Money, war, and climate. It's why some people are coming to a country near you.

Here's why global migration is on the rise.

Moving isn't fun. Honestly, it sucks. Squeezing your life into a handful of boxes can be trying for even the most organized person. But imagine if you were forced to move.

Like right now. No notice. No calling the homies to help pack up. No farewell bash. What if you were just pushed out of your house, your neighborhood, your city, your state, and your country? Then what?


Well, that happens to lots of people all of the time while we're calmly sipping on our lattes. Why?

According to a recent report from AJ+, at least 232 million people globally live in nations where they weren't born in or aren't citizens of. Host Dena Takruri breaks down why folks are leaving their homes. There are three main reasons.

Because it's scary out there — yo!

The ongoing presence of war and persecution is the main factor. It's done more than physical damage. It's really emotional too. People have to leave everything and sometimes everyone they know in the name of safety. Right now, the largest refugee communities are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Smaller nations like Pakistan, Kenya, and Lebanon are taking these folks in. Dena says that in Lebanon almost 1 in 5 people is a Syrian refugee and that their "infrastructure and economy have been pushed to the breaking point." Wow.


Although larger nations have only taken in 14% of the world's refugees, they do have better-paying jobs.

The lack of economic resources is another reason why people escape their homelands legally or illegally. When a country like the U.S. has jobs that offer six times the pay in your country, potentially risking your life to feed your starving family may feel like the only option. Oftentimes these economic opportunities aren't the ones that everyone wants. Lots of migrants work heinous hours and make way below minimum wage. And that's not just in the U.S. "In the United Arab Emirates, Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis make up 90% of the work force, despite poor working conditions, unfair treatment and low wages," Dena explains.

If you're lucky enough to side step war or a busted economy, you're favored if you don't have to leave your country because of the environment.

Natural disasters have displaced thousands upon thousands. Climate change is also very real and affecting people in a major way. “In Tuvalu, a tiny island nation in the South Pacific, rising sea levels are forcing people to move to nearby countries like New Zealand," Dena adds.

So, sure, moving voluntarily can irk, but it doesn't compare to the serious pain of having to uproot your life due to mostly uncontrollable factors. I wonder what would happen if we all thought about these things before judging someone else's perceived right to live on the same soil.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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