According to the UNHCR, approximately 70 million people are currently displaced, more than half of them as internally displaced people within their own countries. Most of those seeking protection are from Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan, followed by other states in the Middle East and Africa. Only a small proportion are seeking refuge in Europe; the biggest challenges exist in the regions of origin. Armed conflicts and persecution are the central causes of forced displacement, but people leave their homes for other reasons as well. The push factors for migration include, for example, an absence of employment and educational opportunities, political and economic instability, inadequate security, or environmental issues.
The GIGA’s scholars carry out research in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well cross-regionally, on the following topics:
- How do fundamental political changes influence human mobility within a region and between regions?
- What significance do social change, economic development, and cultural factors have for migration?
- What role do global environmental change and its local impacts play?
- Which migrant groups are particularly exposed to dangers such as discrimination, human trafficking, or abuse? And how can vulnerable groups be identified?
- How can we develop an understanding of (forced) migration that systematically takes into account not only mobility and the crossing of borders but also internal migration and involuntary immobility?
On this page, the GIGA has compiled its expertise on the background to the crises in the regions of origin.