Paper presentation: Human Rights, Racism and Migration: A Philosophical Approach

Abstract: Today, one in every 50 human beings is a migrant worker, a refugee or asylum seeker, or an immigrant living in a ‘foreign’ country. Current estimates by the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration indicate that some 150 million people live temporarily or permanently outside their countries of origin (2.5% of the world’s population). Many of these, 80-97 million, are estimated to be migrant workers and mebers of their families. Another 12 million are refugees outside their country of origin. These figures do not include the estimated 20 million Internally Displaced Persons forcibly displaced within their own country, nor tens of millions more of internal migrants, mainly rural to urban, in countries around the world.
Though for centuries, philosophers from Kant to Walzer have debated questions of freedom of movement, state coercion and belonging, as Agnes Woolley has argued, these issues are given a new urgency in the context of climate change and the crisis of global capitalism, requiring us to face them with a ‘planetary consciousness’.
Increasing ethnic and racial diversity of societies is the inevitable consequence of migration. Increasing migration means that a growing number of States have become or are becoming more multi-ethnic, and are confronted with the challenge of accommodating peoples of different cultures, races, religions and language. Addressing the reality of increased diversity means finding political, legal, social and economic mechanisms to ensure mutual respect and to mediate relations across differences. But xenophobia and racism have become manifest in some societies which have received substantial numbers of immigrants, as workers or as asylum-seekers. In those countries the migrants have become the targets in internal disputes about national identity. In the last decade, the emergence of new nation states has often been accompanied by ethnic exclusion. Migration in the modern world raises some of the most pressing philosophical questions. Aim of this presentation is to present the relationship between Human Rights, Racism and Migration.

Short BIO: Georgiadis Dimitris is currently Camp Manager of Eleonas Refugee Camp for Asylum Seekers and Vulnerable persons in Greece. Holds a degree in Education and Psychology from the University Aldo Moro of Bari (Italy). Doctor in Education and Labor market from University of Ioannina. Conducted postdoctoral research regarding migrants integration at the Department of Preschool Education of the University of Thessaly (Greece). Scientific personnel at Department of Sociology, Panteion University Social and political Science (Greece). He has worked as a Career Counselor in the Second Chance Schools (Patras – Greece). Also worked as a Career Counselor and Therapist at the Mental Health Center of Chalandri (Attica – Greece). His research interests focus on Education and social inequalities, social exclusion, vulnerable social groups, racism, and counseling for adults. He has published extensively in international journals on the topics of his interests and has presented studies at various international conferences. His latest book is about Migrants Integration.