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FOCUS December 2009 Volume 58

Human Rights and Migrants


How do you deal with foreigners? When the economy is good, many countries invite people from other countries to come and work for their industries and in some cases homes. When the economy goes down, these same foreigners are told to start packing to go back to their country of origin. In some countries, foreigners are invited to address the critical need of some of their male citizens to have the chance to found a family and have children. At least in Japan, the moment the marriage fails and there is no offspring, the foreigner wives may start packing to go back home. And there are also people who were born, raised and lived in a country of which they are not nationals, and yet they are basically "citizens" of that country as any citizen can be. Their home is really this "other" country.

Foreigners entering another country assume a complicated relationship with the people and society of that country. This relationship is virtually disregarded whenever foreigners are told either to leave the country under archaic immigration laws, or are not given the chance to play a better role in society.

Regardless of the type of "foreignness" of these people, they cannot be treated with less respect for their human rights. They are entitled to the protection and realization of their human rights, and no country should find an excuse to violate them.

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