Global people movements

We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record, as individuals seek to create their own pathways from poverty to prosperity. For far too many, these are journeys not of opportunity but of necessity. People undertaking these so-called ‘irregular’ journeys are remarkably vulnerable. They are likely to face exploitation at the hands of human traffickers, who generate more than $150 billion in illegal profits each year. Worse still, they may find themselves trapped in a world of modern slavery and sexual exploitation from which they are unable to escape. They are unprotected, accumulate debt, and have no legal recourse. This phenomenon requires an urgent response. To date, we lack the data to form an accurate appraisal of the motivations behind these extraordinary journeys, and the risks faced by those undertaking them. The purpose of this initial report, the first of three to be published this year, is to produce a data-driven overview of the current landscape of global migration, which will in turn support the Legatum Institute’s commitment to identifying solutions that would assist necessity-driven migrants, refugees and victims of trafficking.

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