From his first steps on Earth man is constantly moving. Immigration, voluntary or forced, is a feature of man over time.
The lesson begins with a mapping of the modern refugee and immigration issue and then attempts to explain the phenomenon historically.
It studies the phenomenon from the end of the 19th century with the creation of nation-states and borders and the movement of populations in Europe as a result of persecution (Russia – Jews) or oppression and famine (Ireland – America). Regional conflicts (Balkan Wars) and the First World War bring to the fore new forms of persecution with population movements that take dramatic form (ethnic cleansing of Christian populations 1914-1915 in Anatolia, Armenian genocide – 1915). Especially in the Armenian issue, forced displacement aims at physical extermination. At the same time, the phenomenon of economic migration to the countries of the new world (America – Canada) and the creation of new societies with multiple cultural characteristics and distinct communities are examined. The Asia Minor catastrophe and the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey name the characterization of the “refugee” who will become a distinctive feature for generations of Greeks.
World War II was marked by mass population movements and the Holocaust of the Jews of Europe. The post-war world creates the need for international protection and the establishment of instruments and conventions for refugee assistance (UNHCR, 1950 – Geneva Convention, 1951).
The course then focuses on the modern age and the globalized world with continuous migration and refugee flows especially in the eastern Mediterranean and Europe. This examines the new processes of migration and exploitation through illegal human trafficking networks and trafficking and the national and European framework for the protection of refugees and the fight against migration.
Immigrant-refugee flows test the resilience of European societies and give rise to political groups with xenophobic-racist content.
The aim of the course is to distinguish the political, economic and social aspects of migration both in the countries of origin and exit as well as in the countries of first or final host and the different treatment that exists in time.