, especially with those persons who are themselves affected by poverty (homeless or unemployed persons, low-income earners).

However, fear and ignorance in certain middle class neighbourhoods can lead to defensive demeanour as well.

Possible reasons for this behaviour:

  • Sympathized helplessness ("One cannot help all of them.")
  • Sceptisism ("Is the person really allowed to keep the money for him/herself or does he/she have to hand it in to someone else?")
  • Lack of experience when dealing with poverty and migration
  • Prejudice ("Those people clearly do not want to work or blend in with society here.")
  • " Unpleasing experience made ("obtrusive begging, verbal harrassment, stalking, food littering, rummaging of rubbish bins,…")
  • Different moral concepts ("How is poverty defined? Is it just the lack of money?")

  • updated: 2017/03/25 created: 2017/03/25