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The Atlas of Migration

Learn more about the topic of migration with the Atlas of Migration. Migration is not particular to any one society. Many societies around the world are a result of human mobility. A wide range of myths and racist imagery has emerged around migrants’ movements, often portraying them as threatening.

Data and Facts from the Atlas of Migration

You can download the Atlas here. It uses concrete examples and graphs to demonstrate the impact of European migration and foreign policy, how migration affects different regions, and how migration is linked to other issues. Want to find out more about this topic? Check out some of our games and a brief overview of the Atlas below!


Atlas of Migration

Migration Is Normal

Migration is not particular to any one society. Many societies around the world are a result of human mobility. Nevertheless, the issue of migration sparks heated political debates around the globe, and people often form various opinions on how to deal with migrants’ movements. A wide range of myths and racist imagery has emerged around migratory movements, often portraying them as threatening. This renders migrants, in all their diversity, invisible.

The Atlas of Migration aims to change people’s views on migration and on those who migrate. While migration is not a threat to societies themselves, it is a threat for the many migrants who are declared illegal and who have to experience everyday racism and racist violence.

You can download the entire Atlas including detailed information at the top of the page. 

Migration Has Always Existed

Human history is a history of migration. People did not just start moving from place to place in the modern age. Even before modern mass transportation existed, people were already travelling long distances. Global migration, that is to say movement across continental borders, only came about at the beginning of colonialism, in which the slave trade played a decisive role. Europe’s history as a continent of immigration began around the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Migration was not viewed as an end in itself—staying long-term or temporarily in another location was seen as giving migrants the opportunity to have self-determination over their lives. However, the threat or actual use of violence has always been a potential reason for migration. Refugee movements, displacement, and deportation happen when (primarily state) actors restrict the means of living and survival, as well as physical integrity, rights, and freedoms.

A Map with Additional Information About Migration, Displacement, and the Deprival of Rights

Most refugees remain within their own country. Around 39 million refugees of a total of 71.4 million worldwide are considered to be so-called internally displaced people. Contrary to the suggestion of overheated debates in Europe and the USA, only a fraction of those who flee their homelands make it to the Global North. Eighty-five percent of international refugees are received by countries in the Global South. Although refugees come to countries searching for security and shelter, they are also faced with various obstacles there.   These obstacles range from discrimination when looking for accommodation, to not having their qualifications recognized. Migrant women in particular are at risk of not having their qualifications recognized. The intersectional discrimination that migrant women encounter leads to them working in jobs below their qualification level. Migrant women are more often employed in wage labour than native-born women, but this says nothing about the extent of unpaid care work, the type of employment, and illegal employment relationships.  


In addition to the bureaucratic hurdles of asylum applications and the discrimination and challenges migrants face in the housing and employment market, there is another aspect of bitter reality: while people flee their homelands or migrate for various reasons, hoping for a better life in the country they arrive in, they are faced with violent attacks and attempts on their lives in addition to everyday discrimination. Here is a timeline of developments from 2015 to 2017.

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